Results 1 to 10 of 37

Thread: hazards of using epoxy

Hybrid View

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Chilliwack, B.C.
    Posts
    11,574

    Default hazards of using epoxy

    Got out of bed this AM and went into the bathroom. While I'm in there I smell something like cat spray. It's pretty strong by the window, and I can smell it elsewhere in the house but not as strongly. Funny thing is I had a dream last night about having a cat spray on my outside door to mark territory. I check, and there's no evidence of that, and no smell around the doors- or on my shoes or pantlegs, etc. Anyway, since I can't find it I just carry on- got some breaky and coffee in me and then continue on a project that has me using JB Weld to assemble it. As I'm squeezing out the equal portions I get a whiff of the components- bingo! In particular the white component smells like cat spray. Before bed last night I laid up some of the parts and disposed of the mixing pallet in the garbage can in the bathroom. That's where the smell was strongest this morning, near the garbage can. I didn't stick my face right in there because- well who would actually choose to sniff around that kind of thing? Nobody I know, myself included.

    So it's almost certain that the smell was coming from the epoxy. That has to mean that it's outputting some aromatic particles or gasses, even when fully mixed, or perhaps especially after having been mixed. I know some people who would be going straight to the hospital after one whiff of anything like this. It doesn't bother me at all (that I know of) but it can't be good for a person. How dangerous can this be- or is it dangerous at all? How do the various 'open' glues, epoxies, paints, solvents etc compare as far as 'toxicity'?
    I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

  2. #2

    Default

    I'm sure that stuff off gasses long after it is mixed. I made a full on ghetto fume hood in my garage out of foam sheet and cardboard I do all my gluing, painting, and cleaning in. I've been exposed to all kinds of crap working as a mechanic. Asbestos, solvents, new car smell, etc. I always wore a respirator when called for, I think I was the only guy in the shop who did, but you can't block out everything. I'm not going to poke the bull though. I highly doubt there is much danger in occasional use, but my opinion is far from qualified on the subject.


    Health hazards of epoxy
    Practically all major ingredients of epoxy products are moderate to strong irritants as well as moderate to strong occupational allergens. This holds true for the epoxy resin itself as well as the polyamine or anhydride hardeners and the reactive diluents [3] [6].
    Epoxy products are potent skin sensitizers (allergens). Frequently, skin contact with the individual components or the ready-for-use mixed product gives rise to allergic contact dermatitis (eczema). The contact dermatitis generally expresses at the hands or fore-arms, and sometimes in the face. Workers that have acquired an epoxy-allergy will be faced with an ever stronger skin reaction after each contact with the products. Avoiding every contact is the only option left in that case.
    If relatively volatile polyamine hardeners are still used (e.g. ethylenediamine), or if the product is applied by spraying, the airways may be affected as well. Workers may be at risk of strong airway irritation as well as (allergic) occupational asthma.
    Epichlorohydrin, one of the constituents of the epoxy resin monomer (figure 2) is a skin sensitizer. In addition, epichlorohydrin is classified as carcinogenic in the category 1B, ‘presumed human carcinogen’, according to the EU classification [7] . In the epoxy resin, prior to curing generally only a very low amount of residual epichlorohydrin is present. Manufacturers that are member of the European association Plastics Europe have voluntary committed to a limit concentration of 0.001% of epichlorohydrin in the resins [8]. However, low-quality resins from outside the European Union might contain significantly higher levels.
    The other constituent of the epoxy resin monomer, bisphenol-A (figure 2), is a skin sensitizer too, as well as reproduction toxic class 2, and weakly estrogenic, i.e., showing effects mimicking those of the female oestrogen hormones [7] . No information is known on the presence of bisphenol-A in final epoxy products. However, in the manufacture of epoxy resin monomers, bisphenol-A is one of the reactants used, and exposure should be prevented by means of proper maintenance of the closed production equipment that is generally used.
    Last edited by junkaddict; 03-13-2019 at 06:47 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Posts
    151

    Default

    yes, there is some dangers with epoxy. Some people are more sensitive to its effects than others.
    you can build up a sensitivety to it after using it for some time.
    Myself and others have built our own wood boats with wood and epoxy, great stuff.
    But, some others have had their whole face swollen up in redness, and looked like they were in a wreck.
    I would advise rubber gloves and eye protection at minimum when using liquid resin especially.
    I know one guy that built his epoxy boat, got sensitized to epoxy, and then a year later his boat was still outgassing, and he could not stay inside the boat overnite else breaking out in hives.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Chilliwack, BC, Canada
    Posts
    5,062

    Default

    A fellow at work didn't know he was allergic to epoxy. He got a serious eczema like reaction from mixing up epoxy putty in his hands. So bad he could barely pick things up without the cracked skin breaking apart and bleeding. Took most of a week off due to how bad it was.

    He came back and kept using the stuff but now with latex or PVC gloves. But that was only the beginning. Epoxy does have a smell to it. And it also makes fumes. Within a year if he got a whiff of the smell and other fumes he would feel like he had something in his throat and a few hours later his eyes were pretty puffy and there was red rash like blotches on his face and hands... and apparently the rest of him he told us.

    I never had anything like that myself. But I know I've always tried to limit my exposure to the glue on my skin as much as possible and I would not mix more than small amounts inside a living area. The guy with the allergies reported that the Doc knew about epoxy allergy from having dealt with a lot of folks with the same thing. And it turns out it's one of those life time accumulative things. But we each have a different tolerance level. I want to be able to keep using it so I try to make sure I accumulate it slow enough that I don't find my own trigger point.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Chilliwack, B.C.
    Posts
    11,574

    Default

    I've had a cold lately, and various things are smelling funny to me. Not bad, just not normal. This is fairly common I think- it's happened to me many times before when I'm either sick or just recovering from something. Not related to my own activities as it doesn't seem to matter where I am. A few days ago I was at a local pub and my beer didn't smell right, though it tasted fine.

    I wonder if sometimes the smell of something is enhanced by the smell of something else. MDF sometimes has a strong smell to me, other times not so much- could be just in it's freshness I suppose, but many times a scrap in my shop seems particularly offensive. Other times not so much.

    I've just been out for a couple hours and upon returning home the smell was very noticeable. It doesn't choke me up or make my eyes water- nothing like that. Could be that as I'm getting over this cold, I'm more aware of smells.

    As my basement shop gets a little warmer, I'll be doing more of these epoxy jobs down there, in the paint booth.
    I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    14,534

    Default

    Iv never really put those two smells together - but have a "smell memory" of them both and would have to agree they do smell very similar...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Sunny So Cal
    Posts
    4,685

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by darryl View Post
    How do the various 'open' glues, epoxies, paints, solvents etc compare as far as 'toxicity'?
    Great post. I think all chemicals are bad for you at certain levels and improper handling.

    Here is my example I was filling a very small hole with epoxy out of a blunt syringe. It was too thick at room temp (78f)so I warmed it in the microwave. Yup, then for some reason took a whiff of the cup I had it in. Big mistake. Burned my nostrils worse than any other chemicals I have "smelled". Dont do it.

    Nuther bad chemical is two part auto epoxy primer and paint that has isocyanate (ISO). Some folks are very sensitive to it and will send them to the hospital. Some folks dont have any effect. I always take full precautions when messing with that stuff. JR
    My old yahoo group. Bridgeport Mill Group

    https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...port_mill/info

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •