Survey and risk assessment of chemical substances in chemical products used for "do-it-yourself" projects in the home

In this project, it has been investigated to what extent there may be a health risk associated with the use of different products for do-it-yourself (DIY) projects in the home.

Survey of chemical substances in consumer products No. 167, 2018

Based on an initial screening, three do-it-yourself projects with particular risk of exposure to problematic substances were selected. Of the products which may be used for these projects, nine products were selected for the risk assessment, including 5 paint/lacquer products (2 water-based, 1 solvent-based, 1 epoxy-based and 1 acid curing product), 1 wax product, 1 two-component chemical wood product, 1 joint foam product and white spirit. Based on data on the constituent substances of the products and results of measurements of evaporation during application and the evaporation from the treated surfaces during the first month after application, a risk assessment of the products was performed.

The overall picture is that for eight of the nine products, there is a risk of work with the products if the user does not use personal protective equipment in the form of protective gloves or respiratory protective equipment during application. With regard to dermal contact it is in particular the skin sensitising substances which poses a risk, whereas for inhalation, it is the evaporation of chronic neurotoxic organic solvents, eye and respiratory irritants and carcinogens that cause increased risk.

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