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Dangers of Bathtub Refinishing

Posted on by Ronald M. Hall, CDR, USPHS, MS, CIH, CSP

Nitrile-gloved hands refinishing a bathtubAt least 14 workers have died since 2000 as a result of using stripping agents containing methylene chloride during bathtub refinishing.  Many stripping products (including those that may also be available to consumers) contain high percentages of methylene chloride. Methylene chloride is extremely dangerous when not used properly.  Alternative products and processes exist for bathtub refinishing.  Products containing methylene chloride should be avoided when possible.  Earlier this week NIOSH and OSHA released a joint Hazard Alert titled Methylene Chloride Hazards for Bathtub Refinishers

Bathtub refinishing is the process of restoring the surface of an old bathtub to improve the bathtub’s appearance and repair surface damage.  It is a less costly alternative to replacing a bathtub; however, the process often involves the use of hazardous chemicals including methylene chloride, acids, and isocyanates. 

Methylene chloride, a chlorinated solvent, is a volatile, colorless liquid with a sweet-smelling odor. It is often referred to as dichloromethane and has many industrial uses, such as paint stripping, metal cleaning, and degreasing. Workers are exposed to methylene chloride by breathing it in and by absorbing it through their skin. Methylene chloride cannot be smelled until the level in the air is higher than OSHA’s permissible exposure limits (PELs).  So, once workers can smell methylene chloride they are already being overexposed.  However, the human body can quickly become desensitized to the smell and a worker may be overexposed even if he or she can no longer smell it. 

Using methylene chloride products in a bathroom is extremely dangerous as bathrooms are often small, enclosed spaces with little or no ventilation. Workers often spray or pour a bathtub stripping product into the basin of the bathtub and then brush the product onto the tub surface. Since methylene chloride is a volatile organic compound that will evaporate faster when sprayed, brushed, or poured, the chemical vapors can quickly build up in small spaces. Moreover, because methylene chloride evaporates quickly (it has a high vapor pressure), vapors can collect in the bottom of a bathtub and in the worker’s breathing zone when working in the bathtub. This situation creates dangerously high concentrations of methylene chloride and even replaces the breathable air. Exposure to as little as six ounces of methylene chloride-based material has been enough to cause death.  

In February 2012, a worker using a product containing methylene chloride to refinish a bathtub was found dead, slumped over a bathtub in an unventilated bathroom.
In September 2011, a worker using a product containing methylene chloride to strip the glaze from a bathtub collapsed in the bathtub and later died.

Health Effects

When methylene chloride enters the human body, it affects brain function, such as concentration. At high enough levels, it can stop breathing. Methylene chloride exposure may cause dizziness, fatigue, headaches, nausea, a “feeling of intoxication,” and eye, nose, and throat irritation.  Prolonged skin contact may cause irritation and even chemical burns.

The specific effects of methylene chloride exposure will vary depending on several factors, such as the amount of methylene chloride the worker is exposed to, how long the exposure lasts, and whether the worker has a higher susceptibility (for example, having a preexisting heart condition).  In workers with heart disease, an increase in carbon monoxide may lead to early onset heart attacks and arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats). Heart attacks may occur even before any other symptoms of methylene chloride exposure occur.  As exposure increases so do the health effects, with a potential for suffocation, loss of consciousness, coma, and sudden death.  Long-term exposure may cause cancer in humans. Animal studies have shown that exposure to methylene chloride may lead to liver and lung cancer, as well as tumors in the breast and salivary glands. Lowering exposures, even below the PEL, is considered to be good industrial hygiene practice.  Like many cancer-causing agents, any level of exposure, even concentrations below applicable occupational exposure limits, may pose a residual cancer risk. 

