Skydrol fluids are phosphate ester-based fluids blended with performance additives. Phosphate esters are good solvents, and as such, will dissolve away some of the fatty materials of the skin.
Repeated or prolonged exposure may cause drying of the skin, which if unattended, could result in complications such as dermatitis or even secondary infection from bacteria.
Skydrol fluids have not been known to cause allergic-type skin rashes.
Animal studies have shown that repeated exposure to tributylphosphate, one of the phosphate esters used in Skydrol fluids, may cause urinary bladder damage. The relationship of these results to human health is not clear. Thus recommended personal protection measures should always be followed to minimize potential exposure.
To avoid skin exposure, a worker should wear gloves that are impervious to Skydrol hydraulic fluids.
Some manufacturers claim "Nitrile" gloves are suitable for this purpose. Nylon latex and polyethylene "throw-aways" are also acceptable. Consult Solutia's "Glove Facts" publication for more details.
Solutia does not generally recommend the use of protective barrier creams as they do not provide complete protection.
Solutia is not aware of any case of eye damage from exposure to Skydrol fluid. When the fluid gets into the eyes, it can cause severe pain, but the pain will subside as soon as the fluid is removed. First aid is washing with tap water, or a standard eye irrigation solution. 15 minutes of washing with water will usually be enough to remove the Skydrol and cause the pain to cease. Secondary treatment, such as with sterile mineral oil, should only be given under the care of a medical professional, as it goes beyond recommended first aid. Milk is not recommended as an eye wash, because it is not sterile and can cause infections in the eye. Always remember to wear safety glasses or chemical goggles to prevent eye exposure when working around Skydrol.
Upper respiratory tract irritation, including nose and throat irritation and tracheitis and/or bronchitis, can occur from inhalation of Skydrol fluid mist. People with asthma may demonstrate a more marked reaction.
When mist or vapor is possible because of high pressure leaks, or any leak hitting a hot surface, a respirator capable of removing organic vapors and mists should be worn.