Newly resurfaced bathtub: dangerous?
July 23, 2013 5:50 PM   Subscribe

I'm moving into a new apartment and am concerned about possible toxic chemicals used to resurface the bathtub. Can you help?

I stopped by the new apartment today to take another peek at how it's coming along (painting, cleaning, and bathtub resurfacing are happening). The bathtub seemed to have been resurfaced today, and the bathroom was closed up with brown paper covering all other surfaces.

I just did a little reading about how bathtubs are resurfaced; the chemical smell was overpowering and I was curious about which products/techniques are used. Next time I see the maintenance guy, I'll ask what he used, but let's say he used Dichloromethane / methylene chloride (which seems quite dangerous, from what I've read). If I move in next week, are there precautions I should take? I am sensitive to the smell of chemicals but am also freaked out about the side effects of breathing this stuff.

(Could it be likely that another, less toxic product was used? The tub looked bright white and shiny when I took a peek.)

Thanks for any reassurance or info you can offer.
posted by sucre to Home & Garden (5 answers total)
We had a tub resurfaced a few months ago. It's an epoxy product so once it has cured and the space has been aired out I don't think there's any reason to be concerned. Ours was stinky for a very few hours and an open window with a fan running was sufficient to disperse the smell.
posted by leslies at 6:10 PM on July 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

We did ours in our old house. As leslies writes, it's smell free within a few hours. We had no qualms bathing our infant in the tub.

Side note: you shouldn't scrub it hard, use abrasive cleaners or leave things on the surface that can stick. (We never did -- they're the instructions we were given.)
posted by NailsTheCat at 7:31 PM on July 23, 2013

Methylene chloride is very volatile, that's why it smells a lot now. By the time you move in there won't be anything at all left of it.
posted by springload at 7:32 PM on July 23, 2013

What you don't want to do is take up bathtub resurfacing as a career, or if you do it even DIY, be sure to wear protection. But it's a VOC, and as with paint, carpet, "new car smell" and other features of modern life, it dissipates pretty quickly. Air out your apartment thoroughly and you'll be fine.
posted by dhartung at 1:00 AM on July 24, 2013

The apartment I moved into several years ago had this done. The fumes were unbelievable and impossible to stay in the apartment. I ran in, held my breath and opened all doors and windows. After sitting on the stairs outside for several hours, the smell was gone and never had any issues with it. As long as the smell is gone then you should be fine.
posted by GlowWyrm at 10:59 AM on August 4, 2013

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