Protecting Workers

 

  • Avoid use of methylene chloride or minimize the amount of methylene chloride used at each site. Keep in mind that alternative products and other stripping agents may pose additional risks.
  • Avoid or minimize spraying methylene chloride.
  • If methylene chloride is used, ensure that the room is adequately ventilated during the entire refinishing process.  Bathroom fans or open windows do NOT provide adequate ventilation.
  • Provide local exhaust ventilation (LEV) and fresh makeup air to exhaust vapors released from the stripping agents in the bathtub. Specifically, typical mobile LEV units have a fan, flexible ductwork, and a hood near the tub that exhausts hazardous vapors to the outdoors.
  • Follow all applicable OSHA standards, including the Methylene Chloride standard (29 CFR 1910.1052), as well as other applicable safety and health standards and codes during stripping.
  • Use a qualified occupational safety and health specialist to assist in the design and installation of local exhaust ventilation (LEV) to effectively control vapors to below applicable PELs.
  • Follow good housekeeping measures, including spill and leak control and appropriate personal hygiene practices (such as making skin washing areas available to workers).
  • Use long-handled tools (e.g., scrapers, brushes) to avoid leaning into the bathtub.
  • Leave the room immediately after applying the methylene chloride-based stripping agent to limit exposure to methylene chloride vapors. Use full-face air-supplied respirators, protective gloves, and other appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) that is resistant to methylene chloride during the entire refinishing process

  

Consult the OSHA/NIOSH Hazard Alert for specific information regarding engineering controls, exposure levels and air monitoring, personal protective equipment, worker training and medical surveillance.  

We would appreciate your assistance in circulating the information in this blog and the Hazard Alert to those involved in bathtub refinishing.  While NIOSH research and prevention efforts typically focus on workers, worker representatives and employers, the readers of this blog may be able to help us reach the ‘do-it-yourself’ community who can  face the same risks.  We also welcome your input on the prevention practices mentioned above.    

Ronald M. Hall, CDR, USPHS, MS, CIH, CSP

CDR Hall is the Deputy Branch Chief of the Engineering and Physical Hazards Branch in the NIOSH Division of Applied Research and Technology.

Posted on by Ronald M. Hall, CDR, USPHS, MS, CIH, CSP

93 comments on “Dangers of Bathtub Refinishing”

Comments listed below are posted by individuals not associated with CDC, unless otherwise stated. These comments do not represent the official views of CDC, and CDC does not guarantee that any information posted by individuals on this site is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. Read more about our comment policy ».

    Hello
    I am Gary Goel owner of the Professional Bathtub Refinishers Association. Located at [http://www.refinishersonline.com] and I helped in two the studies before this report was finalized. I have been in hat business for 20 years. I would also like to issue one other caveat. I sure wish homeowners not use those diy Kits. All are members dread strip jobs.Frankly I don’t know why someone would choose them. They yellow like crazy, and they are solvent based, slow drying so they off gas, and they never hold up. This forces a refinisher to use a very strong stripper. I have actually replaced a dead refinisher who has lossed his life stripping a bathtub. Myown life was almost cut short stripping a bathtub and I was using the best Equipment money can buy but machinery or equipment can fail. I found out the hard way. Its like trying to paint a car yourself. I am all for saving money and don’t wish to come off like I don’t appreciate the effort but if your already saving $5000 why not let a pro do it. Simply not worth the risk. Please do not use a torch either The fumes will kill use.

    IT IS REALLY VERY HELPFUL FOR ME.I LIKE YOUR POST BECAUSE IT IS VERY USEFUL FOR ME AS WELL. HOPING THE SAME FINEST OPERATE IN THE UP COMING DAYS ALSO. THANK YOU!

    This post was helpful to me too. I own a home built in 1940 and have been considering getting my cast iron bathtub refinished. There are a few scratches and black marks from a previously installed shower door that was installed on the tub. After reading this post I think I can live with those scratches until I can hire a professional. If I do decide to hire a professional, I will make sure they have the ventilation equipment described here.

