Construction Workplace exposures Chemical Construction

Working safely with solvents: CPWR publishes alert, infographic

Photo: CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training

Silver Spring, MD — Stressing the importance of safety when working with solvents, CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training has published a hazard alert and an infographic addressing the topic.

Solvents are chemicals used to thin or dissolve paint, grease, epoxies, adhesives and coatings. Exposure to skin can cause dryness and cracking. If swallowed or inhaled, solvents can irritate or burn the nose, mouth, throat, lungs, stomach and intestine. Long-term exposure can damage the nervous system, reproductive system, kidneys and respiratory system, as well as cause cancer.

The center notes that under OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard (1910.1200), employers are required to educate workers about potential chemical exposure hazards, provide Safety Data Sheets and label products.


Additionally, employers must provide and maintain personal protective equipment, such as gloves, respirators and eye protection. When working in confined spaces, proper ventilation is particularly important, CPWR adds. Workers who come into contact with solvents should wash their skin immediately.

The infographic is available in English and Spanish.

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