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Painting & Drawing Preservatives

IDName of PreservativeDescriptionIngestion HazInhalation HazSkin Contact HazOther Hazards
1 Beta-Naphthol 2-naphthol High Moderate Moderate Skin irritant; ingestion causes abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and sometimes convulsions; may damage liver and kidneys and cause hemolytic anemia; similar to but less toxic than phenol
2 Bleach Household chlorine bleach, 5% sodium hypochlorite Moderate Moderate Moderate Skin irritant, particularly from repeated contact; releases highly toxic chlorine gas in acid, or when heated; forms poisonous gas when mixed with ammonia
3 Boric Acid
Moderate to high Moderate Slight Powder; absorption through burned skin, ingestion, or inhalation can cause nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhea, violent vomiting, and skin rash; chronic poisoning may cause loss of appetite, gastroenteritis, liver or kidney damage, and skin rash
4 Borax Sodium tetraborate Moderate to high Moderate Slight Powder; absorption through burned skin, ingestion, or inhalation can cause nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhea, violent vomiting, and skin rash; chronic poisoning may cause loss of appetite, gastroenteritis, liver or kidney damage, and skin rash
5 Chromated Copper Arsenate CCA Extreme Extreme High Known carcinogen; irritation/allergies, skin thickening, loss of pigmentation, ulceration, respiratory irritation, skin/lung/liver cancer, digestive disturbances, liver/nervous system/kidney/blood damage; acute ingestion may be fatal; DO NOT USE
6 Ethyl Parabens Ethyl para-hydroxybenzoate No significant hazards No significant hazards No significant hazards Occasional allergic reactions
7 Formalin 30-37% formaldehyde, 0-15% methyl alcohol Moderate to high Extreme Moderate Probable carcinogen; strong irritant to skin, eyes, nose, respiratory system; causes allergic reactions by skin contact & inhalation, including asthma; pure formaldehyde is highly toxic by ingestion; DO NOT USE
8 Magnesium Silicofluoride Magnesium fluosilicate High Moderate Moderate Acute poisoning usually results from ingestion; skin, eye, respiratory irritant, including possible skin ulceration similar to but less toxic than sodium fluoride
9 Mercuric Chloride
Extreme High Moderate Most toxic mercury compound; corrosive; may cause mercury poisoning, affecting nervous & gastrointestinal systems/kidneys; acute poison. causes metallic taste/salivation/swelling of gums/vomiting/bloody diarrhea; chronic poison. affects nervous system
10 Methyl parabens Methyl para-hydroxybenzoate No significant hazards No significant hazards No significant hazards Occasional allergic reactions
11 Oil of Cloves Eugenol Moderate Not significant Slight Mild irritant and local anesthetic; ingestion may cause gastroenteritis and vomiting
12 Pentachlorophenol
High High High Probable carcinogen; skin contact may cause chloroacne; ingestion affects respiratory/central nervous systems; chronic exposure can cause liver/kidney damage; more toxic than phenol; It and its salt (pentachlorophenate) are banned for sale; DO NOT USE
13 Phenol Carbolic acid High High High Pure phenol can be absorbed through the skin or stomach and cause death; very corrosive to skin; damages the central nervous system, kidneys, liver; DO NOT USE
14 Phenyl Mercuric Acetate
High High Moderate Less corrosive, less toxic, and less quickly absorbed than mercuric chloride; symptoms are similar to mercuric chloride poisoning
15 Phenyl Mercuric Chloride
High High Moderate Less corrosive, less toxic, and less quickly absorbed than mercuric chloride; symptoms are similar to mercuric chloride poisoning
16 Propyl Parabens Propyl para-hydroxybenzoate No significant hazards No significant hazards No significant hazards Occasional allergic reactions
17 Sodium Benzoate
Moderate Not significant Not significant Ingestion may cause nausea and vomiting
18 Sodium Fluoride
High High Moderate Skin & respiratory irritant & cell poison; ingestion of 1 gram can be fatal; symptoms of poisoning include salty/soapy taste, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, muscular weakness, tremors, central nervous system depression, & shock; DO NOT USE
19 Sodium Ortho-Phenyl Phenate
Moderate High Moderate Probable carcinogen; skin irritant in more than 0.5% aqueous solution; dust may irritate eyes, nose, and throat
20 Sodium 2,4,5-Trichlorophenate
Moderate High Moderate Probable carcinogen; skin and eye irritant; chronic effects unknown; contains trace amounts of chemicals that may cause cancer and birth defects; DO NOT USE
21 Thymol
High Moderate Slight Mild skin irritant; ingestion causes gastric pain, nausea, vomiting, and occasionally convulsions and coma
22 Zinc Chloride
High High Moderate Irritating to skin, eyes, respiratory system, & gastrointestinal system, since it produces hydrochloric acid in contact with water; can cause skin ulcers; ingestion of a few grams has been fatal; symptoms include violent vomiting and purging
23 Zinc Naphthenate
Slight Slight Slight Low-toxicity wood preservative