Under normal conditions of utilisation, lubricants do not present any particular risks. However, in the case of an improper handling or accidents, hazards for the health may occur.
Most lubricants have a low toxicity level, but the exposures to which users can be submitted are multiple. The main contact zones with the oils and greases are the eyes and the hands. A few processes may also generate oil mists whose fineness allows them to penetrate the respiratory tracts
Precautions for use
In order to reduce and to prevent accidents, the following precautions should be taken:
► Contact with the skin
This is as per strict personal and industrial hygiene rules. To avoid contact with the body:
Ø Use oil proof gloves,
Ø Wear clothes with an efficient protection,
Ø Do not wear oil contaminated clothes,
Ø Solvents, such as petroleum, petrol must not be used to remove oil from the skin,
Ø Use a protecting cream.
Avoid inhaling oil mists and fumes. An efficient ventilation of premises must be installed. The acceptable limit for an oil mist is 5 mg/cm3, or even 1 mg/cm3 as it is recommended by the I.N.R.S. (Institut National de Recherche pour la Sécurité, National Safety Research Institute).
► Contact with the eyes
Wearing goggles is recommended when oil spattering in the eyes is likely to occur. In case of accidental contact, flush eyes with water for at least 15 minutes and contact physician if irritation persists.
Lubricants have a low oral toxicity level. In case of ingestion, do not cause vomiting but see a physician immediately.
Are used oils hazardous for the environment?
Used oils are hardly biodegradable; their disposal in the environment is therefore hazardous for natural systems; i.e
1L of oil pollutes 1 million litres of water