In the 1920's and 30's of the United States, "Lacquer" was introduced to the market as a lumber sealer, and although not many people had a deck to seal in those days (most front porches were painted white to match the house), "lacquer" was now another way to seal lumber.
...and then came "varnish"
...and then came "polyurethanes".
...and people started sealing their front porches instead of painting them.
...and then "petroleum distillates" entered the scene.
...and decks were being built as a "standard" on most homes.
...and everyone was using "polyurethanes", "varnishes", and "petroleum distillates" to seal their decks.
...and everyone cleaned their brushes using "paint thinnner", gasoline or "lacquer thinner".
...and these toxic chemicals ended up in the streams, rivers, the ocean...and our drinking water.
...and then the EPA stepped in and made new rules.
...and now we have the deck sealers of today; environmentally friendly and safer.
Today's oil deck sealers are made almost like they were long ago.
There are still "solvents", "binders", and "pigments".
The "solvents" of today are made of natural and synthetic oils found in rosewood, paraffin, linseed, tung, and teak.
In Virginia, oil sealers today are as good as technology and the EPA will allow - but they are nothing like the sealers of yester-year.