House Painter

As a house painter, you want your work to speak for itself.

You probably want your work to say things like quality, service and value. But long before your work ever speaks for you, you have to speak for it. Painters have to be good communicators with other tradespeople and their customers, too.

A chief concern for painters on the job is safety. Paint itself is a safe product if it is used properly.

To find out how to use a paint or related product properly, a house painter turns to something called a Material Safety Data Sheet, or MSDS for short. These sheets are available to professional painters for any paint product they purchase. An MSDS provides complete information on all known hazards associated with the ingredients used in a product.

"By law, painters are supposed to have MSDS sheets available to them on the job," says David Lick. He is an instructor of painting and decorating. "They must know how to read them, what to do about personal protection, what to do in case of a spill, and what to tell other people about how they can protect themselves."

You're a house painter, and you've been handed the following MSDS for General Paint's 11-010 Eggshell Enamel -- White. You are in charge of safety precautions on the job site, and you have to tell your colleagues how they should protect themselves.

Study the MSDS carefully. Pick out what you think is important for you to know regarding safety aspects of the paint. Figure out what safety precautions you and your co-workers must take.

MATERIAL SAFETY DATA SHEET

PRODUCT CODE: 11-010

SECTION I -- IDENTIFICATION

GENERAL PAINT LTD.
950 Raymur Ave.
Seattle, WA 98101

Trade Name: EGGSHELL ENAMEL-WHITE
Product Number: 11-010
Chemical Family: Alkyd Enamel
Product Use: Protective Coating

SECTION II -- HAZARDOUS INGREDIENTS

INGREDIENT WT.% MIN WT.% MAX
QUARTZ SiO2 3.0 7.0
LO ODOR MIN. SPIRITS 10.0 30.0
MINERAL SPIRITS 7.0 13.0

SECTION III -- PHYSICAL DATA

PHYSICAL STATE: liquid
EVAPORATION RATE (butyl acetate = 1): <1
SPECIFIC GRAVITY: 1.44
BOILING POINT (deg. C): 150
VAPOR PRESSURE (mm Hg): 7
FREEZING POINT: <0 deg. C
VAPOUR DENSITY (air = 1): >2
pH: Not Applicable

SECTION IV -- FIRE AND EXPLOSION DATA

FLASHPOINT (deg. C): 40 TCC
L.E.L.(% in air): 1
AUTO-IGNITION TEMP.(deg. C): 227
U.E.L.(% in air): 6
GENERAL: Vapor may be ignited by flame, pilot lights, smoking, sparks, heaters, electrical equipment, static discharges, or other ignition sources close to, or distant from, point of handling. Material will accumulate static charges. Ensure good grounding. Empty product containers may contain product residue. Do not pressurize, cut, heat or expose to other sources of ignition.
FIREFIGHTING: Use dry chemical carbon dioxide or alcohol foam as extinguishing agents. Use water spray to cool closed containers. Respirators are required for firefighting personnel in enclosed areas.

SECTION V -- REACTIVITY DATA

STABILITY: Stable.
INCOMPATABILITY: Do not mix with strong oxidizing agents, strong acids or bases, amines, halogens.

SECTION VI -- TOXICOLOGY DATA

SKIN CONTACT: Frequent or prolonged contact may irritate skin or cause dermatitis.
EYE CONTACT: May cause conjunctivitis, mild transient corneal injury or other tissue damage. May cause irritation.
INHALATION: In high concentrations, vapors are irritating and may cause headaches, nausea, anesthesia, dizziness, incoordination, central nervous system effects, fatigue, euphoria, double vision, ataxia, unconsciousness, or comas. Prolonged or repeated exposure may cause headaches, nausea, vomiting, dizziness and central nervous system depression.
INGESTION: Harmful or fatal if swallowed. Minute amounts aspirated into lungs during swallowing or subsequent vomiting may cause dangerous bronchopneumonia or pulmonary edema.
CHRONIC EXPOSURE: Prolonged exposure to respirable crystalline silica may cause chronic lung injury (silicosis). Crystalline silica is rated as a class 2A substance (probably carcinogenic to humans).
OTHER EFFECTS: Inhalation of respirable crystalline silica may aggravate other pulmonary conditions and diseases and increase susceptibility to pulmonary tuberculosis. In rare cases, may sensitize heart muscles causing heart arrhythmia.

SECTION VII -- PREVENTATIVE MEASURES

PROTECTIVE GLOVES: Chemical resistant
EYE PROTECTION: Goggles
RESPIRATORY PROTECTION: NIOSH-approved organic vapor cartridge mask or air supplied respirator. Add particulate cartridge during spray application.
OTHER CLOTHING: Rubber apron
ENGINEERING CONTROLS: Local exhaust ventilation using explosion-proof equipment to maintain exposure limits below individual TLVs. Adequate ventilation must be supplied in confined spaces or self-contained breathing apparatus must be used.
SPILL & LEAK PROCEDURE: Remove all sources of ignition. Prevent from entering sewers or watercourses. Contain spread. Notify appropriate authorities. Ventilate enclosed spaces and wear respiratory protection. Pump up using explosion-proof equipment or soak up with sand or other non-flammable, inert absorbent.
WASTE DISPOSAL: Reclaim or dispose of in accordance with all local, state and federal regulations.
HANDLING and STORAGE: Keep containers closed. Store in a cool, well-ventilated area away from oxidizing agents, other incompatible substances and sources of ignition. Product is a static accumulator. Transfer equipment should be grounded or bonded. Use good personal hygiene. Containers may retain residue when emptied and should be commercially cleaned before reuse. Keep out of reach of children.

SECTION VIII -- FIRST AID MEASURES

SKIN: Remove contaminated clothing. Wash skin thoroughly with soap and water. Seek medical attention if irritation persists. Launder contaminated clothing before reuse.
EYES: Flush with water for at least 20 minutes. Seek medical attention.
INHALATION: Rescuers should wear respiratory protection if entry into hazardous atmosphere is required. Remove victim immediately from contaminated area. Apply artificial respiration if breathing has stopped. Keep at rest. Obtain medical attention immediately.
INGESTION: Do not induce vomiting. Keep at rest. Obtain medical attention immediately.

SECTION IX -- PREPARATION INFORMATION

PREPARED BY: Technical Dept.
PRODUCT CODE: 11-010
General Paint Ltd.

Now answer the following questions:

  1. What are you using?
  2. What is in it that's toxic?
  3. What should you do about personal protective equipment?
  4. What should you do in case of a spill or accident?
  • Want to learn more? See this series of FAQs for consumers (keep scrolling down until you see the links!)

    Paint and Decorating Retailers Association
    Internet:http://www.pdra.org/