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MonkeySloth

Do Acrylics really produce formadehyde?

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Thanks Bryan. I figured this wasn't a big deal, as I stated in another post, but I was curious for facts so I could have them for when I'm sure I'll run into someone that read something on the internet, like that wiki, that had none and freaked out.

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Every compound you can name, no matter how scary, has a safe level; and every compound, no matter how natural, has a toxic level.

A good example is plutonium, one of the most dangerous substances known. Suppose you heard on the news that plutonium was found in your drinking water at ten times the normal level, even a hundred times the normal level. Should you be concerned? Yes, we should probably address it; but would those levels put anyone's health at risk? Not even remotely. No matter how scary the media might try to make that sound, plutonium occurs naturally on Earth, and every person and animal that ever lived has an average of about 20,000,000 plutonium atoms in their bone marrow, simply because we live on this planet. This most toxic of compounds has a normal, safe, background level that is way, way below the level at which it becomes dangerous.

This is what's so hard for many people to accept: You hear "pesticides" and you think "Oh my gosh, there is no safe level of that." Not true. Anything can be diluted below hazardous levels, and the reverse is also true. Any compound can be concentrated above hazardous levels. You can die from drinking too much pure water (we call this water intoxication), and you can die from breathing too much pure oxygen (we call this oxygen toxicity). Everything can be a poison (like soy beans), and everything can be safe (like box jellyfish neurotoxin): the only thing that differentiates them is the dose.

The bottom line is simple. Don't accept sensationalized news articles that only tell you how far above normal levels some toxin has been found. The only thing that matters is how that level compares to a safe level.

 

 

 

Ok, but what about Formaledhyde? Safe levels according to the EPA are 16ppb (parts per billion). Homes with walls painted with Acrylic paint are measured at .07 PPB immediately after construction. (Source: Wikipedia) To clarify: per 1 billion molecules of air, 16 can be formaledhyde before it is dangerous. At .1 per billion (or 1 per ten billion) irritation can occur to sensitive individuals. After painting your house, there will be 7 parts per Hundred Billion.

 

Now, think about how much less paint you are putting on a mini than you are putting on a house.

 

Even water and oxygen are toxic at high enough levels. True.

 

See, I'm smarter than any goblin! Hah!

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To labor the point, I should point out that in *every* case of reaction to allergic paint I can find, "poorly ventilated area" continues to be a recurring theme - as well as LARGE amounts of acrylic paint. see http://acrylicpoisoning.com/

 

As in all things, I advise our fans and hobbysists to work in an adequately apportioned paint area - good ventialtion, and proper precautions. According to EPA guidelines posted above, just general working conditions in your average basement studio are fine, assuming you have adequate (any) airflow. Open a window. Turn on a fan. Use central air. Something. Sit in a closed room with anything long enough and it's probably going to be unhealthy.

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The main problem is that every individual person has different levels of sensitivity to toxins, and we don't know how toxins react with each other in the body. What's perfectly safe for one person may trigger a massive reaction in another.

 

Since we don't know what might set our particular individual systems off, it's simple prudence to minimize our exposure to irritants and toxic substances.

 

That's not to say go crazy with paranoia. But do have adequate ventilation. Don't eat your paint or point your brush with your lips. Don't get paint on your skin if you can avoid it.

 

Treat your paints with respect. Don't be careless with them, but don't fear them either.

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To labor the point, I should point out that in *every* case of reaction to allergic paint I can find, "poorly ventilated area" continues to be a recurring theme - as well as LARGE amounts of acrylic paint. see http://acrylicpoisoning.com/

 

As in all things, I advise our fans and hobbysists to work in an adequately apportioned paint area - good ventialtion, and proper precautions. According to EPA guidelines posted above, just general working conditions in your average basement studio are fine, assuming you have adequate (any) airflow. Open a window. Turn on a fan. Use central air. Something. Sit in a closed room with anything long enough and it's probably going to be unhealthy.

 

But...but...I do my best work, paint and otherwise, in my broom closet! :down:

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Treat your paints with respect. Don't be careless with them, but don't fear them either.

 

So, what you're saying is, don't fear the Reaper (MSP)?

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Given the number of dead animals preserved in formaldehyde that I, and colleagues for generations before me, have handled without harm, I am confident that the amount present in 1/2 oz. bottle of paint won't do me in.

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Even water and oxygen are toxic at high enough levels. True.

 

Correct. Oxygen toxicity is of particular concern with COPD patients, and water intoxication is probably the worst named condition..ever.

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Given the number of dead animals preserved in formaldehyde that I, and colleagues for generations before me, have handled without harm, I am confident that the amount present in 1/2 oz. bottle of paint won't do me in.

 

Or...the more you paint..the more you preserve yourself! :huh:

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I don't keep a paper towel handy when painting; the back of my left hand is always closer than my painting table and works just as well for wicking excess paint off a brush. After a paint session, my left hand is usually encrusted with paint.

 

It's nice to know that hand will decay more slowly than the rest of my body, but I have no fear that this is what will kill me.

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So I've pointed my brush for years with my lips, painted my hands, and worked in unventilated basements. I work with things much closer to my face then all of you and the moral is: not dead...yet. Now I've learned over the years that for certain applications dust masks, safety glasses, and respirators are probably a better bet. However, I've been doing some aspect of this hobby for 27 years. If the more carcinogenic xylene in the plastic cement hasn't killed me yet then I'm certain the trace amounts of formaldahyde will continue to be a non issue.

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Between all my unpainted minis and apparently all the formaldehyde I have consumed/been exposed to I will seemingly never die. And if I do happen to pass I will be so well preserved no one will notice :lol:

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Given the number of times that I've accidentally cleaned my brush in my coffee, I've probably ingested half a bottle's worth of paint by now. Top painting tip: never put your coffee cup next to your water pot.

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Given the number of times that I've accidentally cleaned my brush in my coffee, I've probably ingested half a bottle's worth of paint by now. Top painting tip: never put your coffee cup next to your water pot.

 

Primer is not coffee whitener! I can't stress this enough, people!

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