    I think this post was very helpful in knowing the bad effects of such dangerous products. I hope many people will now be thinking at least thrice before making use of such chemicals. Thanks for sharing such a helpful information.

    In Europe, the use of paint strippers containing more than 0.1 % methylene chloride is allowed only in industrial installations with adequate controls to reduce exposure. Other uses, such as use by professionals outside industrial installations or household use by individuals is forbidden.
    The legal basis is Annex XVII of the REACH regulation.
    The restrictions on placing on the market and use is a consequence of many incidents with lethal outcome.

    Hello my name is Kris I amthe owner at Tub Klass NJ. I have 15 years’ experience with bathtub refinishing and stripping.
    It’s in our best interest to devise a way to remove these coatings without harming ourselves or the environment. I myself am in the process of creating a technique that will eliminate the need for methylene chloride. But I keep on hitting dead ends. It’s either not portable or cost prohibitive. But if we get together as a group of experienced bathtub refinishers I am positive that we can come up with a simple solution that will keep us safe. Contact me via e-mail njtragroup@gmail.com and send me your ideas. Together we can make the nightmare of stripping bathtubs a thing of the past!

    We need to care when the baths are refinished. We need to know what all are used while doing refinishing.

    If this could be dangerous, government should put strict in purchasing this kind of toxic to avoid casualties for workers and even consumers.

    I recently had our tub sresurfaced as well as kitchen counters done, and the smell was so strong I don’t know how these guys can do this every day. They were wearing some gas mask type stuff while they were doing it, but I have noticed even after spraying the fumes were strong; and I was outside when they did this. I guess this is one of those occupational hazard jobs when doing bathtub refinishing.

    I have learned some incredible information in this report. I will stress this to home owners wanting to get bathtub resurfacing done. I certainly will be approaching this much differently. I do home remodeling in Dallas, and many homeowners want to try to salvage some tubs, which is cost effective for some, but certainly a chemical risk for the workers and I would think the homeowners need to be made aware of this type of chemical being used in their home.

    Traditional Spray Paint Style Refinishing has certain inherent dangers that you should be aware of. There were “13 Fatal Exposures to Methylene Chloride Paint Strippers Among Bathtub Refinishers in the last decade.” (Centers for Disease Control) Not to mention those who experience “unexplained” symptoms that go undiagnosed that may also be caused from these dangerous bathtub refinishing and paint stripping chemicals.

    That is pretty serious stuff. I didn’t realize this was so deadly. I usually like to do things myself, but I think I will have to find someone to do my bathtub repair in concord ma. I just bought this old house that has this beautiful tub if only it can get restored back to new.

    Good to see so much effort going into bringing awareness to bathtub refinishing in Waltham. I don’t know of incidents that may have occurred, buy you can never be too careful with peoples’ lives.

    There are alternatives to using methylene chloride (MC) for bathtub stripping. The Safety and Health Assessment and Research for Prevention (SHARP) program at the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries has profiled two businesses that successfully strip bathtubs without MC. The first method uses a benzyl alcohol-based stripper as an alternative to MC and N-Methylpyrrolidone (NMP)-based chemical strippers. The second method uses no chemical stripper but relies instead on scraping and mechanical sanding to remove bathtub finishes. Changing one’s business practices and methods can certainly be a daunting task and a big decision, but in the case of methylene chloride and bathtubs it is an important, potentially lifesaving one. Anyone who is curious to try alternatives to MC-based strippers are encouraged to read these small business success stories. Find them at:

    http://www.lni.wa.gov/Safety/Research/Pubs/#General
    “Successful bathtub stripping with benzyl alcohol as an alternative to methylene chloride-based paint strippers”
    Publication number 81-8b-2012

    “Successful bathtub stripping using sanding as an alternative to methylene chloride”
    Publication number 81-8c-2013

    I think this type of finish should be banned.

    I think regulators should be aware of these dangers.

    Sometimes workers are not educated, companies should invest in staff training to work with these materials.

