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Author Topic: How hazardous are fumes from plastic that has dissolved in alcohol?  (Read 568 times)

Offline peachy123

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I have an old bottle of perfume, unfortunately the contents spilled and appear to have melted the coating of the gold elasticated thread (nylon coated I think?) that was around the neck of the bottle. The elastic inside is intact, just the gold coating seems to have melted off.

Although I am not sure if it is indeed nylon, I have looked up the nylon compatibility chart and it says one of the perfume's ingredients (benzyl alcohol) is highly incompatible with nylon and certain other polymers. Is this stuff hazardous? Someone suggested dissolved plastic molecules are too long to become airborne, is this true? Admittedly I am not a chemistry buff.

Here are the rest of the ingredients, in case any of them else are the culprits: Alcohol Dennat (SD Alcohol 39C), Limonene, Coumarin, Linalool, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, BHT, Ethylhexyl Salicylate, Benzyl Alcohol, Benzyl Benzoate, Citral, Geraniol, Citronellol.

The contents of the perfume were also discolored and filled with sediment. I'm worried that the melted plastic dissolved in the alcohol could be toxic to inhale or ingest, even in small amounts, or have in the home. It leaked everywhere. I was planning on keeping the glass bottle but now I'm unsure if the contents are safe. I mean it was a small thin piece of coated elastic but still, I don't want to harm anyone or damage the environment if this stuff is hazardous to inhale or ingest...
« Last Edit: 13/06/2016 01:09:00 by peachy123 »


 

Offline chiralSPO

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If the ingredient list is in order of amount, I would guess that limonene might be the culprit. It is closely related to turpentine, which is an excellent paint stripper. I think it is more likely that the perfume dissolved the paint than dissolved or decomposed the nylon. The sediment/coloration in the perfume is probably the remains of the metallic paint...

I wouldn't worry about inhalation toxicity (the whole point of perfume is to inhale some--though I wouldn't recommend huffing it!), however, I don't think you would want to wear perfume that has been contaminated with paint: best case scenario, you stain your clothes...

I would dispose of it however you would normally dispose of perfume. I don't know how large of a bottle it is--there might be a safety risk associated with the flammability of the contents, especially if it is a large bottle. None of the ingredients is particularly toxic, and all should burn cleanly, so it might be best to pour the contents into a metal dish and burn it outside somewhere where there is no risk of catching anything else on fire (or you could use it to start your barbecue...), then recycle the bottle.
 
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Offline peachy123

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Thanks so much, I think you might be right. Limonene is the 3rd or 4th ingredient so there must be quite a lot of it in there. It looks like the coloring/paint may have leached out of the coating itself rather than the plastic coating actually melting. I think I'm going to throw away the contents in a sealed tub, I wouldn't want to use it as it looks like there may be some mould growing inside from the air exposure. It's giving off a really strong odor.

I was just a little worried because I don't really know how plastics break down. I know polymers are too large to become airborne but I was wondering if they can turn into monomers or release bisphenols just by being mixed with a solvent such as alcohol. If heat was added could it release such substances? Someone said it would be like dissolving polystyrene in acetone.

It's weird. But yeah hopefully it's just the acrylic paint leaching out rather than the nylon dissolving.
« Last Edit: 14/06/2016 02:15:57 by peachy123 »
 

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