iI have developed an itchy rash after sanding my dory on exposed skin areas. I suspect this is due to the fine particles of fiberglass in the air. Any thoughts on preventing this?

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RE: rash

Sand outdoors with a shop vac connected to your sander. Dress so that there's no exposed skin areas. After sanding, dust/vacuum yourself. Take off as much clothing as your situation will allow before leaving the shop. Take a cold shower after a sanding session. Wash your shop clothing in its own dedicated laundry load, several times. Don't worry about soap, you just want to flush the glass particles out of the textile fibers.

And, keep in mind that if it's getting onto your skin, it's also geting onto your eyes, nose, ears, mouth, throat, bronchia and lungs unless you wear a respirator and dust-tight eye protection.

Be safe,




RE: rash

i suspect others will weigh in.   It may be due to an epoxy sensitivity (especially if it was recently cured epoxy) as much as particle of fine glass...cause aside, you need to focus on protecting your skin.   a quick web search on 'epoxy sensititivty' will show a lot of returns.

fwiw, i have built a number of boats and developed an epoxy sensitivy/rash early in my buidling career and it has changed how i have approached things since then which has addressed, to a large extent, the problem.

- sander hooked up to a vacume cleaner to clear the dust to the vacume and keep it out of the shop air and off your skin

- no exposed skin when sanding.  depending on what i was doing and the temperature it was either a cheap tyvec suit or simply an old long-sleeved shirt.  have a hat as well to keep dust off your scalp/out of your hair

- gloves for the hands....have a couple boxes of nitril gloves and just disciplined to use them

- dust mask and eye protection

- vacume the shop after sanding

- avoiding cross contamination - shop clothes that are used when around sanding/epoxy work are washed and kept seperate from other clothes (or tyvec suit just stays in the workspace)

- cool shower and clean up after sanding job

i know this may sound onerous, but it is more about habits.  and again, it is also when performing particular tasks...but especially sanding and handling large quantities of raw epoxy.  

and of course, if the rash gets worse/doesn't go away.....consult your doctor.

RE: rash

Thanks for the suggestions. the Tyvek suit is a good one. I also found magnifying goggles. The showers I already started and definitely help

RE: rash

I've had good luck with barrier cream when working with all sorts of irritating substances.  There's different formulations to protect against water based and oil based irritants (SBS is the brand I've used). Obviously it won't help against fiberglass particles themselves, but it will help protect against epoxy sensitization and it makes it a lot easier to shower off when you're done. Wear long sleeves and slap some of that stuff around your wrists and neck. (don't put it on your hands if you're wearing gloves)

As for the tyvek suit, I would say that's probably unnecessary if you have a vacuum going while you sand.  They definitely work, don't get me wrong, but they can be pretty miserable to work in. If you choose to go that route, I would recommend Kleenguard brand if you can find it. It's a different material, and it breathes a little bit (unlike tyvek). At $15 they cost several times as much as the big-box-store brand, but they hold up a lot better. One suit should last for an entire project if you're careful.

Pick up a silicone half face respirator if you don't already have one and some P-100 cartridges (HEPA filters only, no chemical filter). The combination HEPA/chemical cartridges are a lot heavier, and you don't need them for dust. A respirator offers much better protection than the disposable dust masks and having the exhaust valve on the bottom means they don't fog up your glasses. Plus, you can get chemical cartridges when you start doing the painting and varnishing.

Basically, what hspira said. Cover everything, and shower when you're done. You definitely do not want to get sensitized to epoxy.

RE: rash

I get rashes and puffy eyelids from the epoxy.  I've learned several steps to mitigate it.  I pretty much follow Hspira's methods to the tee.  I recently had a drop of fresh wet epoxy fall onto my wrist, below the nitrile glove.  Within 48 hours I had a rash that lasted a week.

I use a dedicated set of clothes, shoes and hat for the epoxy applying and sanding bits.


One note I can add, wash your hands good whenever you can.  If you are going to the restroom, wash them before you go.  You catch my drift?

RE: rash

That reminds me, never ever attempt to clean epoxy (or any other skin penetrating irritant) with solvents like denatured alcohol, acetone, etc. All that does is speed the absorbtion of the irritant into the skin.

There are a couple of good industrial hand cleaners that contain ground walnut shells--extremely abrasive, non toxic, and great for scrubbing sticky stuff off of skin. Stoko Kresto and Gojo Supro Max are the two that I'm most familiar with, but I'm sure there are others. You might have to special order them, but ask at your local auto parts store.

If you're particularly sensitive to epoxy, another product to try would be Tecnu skin cleanser. It's designed to remove poison oak and poison ivy (I can attest to effectiveness, my yard is full of the stuff and I am horribly allergic), but I would guess that it would be effective against any type of irritating sap/resin.

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