    I hope something is done quickly.

    My business is in the UK, safety of workers is as important over here. The Health and Safety Executive is our policing force that helps prevent the tragic consequences of injuries and even fatalities in the workplace

    I live in a small one bedroom apartment and I just had my tub resurfaced. The fumes are strong in the bathroom so I have the bathroom door closed, vent on. Also my bedroom windows are both open, and that door is closed as well. I am sleeping in the living room under many blankets with the balcony door wide open…is it safe? Or should I leave? Please respond quickly. I have been home for about 3 hours now with every window and balcony open and these posts are freaking me out!

    Is it safe to stay???? I also have a 6 year old…should we leave? Or will we be ok??

    The blog is not designed to provide personal medical or emergency information. If you feel you are in danger, you should contact your local emergency services for assistance. It is definitely a good idea to ventilate the area as much as possible to remove the residual vapors. The vapors should subside after awhile and you should not be able to smell the strong odor. If the vapor smell continues and is persistent you should call a safety and health professional to evaluate the area. Your local health department may be able to provide assistance.

    That is a shocking statistic, “At least 14 workers have died since 2000 as a result of using stripping agents containing methylene chloride during bathtub refinishing”.
    It is really shocking that stripping agents contrain toxic elements in them. Surely the proper checks should be taken before the products leaves the factory. This is poor. More needs to be done to protect the workers!.

    Great information. Now what about substances that are used in bathtub refinishing as final ‘top-coats’ such as Aliphatic Acrylic Urethane, or, another, as one company advertises: “Porcelain Glaze-a new type of chemical finish.” What is porcelain glaze? And, are there any substances that are dangerous and can later leach into bath water and be absorbed by the skin?

    Thank you for your comment. We are not familiar with the finishes you mention. If those working with these finishes have concerns about their health they can request a Health Hazard Evaluation from NIOSH at http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/hhe/.

    You can also use your favorite search engine and search using the following key words: “Bathtub Porcelain Glaze MSDS”
    And “Bathtub Aliphatic Acrylic Urethane MSDS.” Follow the links to the Material Data Safety Sheet (MSDS) that the search will find. There is a lot of toxicological information available on the Internet which can be found by joining the term “MSDS” with as specific a description of the product about which you are interested in knowing.

    I think this post was very helpful in knowing the bad effects Bathtub refinishing of such dangerous products. I hope many people will now be thinking at least thrice before making use of such chemicals. Thanks for sharing such a helpful information.

    This is horrible… People please do not use these DIY kits. You get enough toxic chemicals in your daily life without adding additional products that harm you by breathing its toxic fumes or being absorbed into your skin.

    Price changing out your bathtubs before ever considering a refinishing product that is known to be toxic! This Northern California real estate agent is living the green “Dream”.

    I’m a Painting Contractor in Anchorage, Alaska and this is a really good post for me to see!

    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve told others in the field that are doing this to make sure they have more ventilation and to remove or re-coat the tube out of the bathroom and to at least not to do it without the proper breathing apparatus.

    “Methylene chloride is extremely dangerous when not used properly”, this is an understatement, but I’m glad it’s finally being brought to peoples attention.

    Sad to hear, but at least proves to me that I was right!

    Thanks for the post.

    I have an article on my site entitled Are Bathtub Refinishing Fumes Dangerous. It is amazing that I get over 100 hits per month on the article from homeowners who are fumed out during and after refinishing. Extraction during the process is everything. A fresh air system is critical.
    I refer to this CDC article a few times a month when answering questions from customers.
    Keep up the good work!

    We use MC (methylene chloride) in my furniture shop. It’s used to strip paint and varnish from furniture which will be refinished. I use it in good ventilation and, if I’m going to be doing much work, I use a respirator. I think there are actually regulations on workers on how long they may be subjected to this chemical during a work day.

