Solvents. All solvents tend to remove natural oils and fats from the skin, leaving it
dry, chapped, irritated, and sensitive to infection. Milder solvents, such as mineral
spirits, are not as irritating to the skin as stronger solvents, such as turpentine, xylol
(xylene), methyl ethyl ketone (MEK), or methylene chloride. (Methylene chloride is
the most common solvent used in nonflammable paint removers.)
Resins and resin hardeners. Epoxy resins, amine hardeners, and some urethane and
polyester resins irritate the skin and should be handled with special care.
Corrosive agents. Corrosive agents in paint removers and paintbrush cleaners (such
as phenol acid [carbolic acid] and alkaline cleaners) and acid components of wash
primer are also dangerous if handled carelessly.
b. Precautions and Prevention. You can easily avoid health hazards by using a common-sense
approach of avoiding unnecessary contact with hazardous materials and by strict adherence to
established safety measures. For additional information, refer to AFJI 48-107.
c. Specific Safety Measures. The following rules should be strictly observed by all personnel:
(1) Identify toxic or dermatitic materials and keep them tightly sealed when not in use.
(2) Designate a competent person to check the operation of spray booths. Check at regular
intervals to ensure that the equipment is in a safe and proper operating condition.
(3) Ensure that ventilation is adequate in all painting areas. Provide artificial ventilation
where natural ventilation is inadequate. Use supplied air respirators, if necessary.
(4) Spray all portable items within exhaust-ventilated booths especially designed for that
(5) Wear goggles and the proper type of respirator when spraying, blast-cleaning, or
performing any operation where any abnormal amount of vapor, mist, or dust is formed.
(6) Use protective creams (or preferably gloves) and wear appropriate clothing when
handling dermatitic materials. Change and clean work clothing regularly.
(7) Avoid touching any part of your body, especially your face, when handling dermatitic
materials. Also wash your hands and face thoroughly before eating and at the end of the day.