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Old 11-26-2007, 08:25 AM
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DAK723 DAK723 is online now
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Re: Turpenoid safe or not?

Here is an article comparing the toxicity of turpentine, mineral spirits and odorless mineral spirits (like turpenoid):

Quote:
Turpentine and Substitutes
By Michael McCann, Ph.D., C.I.H.

Turpentine is the classic solvent used by artists in oil painting and for clean-up. There are two basic types of turpentine: gum turpentine, distilled from the sap of pine trees; and wood turpentine, distilled from the pine wood. While wood turpentine is more hazardous than gum turpentine, both types are highly toxic by inhalation and skin absorption. Acute health effects include eye, nose, and throat irritation, narcosis (headaches, dizziness, nausea, confusion, rapid pulse), and at high levels, difficulty in breathing, kidney and bladder damage, convulsions, and possibly death. Chronic health effects include skin irritation and allergies, kidney and bladder damage, and nervous system damage.

I have seen many cases of allergic reactions and several cases of severe kidney damage in artists using turpentine. As a result, I recommend substituting safer solvents for turpentine.

The general turpentine substitute is mineral spirits (paint thinner, turpenoid, Varsol, Stoddard Solvent). Standard mineral spirits can contain about 15-20% aromatic hydrocarbons, giving mineral spirits their distinctive odor. The aromatic hydrocarbons are also the most toxic component. Acute health effects include eye, nose and throat irritation, and at high levels, dizziness, lightheadness, nausea, etc. Chronic health effects include skin irritation (but not allergies), and brain damage from long-term exposure to large amounts. Mineral spirits are not absorbed through the skin. In general, mineral spirits are less toxic than turpentine.

An even safer substitute are odorless (or deodorized) mineral spirits or paint thinner. The more toxic aromatic hydrocarbons have been reduced or removed, hence the milder odor. Since turpentine evaporates more quickly than mineral spirits, hazardous, high concentrations are achieved more quickly with turpentine than with mineral spirits. Turpentine is also more flammable than mineral spirits. Turpentine has a flash point of 95 F, meaning that enough vapors can form at this temperature to catch fire if a source of ignition is present. Mineral spirits, on the other hand, have a flash point over 100 F.

In conclusion, mineral spirits (especially the odorless type) are preferred over turpentine because of lower toxicity, lower volatility, and lower flammability.


Art Hazard News, Volume 11, No. 9, 1988

This article was originally printed for Art Hazard News, © copyright Center for Safety in the Arts 1988. It appears on CAR courtesy of the Health in the Arts Program, University of Illinois at Chicago, who have curated a collection of these articles from their archive which are still relevant to artists today.

Numerous other articles on the web give a similar opinion that turpentine is the most toxic, followed by mineral spirits and odorless mineral spirits. As many have pointed out, odorless does not mean non-toxic, but given these three choices, odorless MS is the least toxic.

Don
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Old 11-26-2007, 12:44 PM
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stoney stoney is offline
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Re: Turpenoid safe or not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DAK723
Here is an article comparing the toxicity of turpentine, mineral spirits and odorless mineral spirits (like turpenoid):



Numerous other articles on the web give a similar opinion that turpentine is the most toxic, followed by mineral spirits and odorless mineral spirits. As many have pointed out, odorless does not mean non-toxic, but given these three choices, odorless MS is the least toxic.

Don

YIKES!!!! And here I thought Baby Oil wasn't a problem. I didn't worry about it getting all over my hands. Now I know why my hands have been getting rougher.

It'll be back to painting with latex gloves on. Thanks for this heads up.
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Old 11-26-2007, 03:59 PM
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November Sky November Sky is offline
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Re: Turpenoid safe or not?

I am very sensitive to turps and mineral spirits... So I use the M. Graham walnut oils and oil of spike lavender to thin it. I wash up using walnut oil and a gentle brush detergent. I react less to that combo than acrylics!

You want to be careful mixing the different oils because different rates of drying can cause cracking (walnut oil is lsow drying in comparison the linseed)
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