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Take care of yourselves

Take care of yourselves Stéphanie Landry Poirier

Thursday, 15 April 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has altered the lives of people around the world.  Many professionals have shared their experiences/anxieties during this difficult time. Our hearts go out to all of you as you are facing both economic as well as physical setbacks.

You likely have heard too many times of COVID protocol. We didn’t want to revisit that subject with you. But in keeping with the need to maintain our physical health we wanted to review some cautions in relation to V.O.C. (Volatile Organic Compound), a large group of chemicals that may be present in indoor and outdoor air.

Many flooring professionals are applying oil based or water based polyurethanes. This process potentially exposes you to isocyanates. This dangerous respiratory toxin can exacerbate many health issues such as asthma, headaches, coughing, eye and throat issues, vomiting and even shortness of breath.

In an effort to look after YOU we cannot stress enough the need to wear proper P.P.E. (personal protective equipment) such as:

-eye protection

-disposable coveralls

-gloves such as nitrate or neoprene

-safety shoes

-Respirator outfitted with a fresh organic filter that is properly fitted to the contours of your face.

How long will V.O.C.s continue to be a concern? The dominant perception is the harmful gases dissipate as the finish comes to a full cure. With water based coatings this can be achieved in approximately 3-10 days. Oil based coatings could take almost twice as long. The full cure is dependent on site conditions. Poor ventilation and restricted airflow as well as room temperature can impact dry and cure times. Therefore, advance thought as to mitigation methods will help control fume problems as your finish is off gassing.  

In our next blog we will discuss various means to keep the work site safe and minimize the effects of harmful gasses.

Daily we face anxious moments that impact our industry and ultimately our families. Thank you for your continued support. Please take good care of yourselves and keep your families safe.