We use flammable liquids every day; they are all around us, at work and at home. They present hazards many of us have become complacent too. Flammable liquids can cause a fire, explosions and serious health effects due to exposure from fumes and vapor. We must be vigilant at all times and avoid these situations.
In order to avoid these dangers we should have a good understanding of flammability. Liquids with a flash point of less than 100 degrees F. are considered flammable. The flash point is the lowest temperature at which a liquid gives off enough vapor to form a flammable mixtures with air.
The vapors of flammable liquids present the most serious hazards. The vapors can easily ignite or explode. Flammable liquid vapors are heavier than air and may settle in low spots, or move a significant distance from the liquid itself.
Flammable liquids also present health hazards from overexposure. The MSDS for the product you’re using will list the allowable exposures.
Overexposure to flammable liquids can cause a variety of effects as listed;
Inhalation of flammable liquids can cause irritation to the respiratory passages, nausea, headaches, muscle weakness, drowsiness, loss of coordination, disorientation, confusion, unconsciousness, and death.
Skin contact with flammable liquids can cause the skin’s oils to be removed, resulting in irritated, cracked, dry skin, rashes, and dermatitis.
Eye contact with flammable liquids can cause burning, irritation, and eye damage. Ingestion of flammable liquids can irritate the digestive tract, cause poisoning, and death.
Remember, personal protective equipment (PPE) will prevent exposure to flammable liquids. Use PPE faithfully to protect your good health and ensure to read and understand the product MSDS.
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