Background: Waterproofing agents are widely applied to leather and textile garments; they are also used as floor stain protectors by professionals. Acute respiratory injury is described in three cases of young healthy adults following occupational inhalation of a new waterproofing formulation containing an acrylate fluoropolymer. Within 1 or 2 h after exposure they developed a rapidly progressive dyspnoea; two of them had hypoxaemia and flu-like reactions. All patients improved with supportive treatment in a few days. The mechanism of toxicity is still under investigation, but experimental data suggest the role of this new acrylate fluoropolymer.
Conclusion: Tilers should be warned against spraying floor stain repellents; there is also a need to make consumers aware that the spraying of waterproofing agents in a closed environment and concomitant smoking should be avoided.