What Is Turpentine Used For? - Health Article

What Is Turpentine Used For?

What is turpentine?


Turpentine is a colorless, clear and non-viscous liquid with a typical strong kerosene-like odor. Turpentine is a petroleum distillate. White spirit is used as a diluent or solvent of paint (including for dilution of industrial paint, the removal of paint residue, and the cleaning brushes), varnish, lacquer and asphalt products; as a degreaser and as a solvent in extraction processes.

Brand names include Varsol, Exxsol, hydrosol, Shellsol, Solvesso and White Spirit. After use in households it serves as hazardous waste to be processed.

In Dutch turpentine often called peut popularly. The name turpentine is also used. The English called turpentine white spirit. This name is also commonly used in Belgium and France. Turpentine is often confused with turpentine, but that is a mixture of terpenes extracted from pine trees, usually by distillation of the resin.

An analogous product is Stoddard solvent, that is described as a colorless, refined petroleum distillate that has no rancid or unpleasant odor and which boils in the range between about 150 to 200 ° C (about 300 ° F and 400 ° F).

viscous liquid with a typical strong kerosene What Is Turpentine Used For?


Composition

White spirit is a mixture of saturated aliphatic (chain-like), and alicyclic (ring-shaped) hydrocarbons having from 7 to 12 carbon atoms, and with a maximum content of 25% of alkyl-aromatic hydrocarbons, (C7-C12), such as xylene and toluene. The average molecular mass is approximately 150. It is a petroleum distillate having a boiling point between about 140 and 200 ° C, wherein the distillation fraction of crude oil optionally undergoes a post-processing (for example, belerang removal). This fraction is referred to as solvent-naphtha.

Turpentine is composed primarily of naphthalene with the addition of the following substances:

  • 1,2,4-trimethylbenzene (about 4%)
  • xylene (about 1%)
  • benzene (less than 0.1%)


Properties

Hazardous properties
Turpentine is flammable.


It is slightly irritating to the lungs, skin, eyes, and ingestion. Exposure to high concentrations can cause unconsciousness. Prolonged exposure can lead to organic mental syndrome. Inhalation can cause chemical pneumonitis (= pulmonary infiltrates: an acute, benign inflammation of part of a lung lobe), which arises however sometimes after hours or days. Inhalation of turpentine fumes is harmful as it often happens (for example, if someone is working with it for years).

Turpentine is pH neutral and is not acidic, but affected as a fat solvent or to the fat layer on the skin. People with atopic eczema are there extra sensitive. A cloth with (few) remains of turpentine in the pocket causes than half an hour a large red strong stinging spot on the leg. Prolonged rinse with (lukewarm) water and rub with a cream or ointment will reduce the reaction.

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