Re: Epoxy safety

Posted by LeeG on Jan 21, 2008

the greatest danger is skin contact.

That being said an enclosed space like a basement or two car garage will concentrate vapors more than a commercial shop space with 15' ceilings. Most of my constructions have been in two car garage spaces using a respirator.

By the time I got to the eighth kayak construction I would develop flu like reactions working in a closed and heated garage space. Increasing ventilation to a 38 degree outside temp increased the kilowatts needed to warm the space so there ends up being a competition between warming the space to a workable temp then getting the job done as quickly as possible with the garage door open one inch.

I wouldn't work with epoxy below 55degrees as it's too thick.

Basically the issue is how sensitive you are to epoxy, which you won't know until you start using it. It's not like aromatic paints or fiberglass resins where you're killing braincells if you don't have a respirator. If you aren't sensitive to epoxy and you are VIGILANT with barrier protections you could probably go without a respirator. But if you ARE sensitive then you've opened up a whole other avenue for contact. For me it's enough to have my face/eyes near epoxy in a closed garage using a respirator for a couple hours to get the flu symptoms. I don't get open oozing sores from skin contact but the skin will get red with a warm feeling extending over the area of contact.

I'd suggest double gloving as a regular practice with vinegar nearby to remove any epoxy that can get on your skin.

In Response to: Epoxy safety by laurie on Jan 20, 2008