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> Home > Health, Safety and Environment > Safety > Taking Care with Solvent-based Products

All organic-based solvents – including white spirit, solvent-based paints, solvent-based thinners and primers, solvent-based wood treatment products as well as paint strippers – represent potential health hazards, and require that particular precaution be taken both in use and in storage.

Here are some tips:

  • Read the label carefully for information on safety and health-related issues.
  • Solvents are highly flammable – keep these paints away from all sources of heat, and never expose directly to an open flame.
  • Store in cool, well-ventilated areas.
  • Keep these products out of reach of pets and children.
  • Dispose of rags properly – rags soaked with oil-based materials can ignite spontaneously if not spread out to dry.
  • Ensure good ventilation with open windows and doors.
  • Wear protective equipment.
  • Keep children and pets out of the painted area.

Water-based paints: a viable alternative to solvent based paint:

To a large extent, water-based paints pose fewer risks and health hazards than solvent phase paints. Modern, high quality water-based paints offer an excellent performance profile – superior durability and colour retention, excellent washability, for example. They are also more convenient to use – low in odour, they dry quickly, and brushes can be cleaned with warm, soapy water, with no need for white spirit or turpentine. And of course they are more environmentally-friendly.

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