Re: epoxy vapour toxic?

Posted by Laszlo on Oct 7, 2004

Personally, I would not do that. Normally I wear a respirator, but the one time I diddn't, a couple of hour's exposure to epoxy fumes gave me a terrible headache that lasted the rest of the day.

My thought is that since:

1. In the USA epoxy components are classified as materials too hazardous to ship by air;

2. The EPA very rarely increases the safe exposure limit to any petrochemical products; and

3. Vapor exposure increases the likelihood of allergies if you have a sensitivity

I would never build indoors in an enclosed area. While a respirator could eliminate the direct exposure problems, the fumes would keep leaking up through the floorboards into the house for a long time to come.

As far as the foul odor, it's definitely very much less than polyester resins (which give off styrene as they cure), but it's still there. In fact, I can easily tell the difference between System 3 and a competitor's house brand just by the odor (and both are objectionable to me).

The vacuum attachment on the sander will help a lot. If it's a good enough system, it'll handle the sawdust problem completely.

Finally, precautions that I'd always take are:

a. Respirator when using chemicals, hazardous dust mask when sanding.

b. Eye protection always (chemicals spill and bubble, splinters fly).

c. Ear protection when using power tools or loud hand tools like a hammer.

d. Latex or nitrile gloves for chemicals.

e. Leather gloves for splinters and metal work.

Work safely and have fun,

Laszlo

In Response to: epoxy vapour toxic? by rk on Oct 7, 2004

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