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Primer Sealer

Posted by Henry in MI on January 20th, 2003 06:57 PM
In reply to Ill effects from Primer Sealer by Robert Fulmer on January 20th, 2003 05:55 PM [Go to top of thread]

Are you sure that the painting contractor was not using Zinsser's B-I-N? This is a common, shellac based product for covering the stain and odors after fires. It is also a common product for anyone that is prepping the walls or other surfaces for repainting.

Shellac is an animal based product and, in it's pure form, is used for the coatings of pharmasuitacals. It's a binder for powdered drugs and a coating for capsules. You have probably had it in things like asperin without knowing it. It has been approved by the FDA for this use, again, in it's purest form, for many years.

The next product in B-I-N is alcohol. This is the solvent for the shellac. It does smell nasty while it's being applied but it does evaporate quickly. There are many kinds of alcohol but most are safe for putting on your skin. Some, like grain alcohol, are often taken internally. Denatured alcohol is grain alcohol made toxic to prevent it being drunk. I do not believe that the agent they use will cause harm unless it is drunk.

The final product, basically, is a pigment. This does the hiding and let's you know where you have applied it. I have some guesses what it is but can not say for sure. In any case, most probably it is a naturally occuring material that is pretty safe.

There may be other considerations and you certainly should check with them at My guess would be that there were a lot more dangerous fumes released by the fire than from the B-I-N. Common things in a fire, like burning plastics, can release very toxic gases. Also, the painting contractor should have let you know what was happening beforehand and should have given you time to be out before he started the work. This is a noise issue for you also.

Honestly, I doubt that the B-I-N is giving you the problem. And I have nothing to gain either way. I do use it before repainting any of my walls.

Henry in MI

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