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Varnishes are special liquids for coating wooden and metal surfaces in order to protect against corrosion, the effects of temperature and moisture, as well as for aesthetic and hygienic purposes. They are also used to cover leather goods. The composition and use of varnishes are divided into: 1) alcohol and polish (resin solutions in natural and synthetic alcohols, including higher ones); 2) oil varnishes (on artificial substitutes for drying oils with solvents); 3) glyphthalic and pentaphthalic varnishes (on phthalic anhydride with glycerin and pentaerythritol); 4) bituminous and asphalt (solutions of phenolic-formaldehyde resins in solvents); 5) bakelite; 6) perchlorovinyl; 7) polyester; 8) polyurethane (polyisocyanates); 9) silicone; 10) nitrolak and nitro enamel; 11) epoxy based varnishes.

Almost all studied varnishes have a skin resorptive effect; when ingested, lacquers have an effect similar to dyes (see) and solvents (see).

Alcohol varnishes and polish have a narcotic effect and cause dermatosis . Solvents oil varnishes are generally toxic, affect the skin. Metals included in lacquers ( lead , chromium , cobalt, mercury , etc.) can manifest their toxic effect just as in their pure form. Varnish fumes are significant, exceeding the maximum permissible concentration in the air of the working area or residential premises. Prevention of lacquer poisoning: all work in protective clothing (see) using a respirator (see); sealing of production equipment depending on the specifics of working conditions with varnishes. First aid for poisoning - see Anilin.