Health risk : organic solvents
The dangers of surface treatments and coatings are frequently underestimated in industry and trade. This can result in processes being carried out without the implementation of proper safety measures.
Organic solvents used for surface preparatory work such as cleaning, de-greasing or paint stripping can enter the respiratory tract as well as through the skin, causing potential health risks.
Conventional coatings contain aromates (xylene, toluene, ethylene benzene) and aliphatic hydrocarbon (methyl ethyl ketone, acetic acid ester and methyl isobutyl ketone).
|Chemical||Permeation data acc. to EN ISO 6529 / EN 369 (1µg/cm²-min)|
|Xylene||TYCHEM® F > 480|
|Toluene||TYCHEM® F > 480|
|Methyl ethyl ketone||TYCHEM® F > 480|
|Acetic acid ester||TYCHEM® F > 480|
Health risk : Isocyanate
Further health risks stem from isocyanate, which is often used in foam, coatings, sealing compounds and adhesives. Isocyanate is extremely reactive, meaning that the sealing compound sets quickly. Inhalation of isocyanate or exposure to skin can cause irreparable cell damage.
According to various publications, the health risks that can be caused by organic solvents and isocyanate are often unknown to users. These include :
- Mucous membrane damage * Damage of respiratory tract
- Jaundice, acute liver damage or collapse
- Nerve irritation
- Aggravated health problems
- Miscarriages and birth defects
TYVEK® and TYCHEM® covers your protection needs
TYVEK® coveralls are ideal to keep the wearer clean. However, should personnel require protection against toxic solvents or isocyanates (during preparation or mixing stages for example) then TYCHEM® F coveralls should be considered, as they provide an effective barrier to compounds typically found in paint or surface treatment substances.
Risk of explosion
The use of some paints and chemicals may result in the release of volatile organic compounds, which in turn may lead to risk of explosion. All TYVEK® and TYCHEM® garments undergo antistatic treatment during the manufacturing process. When the garments are properly grounded, this treatment prevents any electrostatic discharge that could ignite in an explosive atmosphere.
DuPont commissioned the Swiss Safety Institute (Basel) to carry out tests to investigate the use of TYVEK® and TYCHEM® protective clothing in explosion risk zones.
This table shows the situations in which TYVEK® and TYCHEM® clothing can safely be used : i.e when the green checkmark appears for both the zone and the explosion group.
Top quality surfaces
TYVEK® garments do not release paint-damaging compounds and therefore help to minimise the risk of contamination of surfaces while they are being treated. Furthermore, TYVEK® coveralls protect surfaces from contamination caused by operators’ hair, skin and particles from clothing worn underneath protective garments. The combination of the smooth surface of a TYVEK® garment and the antistatic treatment prevents particles from adhering.
Using low-linting protective clothing in surface treatment and paint-spray applications is critical to product quality. TYVEK® garments are low-linting and offer excellent performance. TYCHEM® C and TYCHEM® F garments are lint free on the outside surface, due to the nature of the material. Selection of the appropriate protective clothing will depend on a number of factors, such as the type of paint or surface treatment substance, whether wearers are exposed to isocyanate or organic solvents, the concentration levels of chemicals and environmental considerations such as ventilation.