News Release Archive

Adhesives and solvents containing air contaminants can, if
improperly used, cause corrosion and make fuel-fired appliances a
safety hazard, warns the Department of Business and Consumer
Services and the Fire Marshal's Office.

These materials, used widely in home and commercial renovations,
emit vapours which are highly corrosive to propane, oil or
wood-fired appliances, even in extremely low concentrations. The
risk is greatest during the winter heating season when
ventilation is limited. When the contaminants contact open flames
or hot surfaces, harmful gases will cause severe corrosion to
furnaces, heaters, vents, chimneys and other metal surfaces.

"Users should always carefully read and strictly follow
manufacturers instructions and warnings regarding the use of
adhesives and solvents," said Business and Consumer Services
Minister Sandy Jolly. "The vapours are harmful -- especially
around your heating system."

Adhesives and solvents containing chlorinated hydrocarbons are
the worst culprits. Other air contaminants which may contribute
to the corrosion of appliances and vents may be found in aerosol
sprays, paint removers, lubricants, pool chemicals, waxes and
cleaners. Many of these are found in small manufacturing plants,
furniture refinishing shops, hobby shops and other industrial and
commercial operations. Therefore it is necessary, in the initial
design of heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, that
these possible air contaminants be taken into consideration so
fuel fired appliances can be operated safely.

Similar adhesives are available and used in home renovations such
as floor installations and wall finishing. Homeowners should
study the labels and take precautions to ensure adequate
ventilation during the project.

"Not only can these materials shorten the life span of equipment,
they can lead to carbon monoxide problems and become flammable in
high concentrations," said Fire Marshal Bob Cormier. "If people
are working with adhesives or solvents, they should have proper
ventilation, eliminate open flames, and turn off heating

Consumers seeking more information should contact the Fire
Marshal's office at 902-424-5721.


Contact: Louise MacDonald  902-424-0394

         Bob Cormier       902-424-5721

trp                      Oct. 16, 1996 - 11:45 a.m.