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Floor Finishing

House fires in 2004 and 2005 left three Vietnamese floor finishers dead and others badly burned in Somerville and Hull, Massachusetts. Research found that the use of highly flammable products in hardwood floor finishing frequently result in fires.

Floor finisher
Ken Nguyen demonstrates how to finish floors using non-flammable and less toxic materials during one of the Viet-AID trainings.

To protect workers in the Boston area, many of whom are Vietnamese, the Viet-AID Healthy Floor Finishing Project, with the help of a TURI grant, developed and distributed materials in Vietnamese that included recommended product substitutions as well as fire prevention and basic health and safety information. In addition to reducing fire hazards, adopting safer alternatives can help reduce exposure to toxic chemicals.

The project also developed and distributed an educational program in Vietnamese for cable television, and conducted several hands-on training sessions on how to use safer alternatives.