Paint thinner is a solvent that is commonly used to thin oil-based paints, dilute paint that has dried, or clean paint equipment such as application equipment, containers, brushes, or rollers. Whilst certainly useful, these substances are highly toxic and can be dangerous if improperly used or disposed of.
Dangers of Using Paint Thinner
Paint thinner evaporates and vapours can build up in a room with little to no ventilation. Proper personal protection equipment must be used to ensure minimising the risks associated with inhaling or coming into contact with paint thinner.
There are various kinds of petroleum-derived solvents that are used as paint thinner:
- 2-Butoxyethanol or any of the glycol ethers
- Dimethylformamide (DMF)
- Methyl ethyl ketone (MEK)
- Mineral turpentine
- True turpentine
All the above-mentioned substances come with inherent hazards. Exposure to paint thinner fumes can have ill effects on a person’s health. Depending on the severity of exposure, short term effects can include dizziness; headaches; shortness of breath; nausea; hallucinations; confusion; loss of consciousness; and skin, eye, or respiratory system irritation.
On the other hand, long term exposure can lead to muscle weakness, depression, bone marrow damage, and in some cases, can even increase the chances of developing pneumonia or chronic kidney infection. Inhaling
excessive amounts of paint thinner can affect the cardiorespiratory, renal, and
central nervous systems and can lead to multi-organ toxicity and death.
Additionally, paint thinner is a highly combustible substance so it’s important to ensure proper usage and disposal. Recently, a 26-year old from Brisbane was left with serious burns to his face, chest, and hands when paint thinner ignited at his workplace.
Leftover paint thinner should not be poured down drains to prevent the substance from leaking into the environment and contaminating groundwater. Check your local laws to find out how to handle hazardous waste and dispose of it.
Safer Alternative to Solvents
The good news is safer paint thinner alternatives exist for paint clean-up.
Purasolve Paint Equipment Cleaner is a safer, effective substitute to MEK, Toluene, Acetone, and Xylene. It is specially formulated for ease of high solids paint clean-up and thoroughly cleans without having to disassemble the equipment being cleaned.
Health and Environmental Benefits
Purasolve Paint Equipment Cleaner has a very low vapour pressure and is non-explosive, eliminating handling and use risks associated with hazardous solvents. It is free of harmful and unhealthy chemicals which will provide users with peace of mind, knowing that their occupation is not exposing them to health and safety risks. It contains no offensive odours, which creates a more pleasant working environment. The product is very environmentally responsible, having a low toxicity to our eco-systems and low VOC emissions.
Purasolve Paint Equipment Cleaner provides the additional benefit of cost reductions to businesses. The product is slow evaporating and can be recycled and reused for up to 18 months. This means that businesses will need to purchase a lower volume of solvent over time and lower disposal costs. Furthermore, recycling and reusing Purasolve Paint Equipment cleaner leads to reduced hazardous waste disposal costs.
It is also designed for ease of clean-up and thoroughly cleans without having to disassemble the equipment, which cuts down on labour costs and downtime associated with paint clean-up.
To learn more about our product, visit the Purasolve Paint Equipment Cleaner page.