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08-02-11, 04:29 #1
Detailing Health Risks
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- Sep 2003
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This is only a brief summary of some of the health hazards and risks to your Health & Safety while detailing
To remove scratches requires the removal of paint using a polish or compound. Dust generated by sanding and buffing is a major risk. The most common abrasive used is silica, which is much, much harder than aluminium oxide; however, many formulators are also using aluminium oxide. Most good quality compounds and polishes contain abrasives and are a combination of both silica and aluminium oxide.
a) Quartz sand (silica) Inhaling finely divided crystalline silica dust in very small quantities (OSHA allows 0.1 mg/m3) over time can lead to silicosis, bronchitis, silica polishes and compounds are carcinogenic, as the dust becomes lodged in the lungs and continuously irritates them, reducing lung capacities. (Silica does not dissolve over time.)
b) See also "Health and environmental concerns" Nanotechnology article
c) Aluminium oxide is used for its hardness and strength. It is widely used as a coarse or fine abrasive
d) Isocyanates used in clear coat paint are powerful irritants to the mucous membranes of the eyes and gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts. Direct skin contact can also cause marked inflammation. Isocyanates can also sensitize workers, making them subject to severe asthma attacks if they are exposed again. Death from severe asthma in some sensitized subjects has been reported.
e) Respiratory Protection (N95): Materials such as aluminium oxide (Aluminium oxide is on EPA's TRI list if it is a fibrous form) or silicon carbide (Nuisance particulate-Accumulation in lungs) used in polishes and compounds, and powdered fillers (Crystalline silica poses a serious inhalation hazard because it can cause silicosis). They represent a hazard to your lungs and may cause respiratory distress. A NIOSH-approved half face respirator equipped with a combination filter cartridge should be worn while using them
2. Noise Levels
[: any unwanted sound. Noise is measured in decibels and the scale often employed dB(A) is weighted to the range perceived by the human ear. The decibel system is frequently misinterpreted as it is based on a logarithmic scale. This means that a sound level of 100dB (A) contains twice the energy of a sound level of 97dB (A)]
An expert on noise, K.D. Kryter (1996) in his text, Handbook of Hearing and the Effects of Noise, (New York Academic Press) defined noise as "acoustic signals which can negatively affect the physiological or psychological well-being of an individual."
Reference levels - Normal conversation - 60-dB A, City Traffic (inside car) - 85dB A
A rise of 10 dB in sound level corresponds roughly to a doubling of subjective loudness. Therefore a sound of 80 dB is twice as loud as a sound of 70 dB which is twice as loud as a sound of 60 dB. Correspondingly, the 80 dB sound is 4 times louder than the 60 dB sound.
Distance plays an important role in the perceived sound level. Sound levels decrease by approximately 6 dB every time the distance from the source is doubled. A noise level of 35 to 40dB outside a dwelling is acceptable and a maximum of 45dB should be adhered to in order to prevent disturbance to residents. Basically, noise is unwanted sound. It is a pollutant and a hazard to human health and hearing. In fact, it has been described as the most pervasive pollutant in America.
Machine noise - sound pressure (SPL) db (A) or acoustic pressure is the local pressure deviation from the ambient (average, or equilibrium) atmospheric pressure caused by a sound wave. Reference levels – Normal speech 60 dB Busy traffic 70 dB
• Meguiar's G110V2, 55 dB
• Porter- Cable 7424XP, 55dB
• Flex XC 3401 VRG, 79 dB
• Cyclo Polisher Model 5, 77 dB
• Makita 9227C 76dB
• DeWalt DW849, 84 dB
• Air compressors typically range between 45 and 95 dB.
• Vacuum cleaner 80-90 dB
The above information has been provided by the Manufacturer and TOGWT® has not verified it and therefore cannot guarantee its accuracy.
Safety hazards - Ear Protection; the constant pitch of a polishing machine could affect your hearing so wearing ear plugs would be wise to protect you from hearing loss. always remember that you are using a power tool that must be given the respect it deserves. As with running any power tool, read the manual and understand how to safely operate it and what its limits are and the potential dangers that could result by using it. Never forget for a moment that given the right conditions, it could kick back and jump out of your hands. Always wear safety glasses and hearing protection. Also, polishing compounds often contain silicates that become airborne in the polishing process, inhaled they could represent real health concerns. Read the safety data sheets and follow safety directions. Personally, I almost always wear glasses, hearing protection, a quality dust filter or mask and a buffing apron when polishing
There are also levels of noise exposure which must not be exceeded (but take account of any reduction in exposure provided by hearing protection): exposure limit values (ELV) - daily or weekly exposure of 87 dB or a peak sound pressure of 140 dB.
One of the problems encountered when working on older cars is asbestos. In the years before the dangers of asbestosis were understood, asbestos was a common material used in certain car components. It is therefore essential to have an understanding of what you are dealing with, before diving in and pulling your classic car apart.
Perhaps the most obvious and well known area to be careful with is brake dust, specifically the dust that falls out of your brake drum when checking the shoes for wear etc. Great care must be taken not to inhale the dust that can drop out when the brake drum is freed off.
