8 TOXIC CHEMICALS TO AVOID WHEN CHOOSING A STONE SEALER
When you buy stone countertops for your kitchen or bathroom, it’s essential to find the best product to seal them and protect them from everyday wear and tear. At the same time, for the sake of your health and the safety of your children and pets, you must also seek out a stone sealer that does not contain toxic chemicals.
The average consumer may not know which toxic chemicals to avoid when choosing a stone sealer. Here are eight of them to avoid.
Butoxyethanol is a chemical that’s commonly used in solvents and cleaning products, including some stone sealers. It is a colorless liquid with a mild odor, and it has been identified as a toxic substance by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC.)
Butoxyethanol can cause a host of unpleasant symptoms. It can be absorbed into your body in a variety of ways, including inhalation of the vapors, consumption if it contaminates food or water, or absorption through the skin. Butoxyethanol exposure can cause damage to the lungs, eyes, skin, and kidneys.
You have probably heard news stories about benzene, which is a chemical that’s sometimes used in cleaning products. Stone sealers sometimes contain ethylbenzene. It is a colorless, flammable liquid that has been identified as a major environmental hazard by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Ethylbenzene is dangerous to inhale. In animal tests, it has caused dizziness, chest constriction, throat irritation, and eye irritation, as well as damage to the liver and kidneys. It is one of the most common contaminants identified at the EPA’s National Priority List sites, which are sites with high levels of toxicity.
#3: LIGHT DISTILLATES
Light distillates are products distilled from petroleum. They are often used to manufacture cleaning products, including stone stealers.
Because they are petroleum products, light distillates are highly flammable. They can be absorbed into the body by inhalation or skin absorption. Some of the symptoms associated with exposure include nausea, headaches, and neurological symptoms including dizziness, loss of coordination, and loss of balance.
Naphtha is a type of light distillate that we think is worth a separate mention due to its toxicity – and because it is often listed separately on product labels. Naphtha enters the body via inhalation or direct absorption.
People and animals exposed to naphtha may experience irritation of the skin, eyes, nose, and throat. Inhalation may cause headaches, dizziness, nausea, and vomiting. Even worse, long-term exposure has been linked to skin damage and may also harm the kidneys and central nervous system.
1-(2-butoxy-1-methylethoxy)propan-2-ol is another toxic ingredient you should be aware of. It can be toxic to people and animals if it is inhaled or through contact with the skin.
Some of the side effects associated with exposure include serious skin irritation and corrosion, and eye irritation.
#6: BIS(1,2,2,6,6-PENTAMETHYL-4-PIPERIDYL) SEBACATE
bis(1,2,2,6,6-pentamethyl-4-piperidyl) sebacate is a chemical that can be harmful to people and very harmful to animals and the environment. Some people and animals may experience an allergic reaction as a result of skin contact.
Most seriously, the EPA has identified this ingredient as one that is highly toxic to marine life and to the balance of marine ecosystems.
Xylene has been identified as a dangerous chemical and is toxic even at low levels of exposure. It is clear, colorless, and heavier than air, which means it can accumulate at low levels and be particularly dangerous to small children and pets.
The symptoms of xylene exposure can range from eye, throat, and skin irritation to pulmonary edema, central nervous center depression, and even death. It is not a good idea to have xylene in your home.
#8: ISOPROPYL ALCOHOL
Isopropyl alcohol is more commonly known as rubbing alcohol. While most of us have a bottle in our homes and know it as a benign substance, it can be toxic to inhale and to consume if it gets into your food or water. It is very commonly included in stone sealants. As a highly flammable ingredient, it’s very important to keep isopropyl alcohol away from flames and heat. Because it looks exactly like water, it is crucial to keep it out of places where it could be mistaken as such and accidentally consumed.
While many stone sealants on the market contain toxic chemicals, it’s possible to find a stone sealer that works better than the rest while being completely nontoxic. Keep yourself, your family and your home safe by avoiding these chemicals.