Preventative measures for human health:
To reduce the potential hazards of painting, here are some useful do’s and don’ts:
- Consider using water-based paints. Water-based paints are increasingly used across a broad range of surfaces. They offer excellent performance benefits, are more environmentally-friendly and contain very low levels of solvents.
- Always take note of any cautions or potential dangers indicated on the paint can, and take the appropriate preventative action.
- Always remember to use protective equipment especially eye-goggles and a face mask to cover the mouth and nose.
- Take precautions when handling and storing solvents.
- Wash your hands after use.
- Remember to ensure adequate ventilation in rooms you are painting – open windows and doors wherever possible.
- Avoid exposure to solvents as much as you can.
- Never smoke when handling solvents.
- Solvents are highly flammable – never expose solvents to an open flame.
- Keep children away from areas you are painting.
Protecting the environment:
Water-based paints are more environmentally friendly than solvent-based alternatives, and so wherever possible should be given serious consideration.
- Consider high quality water-based paints as an option for your job – they are more environmentally friendly and offer an excellent all-round performance profile.
- Always take care to follow the precautions indicated on the can.
- Try to buy exactly as much paint as your job requires – so disposal is not an issue.
- If you do have some paint left, try to find some use for it – maybe apply another coat, or offer it to friends or relatives.
- To store paint for the future, make sure the lid is on tightly – this prevents air and dirt getting in, and helps the paint last longer.
- Contact your local authority for guidance on safe disposal of paint – many have schemes for this purpose.
- If you have to clean tools with a solvent, try to re-use the solvent as many times as possible for cleaning.
- Never pour leftover paint down the drain.
- Never put leftover liquid paint in with your other waste.