Volatile organic compound (or VOC)
Many household cleaning and maintenance products contain chemicals that can be dangerous when consumed. This is very true of refinishing products as well, which is why it is so important to take the proper precautions when using these chemicals. Most refinishing products contain stripping agents with a high volume of methylene chloride, which is a volatile organic compound (or VOC). This VOC is a colorless liquid with a sweet smell, and is ingested by breathing or absorbed through the skin.
Bathroom refinishing safety tips
Bathroom refinishing can be especially dangerous because bathrooms are usually small, enclosed spaces without proper ventilation. Exposure to methylene chloride can lead to eye, nose, and throat irritation, headaches, dizziness, and at high levels it can impair breathing. Fortunately, there are a number of precautions refinishers can take to ensure that they are not harmed by these dangerous chemicals.
- Consider using “green” or eco-friendly products when possible. NAPCO has a line of eco-friendly products currently available, and is on track to become the first fully eco-friendly refinishing company by 2018.
- Make sure you are using all of the proper equipment when refinishing. This includes all ventilation systems and masks.
- Turning on the bathroom fan or opening a window is NOT enough ventilation! Local exhaust ventilation must be used to filter out the harmful vapors.
- Use far-reaching tools for stripping and refinishing so that you do not need to lean directly into the tub.
- Vacate the room immediately after applying the chemicals to limit exposure.
Safety is our number one priority
At NAPCO, the safety of our refinishers is our number one priority. This is why we provide full training and educational services to all of our clients. Please ensure that you are taking the proper safety precautions when refinishing. As always, NAPCO staff are available to provide resources and safety advice whether you are on or off the job. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any safety-related questions!