Paints & Coatings Resource Center

Ask the Expert Question-and-Answer Archive

by Ron Joseph

September, 2006

Health and Safety with CARC Paints

Q: I am an occupational health nurse working on an industialized Army Depot.  I am familiar with the problems of CARC fumes and the HDI factor.  However I was wondering if there could be a dermatitis issue with employees touching old CARC painted vehicle parts?  Our employees tear down "Hummers" returned from SWA and make them like brand new and resend them back overseas.  Our folks are noticing a rash developing on their hands and arms.  I was just curious if would/could be related to the CARC paint.

A:  CARC is a polyurethane and comprises two components.  The first is a polyester and the second a polyisocyanate.  Generally, the second is considered to be more of a health problem than the first, however, when the two components are properly mixed, spray applied and allowed to fully cure the general philosophy is that the coating is safe to handle. Other than the polyester and polyisocyanate, the coating contains a range of pigments and might also include siliceous pigments. These together with other ingredients might cause rashes to some of the population.   I am not an industrial hygienist of a toxicologist and health issues are outside my field.  Therefore, I suggest that you contact Sherwin-Williams, Hentzen Coatings and Deft Inc., the three most commonly used vendors for CARC coatings. Also, I suggest that you consult with a toxicologist who is familiar with the ingredients that are used in these coatings.

Best wishes,

Ron Joseph

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