Especially someone wanting to build
but with no or limited experience with these resins.... reaction to toxic epoxy should be considered right
away. Don't wait till you are ailing because it appears to be
cumulative in toxicity. I have seen huge ulcers in the skin of
builders long after the project had been completed. They didn't
have any trouble at the beginning so thought they were immune.
And I have talked to people that claim they are immune. They
tell of having the stuff covering them... but one guy in particular
that tells me that is now suffering a variety of ailments that
the doctors aren't sure what to do with. I consider myself one
of the lucky ones because it affected me right away!
Your skin is not armour! It is a semi
permeable membrane that epoxy resin can damage and penetrate!
Never forget that. And if you want
to expedite the process, use acetone to clean it off you! That
stuff will make the solution soak through your skin even faster.
Never use acetone to clean epoxy off your body!! Use common
vinegar. If you think you may
have gotten the stuff on you, give it a rinse with the vinegar.
I keep a bottle everywhere in the shed and in my shower.
Dust from epoxy can be just as toxic!
We all like to sand back bogg as
soon as possible because it works so much easier but it may take
several days for epoxy to cure fully. It depends on the hardener
and the temperature. Once epoxy is cured it is safe to handle
(but never to breath) but until then.... it is not. In my opinion
there are only two kinds of respirators, 3M and the other shit.
Get one and use it. Fumes from epoxy are dangerous depending
on your reaction and the type of hardener and breathing in uncured
dust is crazy!! Even breathing dust from cured epoxy is dangerous.
Barrier cream that you can get at the local chemists/ pharmacy
is helpful to prevent the itchies and some reaction but if I've
been grinding a lot I douse myself with vinegar in the shower
that evening. And remember that your eyes are an entry path for
the toxic gases too.
Are all epoxies that bad?? No... if you think you may be susceptible, consider using
"Bote-Cote" epoxy from Boat
Craft Pacific. It is more expensive but it uses a non-toxic
hardener. I still use every measure to keep it off my skin but
the fumes don't bother me. It's a very good product for every
use though it is a little cranky for bogging as it can sag. It
is also safe enough to ship through the post. Other hardeners
must be shipped as "dangerous goods" which makes it
difficult, slow and expensive.
The best thing to do is to keep the
shit off you from the beginning!. With
the demands of pace required to work it before it goes off, it
is hard to not get it on you without realising it. And since
you are wearing rubber gloves.. YOU ARE AREN'T YOU!!!! .. you
can have traces on you that you may not be aware of. I had blisters
on the back of my neck that were caused by me taking off my mask
to get a drink of water... took me a couple of days to work out
how that happened. And the easiest place to get it on yourself
is your wrists... see below...