Potential Use Of Toxic Substance In Clean Sterile Facilities

Potential Use Of Toxic Substance In Clean Sterile Facilities

Keelagher Okey Klein have recently been contacted by a third party advising us about the potential use of a toxic substance which may be being commonly used  to achieve radiused corners during the installation of sheet vinyl in clean sterile areas such as clean air rooms, aseptic suites, operating theatres, pharmacies etc etc. The detail of the practice is set out below:

The toxic substance commonly used appears to be car body filler (CBF). This substance is highly toxic and has been used frequently by flooring contractors who have been responsible for the installation of sheet vinyl in clean sterile facilities for more than 20 years where a radiused corner is required at the floor to wall and wall to ceiling junctions prior to sheet vinyl being installed on top. CBF is a two part substance, that is as its name suggests, is used in the motor industry, is required to be used in a controlled environment demanding extraction and relevant PPE, ie in the car industry, a spraying booth. The same control measures cannot be replicated and achieved on a building site without jeopardising people’s health and wellbeing. 

Common practice has been for a floorlayer/installer mixing the substance and then applying it to every corner, floor to wall and wall to ceiling and create a radius internal corner. The surface is then sanded down and during this process the floorlayer/installer and others within the vicinity are exposed to toxic contents such as Styrene and Silica. 

 The use of CBF has gone unnoticed by Principal Contractors and Designers as it is a product that has never been specified and therefore is not tracked or monitored during the assessment of the flooring contractors Risk Assessment and Method Statement (RAMS). As well as the construction phase the CBF will equally be as dangerous when the facility may undertake a refurbishment or renewed completely and when disturbed the same effects will be present pretty much like asbestos but will absolutely no knowledge of the substance to the contractor. 

This evidently poses a significant health and safety hazard and it is something that all of our team have now been briefed on in order that they may cascade this information to our Clients and associated Designers and Contractors.

For further information or advice, please contact one of our team on 01925 654158.