Work Environment Authority warns about water-based paints

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Water-based paints are more harmful than previously thought. Extensive European research, including Swedish studies, shows that water-based paints contain large amounts of preservatives, several of which are very allergenic. Those who develop allergies risk not only having problems at work but also in their private lives, since these preservatives are used in ordinary hygiene products such as soap, shampoo, skin cream and make-up. The Work Environment Authority, along with the Painters’ Association, Painting Companies in Sweden and SWEFF for the Paint and Glue Companies, all warn employees to be very careful when using water-based paints. Clothing that covers the whole body should be used if there is a risk of splashing, as well as safety glasses or a face shield. Gloves must always be worn. Conventional cotton gloves may work, but even better is to use disposable nitrile gloves over cotton gloves. If you get any paint on your skin, it is important to rinse it off as soon as possible. Don’t wipe it off, since chemicals may then be rubbed into your skin.

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