    It’s also useful to mention that there are different types of chemicals which use MC as an active ingredient. If the chemical you are using is marked as “flammable” then you can be sure that it is not 100% MC. MC is not flammable on it’s own.

    Thanks for your comment. There are exposure limits, but they are not based solely on how long a worker may be exposed to the chemical. The concentration of the exposure is important too. OSHA has regulations that sets a permissible exposure limit (PEL) of 25 parts per million (ppm) as a time-weighted average (TWA) exposure over an 8-hour work shift. So, if the concentration were over the PEL, for example at 50 ppm, the workers would exceed the 25 ppm average limit in 4 hours. There is also a short-term exposure limit (STEL) for which the average exposure cannot exceed 125 ppm over any 15-minute period. The standard also sets a 12.5 ppm action level (AL) which triggers periodic monitoring and medical surveillance provisions.

    In our blog we state that “methylene chloride cannot be smelled until the level in the air is higher than OSHA’s permissible exposure limits (PELs). So, once workers can smell methylene chloride they are already being overexposed.”

    Thanks for the great post. Methylene chloride, a new chlorinated solvent, is usually a risky, without color liquid having a sweet-smelling smell.

    Wow, great article on the dangers and Health Effects when methylene chloride is used. Especially if chosen to be done in small places like a bathroom. We work a lot with paints and try to stay abreast of the dangers when working with chemicals, solvents and paint compounds.

    A lot of times when a solvent stinks, you realize you need the right protective equipment and ventilation. However, products are more dangerous when they are sweet smelling, and as your article states your are already exposed once you smell it. What a great reminder to always plan for and wear personal protective equipment. Thanks for sharing

    Wow this is kinda hard to believe that even a thing such as messing with a bathtub can be so dangerous. This is great information to share to hopefully make us more aware and careful.

    We have for years been trying to come up with a Stripper that will remove Epoxy DIY kits that do not have the Methylene Chloride but time is an issue. Some will work but they require 24 hours of wet saturation and even then they require a lot of hard work. If safety is not enough to discourage the DIY Kits then maybe aesthetics will. Many post pictures but up close you can’t see the brush strokes they leave behind. Even if they come in a spray can unless you really know how to spray a cross hatch overlap pattern then you will have dry edges. They hold soap scum, body oils, dirt, basically everything that comes off the human body will form a paste of scum.

    What are the governing bodies that oversee these applications? I’m not aware of any can anyone point me in the right direction please? I manage a home related business in Australia and we are often exposed to applications that we are unsure of what dangers we could be exposed to. Please let me know where to seek more information, particularly in the Australian climate?

    I think this blog is very helpful in knowing about the bad effects Bathtub refinishing of such dangerous products.We need to know what all are used while doing refinishing.Thanks a lot for sharing such a helpful information

    I think this post was very helpful in knowing the bad effects of such dangerous products. I think this type of finish should be banned. This is great information to share to hopefully make us more aware and careful.

    I think people always take safety for too lightly. I am not an overly caution person, but I understand that in certain instances it is important to exercise caution.

    Great article!
    Thanks for Sharing!

    This post was helpful to me too. I own a home built in 1940 and have been considering getting my cast iron bathtub refinished. There are a few scratches and black marks from a previously installed shower door that was installed on the tub.

    I think this post was very helpful in knowing the bad effects of such dangerous products.I think this type of finish should be banned.This is great information to share to hopefully make us more aware and careful.

    Great article. Using methylene chloride products in a bathroom is extremely dangerous as bathrooms are often small, enclosed spaces with little or no ventilation.

    I’ve read some incredible information in this article. I would concenr it to home owners wanting to get bathtub resurfacing done. I certainly will be approaching this much differently. I do home remodeling in Dallas, and many homeowners want to try to salvage some tubs, which is cost effective for some, but certainly a chemical risk for the workers and I would think the homeowners need to be made aware of this type of chemical being used in their home.

    i’ve found a majority of the time the diy kits people use never adhere well. I use a flexible flat blade scraper and then sand with an aggressive grit. Works on all types of surfaces. Takes longer and cost more but the client can pay the labor or feel free to do it themselves.

