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COSHH SHEET 42 SURFACE FINISHES: SOLVENT-BASED PAINTS - AEROSOLS Brand Names Applicable to: acrylic paints, rust proofing, flourescent paints. Uses/Processes Many different paints are available in cans to be applied as aerosols. These finishes are very convenient for objects small enough to be placed in a large cardboard box (on its side) to contain the over-spray. Zinc-rich primers often contain toluene in the solvent mixture, others contain up to 35% of xylene. Possible other constituents include MEK, acetone and alcohols. The propellant is usually butane. Assessment Toluene (methyl benzene) and xylene (dimethyl benzene) vapours are harmful by inhalation, causing headaches, dizziness and nausea. The OES for toluene vapour is 50 ppm (8 hr TWA). These values can easily be exceeded if zinc-rich primer is used extensively. Xylene and acetone (propanone) are irritating to the eyes, skin and respiratory system. The OES for xylene vapour is 100 ppm (8 hr TWA) and 150 ppm (15 min ref period). These values could be exceeded if aerosol paints are used extensively. The OES for acetone is 750 ppm (8 hr TWA) and 1500 ppm (15 min ref period). These values would not be exceeded in typical use. Methyl ethyl ketone (MEK or butanone) is irritating to the eyes and respiratory system. Splashes to the eye will cause discomfort and possible damage. Prolonged contact with the skin may have a defatting (drying) effect which may lead to skin irritation and dermatitis. All types use extremely flammable solvents and propellants. Controls Use of zinc-rich primer should be avoided unless local exhaust ventilation is available or it is practicable to work in the open air. Other paints can be used on a small scale in areas with good general ventilation. Eye protection must be worn and skin contact avoided. All naked flames and other ignition sources must be removed before using aerosol finishes. Storage In a cool, dry, well ventilated place, away from ignition sources. Up to 50 litres of highly flammable liquid can be held in small containers in a fire- resisting highly flammable liquids cupboard or bin. Disposal An authorised waste disposal contractor should be used. Immediate Remedial Measures If paints are swallowed: DO NOT INDUCE VOMITING. Keep casualty at rest and obtain medical attention. If vapour is inhaled: Remove casualty to fresh air. Keep warm and at rest. If breathing is irregular or has stopped, administer artificial resuscitation. Obtain medical attention. If sprayed into eyes: Irrigate immediately with water for at least ten minutes, holding eyelids apart. If discomfort continues, obtain medical attention. If on the skin: Remove contaminated clothing. Wash skin thoroughly with soap and water or use a proprietary skin cleanser. Do not use solvents.
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