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From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.pyrotechnics
Subject: Re: What are health risks of trichloroethane?
Message-ID: <21683@rsiatl.Dixie.Com>
Date: 9 Sep 91 15:15:40 GMT (Mark A Fontana) writes:

>Hello all,

>Although it has
>never caused any irritation to my eyes, nose, or skin, the vapor
>sometimes gets 'overwhelming', and I turn away or take a break.

>    The only ingredient listed on the label is:
>                  "Inhibited 1,1,1-Trichloroethane"

>The theater has no datasheet on this chemical, and I'm a little concerned
>about how it could affect my health.  Besides breathing it, I've also
>poured it on to my hands accidentally (with no effects).  Could someone
>please tell me more about this chemical and its properties and outline
>potential health risks?

The safty nazis will  tell you that when administered to rats in near
lethal doses, "trike" has caused cancer of the liver and perhaps other
organs.  Trike shares that characteristic with perhaps half the chemicals
in our environment.  Whether that bothers you or not is your personal
choice.  It does not bother me.

In general, It is bad form to allow solvents to contact the body or to
breathe the vapors, particularly in the case of solvents like trike that
penetrate the skin rather easily.  You run the risk of toxic liver damage
and brain damage from high concentrations plus the solvent will carry
any dissolved contaminations through your skin.

The old saw about "use with adequate ventilation" really applies here.
You should NOT use the stuff in a space sufficiently confined that you
notice a strong odor or worse, notice impairment effects such as a light
headed feeling.  Your employer is legally bound to provide you with
that degree of safety.  Similiarly, you should NOT soak your hands in the
stuff.  I use some lightweight neoprene gloves whenever I use trike.
It will go right through latex gloves so neoprene is a must.

If forced ventilation is available then use it!  If not, then ask your
management to provide it.  It may be that all that needs to be done is
run the cooling fans that are almost always installed in a projection
room.  you should also ask for protective gloves.  If you don't get 'em,
buy 'em yourself.  The ones I use cost a dollar a pair from Northern
Hydraulic.  Lastly, you are entitled to an MSDS on the substance.  If
your employer cannot provide you one, the chemical supplier can.


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