Hazard and exposure assessment of do-it-yourself products for impregnation

Survey of chemical substances in consumer products No. 193, 2023 A large number of do-it-yourself impregnation products are marketed to Danish consumers. The products are typically used for re-impregnation of consumer products (e.g. footware and outdoor clothing) immediately after the products have been purchased or when the water and/or dirt-repellent effect begins to diminish.

The Danish Environmental Protection Agency has chosen to make a survey of the market, where 110 do-it-yourself impregnation products were identified within ten different application categories. Out of these products, 14 were included in initial chemical content analyzes, as well as hazard and exposure analyzes. The main components in the majority of the products were saturated hydrocarbons, but some of the products also contained oxygen-containing solvents (e.g. alcohols, ethers, esters or ketones). The potential hazard of 12 of the 14 selected impregnation spray products was performed by measuring acute respiratory toxicity. Of the 12 products tested, 10 inhibited the function of the lung surfactant and may therefore potentially be harmful by inhalation.

On the basis of this study, it could not be demonstrated that the products with PFAS resulted in an inhibition of the lung surfactant at lower doses as compared to products without PFAS; in fact, the lowest inhibitory doses were seen for impregnating agents based on siloxanes/silicones. The results show that the hazardous properties of an impregnation product cannot be determined solely on the basis of the ingredients, and it is therefore necessary to examine the ability of the individual products to inhibit the lung surfactant in connection with a hazard as-assessment

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