    Wow! Very interesting. We had one bathtub redone in our old house a few years ago but I think they just re-coated it. But if we ever have it done again, I will definitely check to be sure it’s a safe process for the workers AND the homeowners. Thank you.

    Kaye Swain

    Hello. I had my bathroom resurfaced including the bathtub 4 weeks ago. There is still a strong smell in my bathroom espicially when it is hot and humid. I have asked for the list of chemicals they use but have not heard anything. When the door is closed for a while it gets very strong and when its open one can hardly smell it but that does not mean it is not there. When I smell the tiles I can not smell anything but with my nose close to the bathtub I can smell a sweetish sour chemical smell. I think this should not be happening after 4 weeks but dont know what to do about it. I have blocked the drain over night but it did not eliminate the smell. The product they used is from Napco and is supposed to a lot less toxic than other products. This is in Australia. Does anyone know if I should be worried? The bath was not stripped – just resurfaced with a very thin layer of the napco product paint. I would really like some reassurance.
    Thank you. Gerda

    I think this post was very helpful in knowing the bad effects of such dangerous products. I hope many people will now be thinking at least thrice before making use of such chemicals. Thanks for sharing such a helpful information.

    Ron,
    Thanks for the post on this. I personally have never heard of this being such a serious problem. I have personally resurfaced in the past for investment properties, and have smelt the “sweet” smell, but never was affected , luckily. Very good to know, I’ll let the pro’s do it from now on, and let my readers know the same!
    Patrick

    This post is so informative and makes a very nice image on the topic in my mind. It is the first time I visit your blog, but I was extremely impressed. Keep posting as I am gonna come to read it everyday!

    good cotent, i like it. Thank for sharing about bathtub refinishing. It is the first time I visit your blog, but I was extremely impressed. Keep posting as I am gonna come to read it everyday!

    a great article! I very much agree with you, that safety and health is a very important thing in our lives,
    It’s in our best interest to devise a way to remove these coatings without harming ourselves or the environment.

    I think this blog is very helpful in knowing about the bad effects Bathtub refinishing of such dangerous products.We need to know what all are used while doing refinishing.Thanks a lot for sharing.

    The home I purchased a few years ago came with cast iron bathtub and ceramic tile walls that had been covered with a 2-step epoxy finish. Tub and tile were original to the 1957 home and were actually not in bad shape. I know this because the epoxy finish began peeling away within a couple months of daily use. I repaired the tile finish as best I could and covered it with 123 primer and latex kitchen/bath paint by mohair brush. I used a paint scraper and razor to completely strip the tub. It was not difficult and required no chemicals; the refinisher evidently did a very poor job of it. I washed the tub thoroughly and have been using it since. It has one small rust stain and is still moderately shiny. I am ok with both tub and tile appearance until I can afford a replacement/bath remodel. My concern is whether it is safe to take long soaks in this tub. Is there any danger that the enamel could have absorbed the refinishing chemicals to be released into my bath water at this later date? Thank you.

    Thank you for your comment. NIOSH research and prevention efforts focus on worker risk, so we are not able to address this kind of exposure. For consumer concerns such as this you may want to contact the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

    thanks Ron Hall for such a valuable information, its horrible, why its still available in the market, it should be banned from the market.

    BDM

    Thank you for introducing this sensitive topic in such a way… I never thought these chemicals were so dangerous…

    i like it. Thank for speaking about about tub refinishing. It’s the very first time I call at your blog, however was very impressed. Keep posting at all like me gonna turned up at write out paper everyday!

    I have used this product recently on a tub used all the proper PPE and approved NIOSH mask and jump suit and I have tasted this awful taste in my mouth for a couple of days it’s been 2 weeks and I still kinda feel it in my chest

    We are sorry to hear about the symptoms that you experienced and hope you are doing better. We cannot provide individual medical advice on the NIOSH Science Blog, but we suggest that you see a doctor.

