There are two very important considerations when it comes to chemicals in products used for construction, remodeling and home improvement.
- The first concern is the general safety issues that are associated with the use and storage of products that contain toxicchemicals.
- The second is the concern about toxic chemicals that could have longer negative affects on individuals who suffer from allergies and asthma or have other respiratory problems.
Although common sense may tell us to never mix products that have chemical bases, it happens every day.
The most common occurrence of product mixing is with cleaning products. Many cleaning products are chlorine based while just as many are ammonia based. Both are excellent cleaning agents and while it is of the utmost importance that care be taken when using products with either of these base chemicals – safety goggles and rubber gloves as they are toxic unto themselves. Mixing them produces chlorine gas, which is deadly.
Mixing chemicals does not always occur by pouring one liquid into another, it can occur by accident or without thought – spilling chemicals on a floor or using one chemical after another are common events. Another common error is to use the same sponge or rag with two different cleaning products.
Pouring chemicals down a drain, one after the other will allow the chemicals to mix in the drain trap.
It is almost impossible to undertake a home renovation or home improvement project without the use of a product that contains a toxic chemical. Almost all glues, adhesives, mortar, cement, thin set, caulking, paints, polyurethanes, lacquer, and strippers are based on some sort of chemical composition and some of them are toxic.
All chemically based products should be treated with a great deal of respect and caution.
Always read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions – believe it or not, the manufacturer does know the safest and best way to use and store their product.
It is also wise to read and make a note of the health notification on the product. In many cases, once the product is being used the instructions and health information that is on the label is obliterated to a point where it can no longer be read.
Families that have allergies or respiratory problems should be careful about what chemicals may have been used in the manufacture of finished products.
Items such as carpets and rugs use adhesives to bond the backing to the fibers. Laminate flooring is the bonding of paper and wood chips under compression using adhesive. The same manufacturing techniques are used to create sheets of plywood, chip, and particleboard, including engineered hardwood. Foam insulation and underlayments, nylon and rayon are all products derived from petroleum. All of the aforementioned products may release small quantities of chemicals into the air throughout their life.
If you are concerned about any product, contact the manufacturer and ask for information on the chemicals used in the manufacturer of their product.