Health Safety in Design and Building


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What is an MSDS ? Material Safety Data Sheet !!!

One of the most important factors we cover as designers and in Building Design is knowing and understanding what Material Safety Data Sheets are.

Here is an example of a MSDS:

The topics covered in an MSDS can include;

  • Identification of the Material & Supplier
  • Hazards Identification
  • Composition/information on ingredients
  • First-Aid Measures
  • Fire-Fighting Measures
  • Accidental Release Measures
  • Handling & Storage
  • Exposure Controls/Personal Protection
  • Physical & Chemical Properties
  • Stability & Reactivity
  • Toxicological Information
  • Ecological Information
  • Disposal Considerations
  • Transport Information
  • Regulatory Information, etc

This is excellent and all companies by law should provide one of these notices, so that we are aware how to handle and work with these products under the manufacturers strict terms and policies.

We should always familiarise ourselves with these information sheets that can hold valuable information on a products ingredients/makeup, selected ESPECIALLY if you are a DIY'ER and renovating your own home.


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Quite often the majority of PAINT products can have toxins ADDED TO them, making the product harmful to ourselves, our family and visitors to the property or office/commercial space.

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Ive also mentioned formaldehyde's before ...  highly toxic, its in the majority of the paint we purchase.  People are of the general understanding that we need to be careful when using paint due the the toxic fumes and make sure the room is ventilated. Most think that when the paint fumes have gone and the paint is dry that it is no longer toxic.

This is NOT the case !!! for the life of the paint due to the Formaldehyde content it will forever give off a toxic gas which we and our families breath in every day, this is the same with poly carpets etc

When you sit behind the wheel of a new car everyone loves that smell, the new car smell !!! actually what you are breathing in are highly toxic gases from the plastics used... NOT GOOD

I think there is now enough awareness and knowledge about chemical exposure and cancers to make people sit up and think what products they are using in their home or work environment and how they can make a cleaner air environment for their families. It is NOT an excessive amount more to pay for NO VOC paints, literally a few dollars a tin, this I believe is worth it for the health of my household, just like farm veggies and organic meats.  Its not about being a tree hugger, but rather being educated on these products and what is healthy and best for the longevity of healthy living. You spend so much time at home, why not make it a NO VOC environment.

Be very very aware of buying products where its indicated they are environmentally friendly... the only way you can tell if they are is by researching and understanding the MSDS. The supplier should be able to provide you with one if you cannot obtain one online. Just because the tin or packaging says one thing you should still check the MSDS. You would be astounded at some of the toxins you are using and what it states on these sheets. 

Most paint/chemical/product/manufacturing companies are being pushed in this GREEN direction anyhow, it is the way of a healthier GREENER future, and people are saying NO to a harsh chemical environment.

Please folks for the sake of the environment and our health look at the products you are buying. 

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Please find a link below or contact me if you would like a list of paint products which can be used in a safe and friendly way. I can provide you with a list of NO VOC products and suppliers not just the two listed above on logos (that goes for primers and undercoats as well).

Please be aware "tints" are usually toxic, as I am aware there are only a handful of companies who make "tints" which are environmentally friendly

I hope this has helped build awareness to firstly, understanding the use of your materials and secondly, understanding Green/er Paint Products .

Thanks for dropping by and I will see you all Monday, have a safe and wonderful weekend. 

Lena x

Lena Gatti
T +61 404 649 773

PO Box 101
Coorparoo Qld 4151

Design Studio located at Manly by appointment only