Problem: Volatile Organic
Compounds (VOC's) are a large family of carbon-containing compounds which
are emitted or evaporate into the atmospere where they participate in
photochemical reactions. Some VOC's are toxic and/or carcinogenic. Most
VOC's, to varying degrees, contribute to the formation of ground level
ozone. The VOC's that may cause stratospheric ozone depletion are mostly
a chlorine-containing group of compounds known as Chloroflourocarbons or
CFC's. They gradually release chlorine and other halogens into the
stratosphere. These compounds are particularly effective at destroying
the ozone even when present in small quanitites. Carbon tetrachloride,
used in the manufacturing of chlorinated rubber based coatings, is an
example of a CFC. These compounds are generally not significant
precursors in the production of ground level ozone.
The word "toxic" when associated with coatings materials,
can be used to describe fatal poisonings but can also be applied to
substances which are, to varying degrees, injurious to health.
There are a large number of chemicals used in the formulations of
coatings materials that are toxic; these include solvents and monomers,
hydrocarbons, isocyanates, and organic fungicides, organic and inorganic
Toxicity can be divided into three categories viz. acute poisoning
which is displayed by immediate, severe symptons. Chronic poisoning,
which is reoccuring or of long continuance; and insidious poisoning.
Insidious poisoning occurs when the toxic works "secretly." The
victim is unaware of the exposure, his health and mind gradually
deteriorates and often he is unprepared for remedial action until it is
High concentrations of phenol taken internally or accidently
splashed in large volumes on the skin will quickly cause acute poisoning
and death, whereas long exposure to low concentrations of lead compounds
will lead to chronic lead poisoning.
There are three distinct classes of insidious poison, all of which
display what can be termed as "delayed effects." They are
carcinogens, mutagens, and tetrogens. Chemical carcinogens are substances
which induce cancer in humans and animals. Vinyl chlorides have been
identified as causative agents in cancer of the liver.
Mutagens are substances which are capable of altering the body's
genetic material i.e. the genes and chromosomes of the cells.
Ethylono-oxide, a noncarcinogen, has been found to have mutagenic
properties. This mono-epoxide is used in the manufacture of numerous
Tetrogens are substances which, when ingested by the mother-to-be,
can adversely affect her unborn child. Phthalate-esters are suspected as
being tetrogens and are frequently used as plasticisors in coating
Toxic hazards can impact the human body either by affecting the
respiratory system, the eyes and/or the skin; the respiratory system
being the most significant route for poisonings as far as the paint
industry is concerned. Substances used in the formulations of coatings,
which can be inhaled, are primarily the vapors of volatile liquids and
Toxic vapors can be irritants, asphyxiants, anaesthetics and
systemic poisons. Volatile irritants are capable of preferentially
effecting specific areas of the respiratory system, such as the
respiratory tract, the lung tissue of the terminal air passages and air
The greatest potential of harm to the user of paint products other
than Weather Bos probably lies in the adverse effects it can have
on the skin.
Paints frequently contain skin-degrading solvents, as well as a
variety of pigments and miscellaneous additives, many of which can be
physiologically active chemicals. It is common practice for hand operated
equipment to be used without the necessary hand protection (e.g. rubber
gloves) and many people applying paint, even when spraying, will often
use solvents to clear their skin.
Skin complaints brought on by contact with paint range from mild
skin irritation to extreme forms of dermatitus, which is a prescribed
industrial disease. Subcutaneous poisoning, (i.e. the passage of toxic
substances through the skin) can also occur. Abraded skin, cuts and
lesions naturally facilitate the absorption, but to varying degrees
intact skin also has the capacity to allow the passage of toxic
substances. Propane sulfone, widely used as a paint vehicle, has been
identified as being a powerful carcinogen and can cause cancer on skin
Ethylene imine and propylene are both readily absorbed through the
skin. Propylene imine is an important chemical intermediate in the
production of coating materials. Although the toxic properties of the
compound have not been conclusively proven, it is closely related to
ethylene imine, which is known to be a carcenogenic, mutagenic and
The most common eye disorder experienced in the handling of paint is
undoubtedly eye irritation from volatile paint solvents. Sometimes,
however, the irritation is primarily due to the presence of minor amounts
of volatile chemicals such as unreacted monomers (e.g. acrylates) or
pungent additives (e.g. allyl compounds).
One of the degredation products produced by thermally disintegrated
drying oils (commonly used in oil based paints) is acraaldehyde. This
substance, as well as allyl compounds and formaldehyde, have the property
of being lachrymatory i.e. they stimulate the tear ducts, making the eyes
water. Formaldehyde is the agent alleged to be responsible for blindness
in methylated spirits drinkers. Methyl alcohol (methanol) taken
internally is oxidized to formaldehyde and routed via the bloodstream to
the optic nerve, which is ultimately destroyed.
The Weather Bos solution: While it may be less expensive and
easier to create products that contain dangerous chemicals and additives,
Weather Bos CHOOSES to use only environmentally safe ingredients.
ALL of our formulas are comprised of natural, plant based oils and
resins. So when you apply Weather Bos, you're putting those
naturally occuring products back into use!
We are the industry leaders in products that offer superior
performance AND are environmentally safe for commercial and residential
Weather Bos natural products are safe for the earth and
nonhazardous to the user.
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