    Without a thorough investigation of the respirator, process used, and procedures it would be hard to identify the source of this adverse effect. The following recommendations on respirator use are in the NIOSH/OSHA Alert.

    When engineering and work practice controls cannot decrease methylene chloride levels below OSHA’s PELs (25 ppm over an 8-hour TWA or 125 ppm over a 15-minute period), employers must provide their workers with full-face atmosphere-supplying respirators. Air-purifying respirators are not permitted due to the short service life of chemical cartridges when used for methylene chloride exposure. Half-mask respirators may NOT be used because methylene chloride may cause eye irritation or damage. Whenever respirators are required to be worn, the employer must establish and implement a complete respiratory protection program that meets the requirements of OSHA’s Respiratory Protection standard (29 CFR 1910.134), including proper selection, usage, training and medical surveillance (OSHA/NIOSH Hazard Alert: Methylene Chloride Hazards for Bathtub Refinishers, February 2013, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication Number 2013-110 http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2013-110/ )

    There are bathtub refinishing companies out there, [company name removed] are using safe processes for refinishing your bathtub, you just have to ask the tough questions. This study is great for warning against the potential dangers.

    I have never thought of this before! My tub will soon be refinished and I am glad I have read this article. Thanks!

    I have been thinking about reglazing our kitchen countertop (tiles). I am concerned about having a surface that is toxic and that can harm my family in the long run. Are these chemicals only toxic while being applied, or can they still be harmful later as used?
    Thanks!
    Cristine

    Ya, very helpful articles are posted. I have read many articles but this is different one.
    Thanks to those whoever posted this article. This seems informative and makes a very nice image on the topic in my mind.

    Hi I have very sensitive skin, and covered in psoriasis and eczema. I just rented a housing association flat with an unsightly, badly marked tub. They agreed to resurface it for me as they would not replace it. I did not realize how strong the chemical is, and now I am concerned about any (however microscopic) of this leeching into my bathwater and onto my skin. Of course I won’t be using it for a good week or so just to be safe, but I don’t even use bleach or Flash to clean my tub because of the chemicals getting into the bathwater; even rinsing thoroughly. I use all chemical-free products to clean, and cannot use otherwise or it affects me.
    Also I have asthma, and after the job was done today I cant stop wheezing. They took all precautions and said the fumes were gone, its only a smell. But the air looked pretty fume filled to me… This is a nightmare for someone with my health issues! Could you please advise, will this chemical leech into the water? Even a tiny bit? I have no shower, only this bath and no space for one.
    Thanks if you reply

    Thank you for your comment. NIOSH research and prevention efforts focus on worker risk, so we are not able to address this kind of exposure. For consumer concerns such as this you may want to contact the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

    Thankyou for letting people know this danger alert! I was researching because i just had a bad experience. The apt right next to me was just resurfaced and the chemicals came through the air vents. Not sure if it can come through the walls. The odor and fumes were suffocating. The fog was so thick and i could barely take a breath even with fans on. My cat was crying and jumping on the door to get out. The fumes were in her room not mine, i didn’t know until i opened the door, we had put on the fan origionally for the smell, fumes came full blown after. I was weak though and shaking, felt faint and nauseated. After most fumes and smell went away two days later i still had muscle pain and spasms all over, headache, very sick and weak, skin burned and stung, could feel it in my lungs. Never stay where resurfacing is being done. Its highly toxic… Teri

    We can avoid being harmed if we will be knowledgeable about things. We can ask questions and be well-informed. It’s not bad to ask especially if we don’t know anything about something. And if we can afford it, let the pro’s do their jobs. And again, don’t be afraid to ask. Thanks!

