CONTENTS: Milky liquid with an ether-like odor. Extremely flammable liquid and vapor. Vapors may cause flash fire. May cause eye and skin irritation. Inhalation of vapors or mist may cause respiratory irritation and central nervous system effects. Swallowing may cause irritation, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and kidney or liver disorders. Aspiration hazard. May be fatal if swallowed. Symptoms may be delayed.
That’s the “Emergency Review” of ABS pipe cement from the manufacturers material safety data sheet (MSDS). Doesn’t sound too appetizing, does it? Unfortunately that and some of the other products plumbers have to use in your home currently don’t have non-toxic substitutes. Sometimes these products are the only ones out there that will glue or solder pipes together.
Despite the toxins, bacteria, odor and general . . . grossness . . . we believe there’s much plumbers can do to keep our customers homes odor-free, toxin-free and clean. Just recently we had a customer with serious allergies request we clear a kitchen sink clog and replace some drain piping. We love a good challenge so we got a little creative:
The work was all under the kitchen sink so we built a temporary “bubble” around our work area with plastic sheeting from the ceiling to the floor, covering everything, all the way to the wall behind the sink. Then, we put a fan in the window above the sink. Viola! With the work area sealed off and the fan sucking the air out the window we sealed off our work and completed the job. The best part? The homeowner didn’t smell a thing! In fact, he shared his experience on Angie’s List: “Due to the smell and allergy issues Ron provided a temporary tent that contained all odors until the job was complete. My custom kitchen floor tiles were completely covered and protected. Upon completion of the job my kitchen and basement area were in immaculate condition and odor free.”
As a site note, our plumber thought it was pretty cool to work in a (space?) bubble! [Editor: Get that man an application for NASA.]