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Bathtub refinishing also known as bathtub resurfacing, bathtub reglazing or bathtub re-enameling is the process of refreshing the surface of a worn, damaged bathtub to a like-new condition. This process typically involves repairing any damaged areas. Chips or cracks are repaired using Bondo or another type of polyester putty. After repairs are made the surface is prepped with an acid etching, some new refinishing processes do not require the use of etching. After preparing the surface primer is applied, followed by a top coat. Generally, a synthetic white coating is applied, but the coating does not have the durability or abrasive tolerance of the original glass-enamel coating of a factory-new bathtub.
Bathtub refinishing is possible using DIY kits from hardware stores, but some may choose a professional service company offering refinishing services.
Findings from the Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) program have identified at least 14 worker deaths since 2000 related to the usage of methylene chloride for bathtub refinishing. Products containing high percentages of methylene chloride are used as stripping agents in the process, to remove the old coating on the bathtubs. In an unventilated setting, overexposure to methylene chloride vapors can affect brain function and result in death in the short term, with possible carcinogenic effects in the long term.
Measures to prevent overexposure to methylene chloride include the usage of stripping agents that do not contain methylene chloride, the implementation of adequate local exhaust ventilation, and the provision of appropriate personal protective equipment (i.e. respirators). Using long-handled tools can also prevent workers from leaning in too close to the bathtub during the stripping process.
- "CDC - NIOSH Science Blog - Dangers of Bathtub Refinishing". NIOSH. Retrieved 5 February 2013.