4. The dangers of Auto paints
At one time, VOC's (volatile organic compounds) were required for paint and finishes to perform properly. Such paints could contain up to 10,000 chemicals, of which approximately 300 were toxins, and 150 were linked to kidney damage, liver damage, or cancer
Lead pigments have been used for many years in auto enamels and lacquers. Lead is a poisonous substance to animals. It damages the nervous system and causes brain disorders. Lead pigments were used in lead paint for white as well as yellow, orange, and red. Most uses have been discontinued due of the dangers of lead poisoning. However, lead chromate is still in industrial use.
For older cars, the refinish industry can only provide accurate colour matches to vehicles that currently have paint containing lead on them by using the same lead-based pigments. By the mid-1980s, a significant shift in lead end-use patterns had taken place. If you are using these products you should be careful when sanding-down old paints. Some older cars may also contain lead auto-body filler.
Aerosol Spray Paint - many of the paints sold in aerosol cans as touch-up paints contain lead. These are used by car owners to camouflage small areas of paint chip damage.
5. Lead in Gasoline (Petrol)
Tetraethyllead (TEL) a colourless, viscous liquid was once used extensively as a gasoline additive for its ability to increase the fuel's octane rating.TEL remains an ingredient of 100 octane aviation fuel (avgas) for propeller planes (not jet engines) and until recently in professional racing. NASCAR in 1998 switched to unleaded fuel after years of research and when blood tests of NASCAR teams revealed elevated levels of the metal. TEL usage was largely discontinued because of the toxicity of lead
Most organic solvents are flammable or highly flammable, depending on their volatility. Many organic solvents are recognized by NIOSH as carcinogens (e.g., benzene, carbon tetrachloride, trichloroethylene), reproductive hazards (e.g., 2-ethoxyethanol, 2-methoxyethanol, methyl chloride), and neurotoxins (e.g., n-hexane, tetrachloroethylene, toluene).
There are three main types:
1. Oxygenated Solvents- alcohols, glycol ethers, ketones, esters, and glycol ether esters. Oxygenated solvents are synthesized from other chemicals to form the desired solvent. Those solvents are typically of a high purity with specifications ranging from 99.0% to 99.9% purity.
2. Hydrocarbon Solvents (Petroleum Distillates) - aliphatic (include methane, propane, and kerosene, they are flammable and may be explosively flammable).
3. Aromatic hydrocarbons- are the most toxic compounds found in petroleum products and include such substances as para-xylene, benzene, toluene, ethyl benzene, and xylene, which are all volatile organic compounds (VOC)
Notes- when using solvents always use Nitrile medical gloves (usually the blue or purple ones) if you are going to be using them for any length of time
7. Acid Cleaners
Used as a wheel surface cleaner Ammonium hydrogen fluoride (NH4HF2) Or Ammonium bifluoride SiO2 (BF) is miss-classified as the safe alternative to hydrogen fluoride, once mixed with water it becomes hydrogen fluoride one of the most common, and dangerous, acid wheel cleaners used in automatic carwashes today.
Its effectiveness removing brake dust and difficult contaminants from wheels is undisputed, but most chemists say Ammonium bifluoride presents an unjustifiable and potentially lethal risk. (See article Detailing Chemicals Identification)
The first line of defence is the products MSDS, obtain one before you use any product, the second line of defence is to use the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as protection from potential health hazards. And the most important line of defence is to allow common sense to prevail and proceed with due caution
8. Hand-arm vibration
Vibration can cause a range of conditions called hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS). The best known is vibration white finger (VWF), but vibration also links to specific diseases such as carpal tunnel syndrome.
[What are the symptoms of hand-arm vibration syndrome?
Hand-arm vibration exposure affects the blood flow (vascular effect) and causes loss of touch sensation (neurological effect) in fingers. One of the earliest methods used for identifying the severity of these symptoms was the Taylor-Pelmear classification method, which lists the classification of the clinical stages of vibration induced white finger. This classification was widely used in the past] (CCOHS)
For some people symptoms appear after only a few months of exposure but for others it may take years. The symptoms are likely to get worse with repeated exposure and can lead to permanent damage and disfigurement. They can severely limit the jobs that someone is able to do, as well as affect family and social activities.
The symptoms include any combination of: tingling and numbness in the fingers; not being able to feel things properly; loss of strength in the hands; and/or fingers going white (blanching) and becoming red and painful on recovery (particularly in the cold and wet, and probably only in the tips at first).
Hold vibrating tools as lightly as possible, consistent with safe work practices. Let the tool do the work. Gloves are available that are designed to exceed the rigorous requirements of the ISO Standard 10819 (ANSI S3.4-2002) for the absorption of vibration due to direct hand contact with vibrating equipment, machinery or hand held tools.
Last edited by TOGWT; 11-17-11 at 07:05.Too Many ads? Becoming a member of Autopia has its privileges. Sign up here .
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08-02-11, 05:55 #2
Re: Detailing Health Risks
"Makita high sped rotary polisher at 1500 rpm (speed 3) - 76 dB A
Porter Cable 7424XP Dual Action Polisher at speed 6 – 45 dB A"
Are you sure that 9227c running at speed 3 will create 76dB of noise? Seems abit too high. I feel that the makita running at speed 3 is actually more tolerable that pcxp at speed 6. Anyway, thank for sharing.
08-02-11, 10:44 #3
Re: Detailing Health Risks
Automotive Appearance Specialist - Serving Greater Lansing, Michigan
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