Health and Family Services Cabinet
DPH Urges Public to Be Careful With Waterproofing Products
Cold weather can cause typical outdoor activities to be moved indoors. Kids pass new basketballs around the living room and fishermen sharpen hooks, lubricate reels and maybe even try a few casts in the hallway. But some outdoor activities should never be brought inside, such as spraying waterproofing products.
Poison control centers in Kentucky and at least four other states have received 149 reports of people who became ill after using spray-on waterproofing products.
Symptoms included coughs, shortness of breath and chest pains. Some of these consumers were hospitalized for treatment.
“It’s important to use precaution when using these spray-on products,” said William D. Hacker, M.D., commissioner of the Department for Public Health. “When used improperly, certain products pose a serious health threat. We strongly advise consumers to only use waterproofing spray outdoors and to follow all safety guidelines recommended for the product.”
Complaints were mostly associated with products sold under the “Bootmate” brand and distributed by the Manakey Group LLC, according to the Louisville Poison Control Center. Although most of the exposures occurred when the products were used indoors, in some cases, consumers developed symptoms when the product was used outdoors and transported indoors on boots, shoes or clothing.
The Kentucky Department for Public Health and the Kentucky Regional Poison Control Center recommend people read labels on containers and always follow instructions carefully. Spray-on waterproofing should only be applied outdoors, and treated products should be left outside until all fumes have dissipated. This could take up to 24 hours.
The Kentucky Regional Poison Control Center Hotline is staffed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. To contact the hotline, call (502) 589-8222 in Metro Louisville, or (800) 222-1222 from outside the Louisville area. The Department for Public Health’s consumer product safety staff can be reached at (502) 564-4856.