    I have been refinishing tubs for 23 years. I have stripped hundreds of tubs. I only use stripper when absolutely necessary. Usually coatings can be removed with a good razor scraper….sure it takes longer but it keeps me from using more harmful chemicals. When working with stripper or using solvents,acid,etc…as well as applying your refinishing product….ALWAYS USE A FRESH-AIR SYSTEM…..NOT MASKS…masks leak so they dont give the protection you need for long term exposure….I use a mask only when Im outside mixing or gathering my equipment when the job is finished and I should be using the fresh air system while I do that….Also cover your skin…some of these chemical will get into your body through your skin….Good Luck…Keep yourself safe…..DO YOUR RESEARCH

    I worked at [Company name removed] for 14years. 21 people who I worked with at that time have all died,one very recently with cancer. They were all exposed to open tanks of Methylene Chloride and cutting up bodies causing carbon monoxide.

    I have contacted the government,the union head [name removed], and the legal ombudsman but to no avail. I think they want things swept under the carpet.

    I now have a colostomy, urostomy,skin cancers and CKD(chronic kidney disease)with only one kidney working and that only functions at 15%.

    This toxic chemical which is known to be carcinogenic is still used with no warnings of the dangers.

    This post was helpful to me too. I own a home built in 1940 and have been considering getting my cast iron bathtub refinished. There are a few scratches and black marks from a previously installed shower door that was installed on the tub.

    In addition to the hazards of strippers, old porcelain bathtubs, sinks and tiles manufactured before the mid-1990’s could also have lead in the glaze, which could leach into bathwater, or if sanded or scraped could form a dust that if ingested by young children (who touch it with bare skin) could cause lead poisoning. I am linking an article from the “Retro Renovation” blog on safety that includes links to other sources on this. The Centers for Disease Control has more information on lead hazards on their web site. There is apparently limited research on this issue, but there are case studies of some children getting lead poisoning from bathing in an old bathtub that was leaching lead. This may be less of a danger than with old lead-based paints, but something to be aware of.
    http://retrorenovation.com/2016/05/02/understanding-potential-lead-hazards-old-porcelain-enamel-bathtubs-sinks-ceramic-tile-any-age/#ixzz47UvHcM00

    This article does a good job calling attention to the dangers of methylene chloride products and noting that many people don’t know how dangerous it is. Why can strippers with this ingredient be sold to consumers in U.S. hardware stores that do _not_ sell the full-face air supplied respirators that should be worn while using it? A 2015 report by the Center for Public Integrity on U.S. deaths connected to methylene chloride noted that researchers have argued for 30 years that regulation of methylene chloride in the U.S. isn’t strong enough to protect workers and that warnings on labels for consumers are insufficient. The story notes also that worker protections are weak — a shop in Chattanooga TN with numerous OSHA violations got fined only $1500 for the death of a teenage employee in 1999, and 7 years later, still had not implemented required safety measures.
    https://www.publicintegrity.org/2015/09/21/17991/common-solvent-keeps-killing-workers-consumers

    NIOSH has continued to try to get the word out to workers and employers about the risks of working with methylene chloride. As a research agency, we do not have regulatory authority over the labeling or regulating on how methylene chloride is sold. However, we have shared the findings of this work and made recommendations to manufacturers and with agencies that may have regulatory/legal authority, including those with oversight beyond the workplace.

    Hi, so I had my bathtub reglazed in March. Now it’s already peeling. The company who gave me 6 year warranty has disconnected the phone number. My question is, am I in danger using the peeling bathtub???

    Thanks for your comment. Our blog focused on the exposures from methylene chloride to workers during the process of stripping the old paint off of the tub prior to refinishing. Methylene chloride is a volatile liquid and would have fully evaporated shortly after the project was completed. So, it presents no long-term hazard to the resident. However, we have no information about the risks that might arise to the resident from exposure to the flaking surface of the refinished tub. For consumer-related questions after the tub has been refurbished, please contact the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

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