Solvents are used in hundreds of everyday products. Many people use them while working and may not even realize it. The most common solvents are found in paint thinners,spot cleaners,dry cleaning chemicals,glue,nail polish remove and the corrective writing fluid whiteout. If you are unsure as to weather a product contains solvents check the ingredient list. The most use names for solvents are acetone,turpentine and alcohol. Solvent safety in the workplace is important because they can be harmful in so many ways. Solvents can effect your body when they are inhaled,ingested or absorbed into the skin.
Physical Effects Of Solvents
The side effects that solvents can have on the body are devastating that is why is it important to train all employees about solvent safety at work. Using the chemicals correctly and safely can be and should be done at all times. It is not worth the physical risk to abandon solvent safety. One of the reasons solvents are so dangerous is that the break up fat in the body quickly. Most of the human body is made of fatty tissues including the brain.
Solvents can affect your central nervous system and present itself in many different ways. A few of the side effects include.
Loss of appetite
Exposure to solvents can also cause abnormal heart rhythms and other types of heart related injuries. It can permanently damage the liver and kidneys as well.
Solvent Safety Tips
There are ways to protect yourself from the dangers of solvents in the workplace. Following these solvent safety tips will help reduce the side effects and injuries that come along with over exposure to solvents.
Work in well ventilated areas. Keeps windows or doors open to let air flow in and out of the room.
Install forced ventilation in the area. This will help air move through the room. Keeping freash air pumping through the room will help reduce the side effects of most solvents.
Any rags with solvent on them sound be disposed of properly. When they are done being used put solvent covered rags in air tight metal containers. Make sure they are proper marked to insure they are not accidentally opened before they can be picked up by the proper recycling company.
All solvents should have labels on them that state exactly what they are and the safety guidelines that should be followed when using them.
Wear personal protective equipment when working with solvents. Gloves will keep them from spilling on to your skin. Certain solvents can be deterred by a face mask while others are so strong they require a personal respiratory. Make sure you are aware of the toxicity of ever chemical you use and take the proper safety precautions to reduce injury.
You can also wear eye goggles to help avoid the chemical splashing into your eyes. If a solvent based chemical does get in your eye immediately go to the eyewash station and begin flushing it out. Seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Solvent safety in the workplace is easy if you just follow these simple safety tips. The best way to remain safe is to use solvent safety all the time. No job is worth risking your life or health over. If you feel your working conditions are unsafe contact the proper authorities such as OSHA or if you are in a union contact your union representative.
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