Builders' Forum Archives
Re: epoxy fumes
Posted by Mark Camp on Dec 20, 2004
The Gougeon Bros. site is an excellent start for what you are asking for. There's also good info on the web, although it's mixed in with a lot of the neurotic counter-culture silliness that you would expect.
The good news is that, epoxy risks are extremely well understood by the experts, since there have been thousands and thousands of industrial and boat-building/other professional guinea pigs who have had way WAY more exposure than any of us ever will, and nothing overly scary has come out. If the stuff were "highly toxic" or a "potent carcinogen" or any of the other stuff you will no doubt see from the wackies, it is a scientific certainty it would have shown up by now.
Basically, if you fall into a vessel of of resin or hardener and the lid falls shut, you will get really sick, and if they don't find you soon enough, you will die.
The other bad news is that a certain small percentage of the population will become hyper-sensitive to either (it seems that the hardener is the greater risk, but I've seen references to both) if they are exposed often enough. "Often enough" can be as few times as "once". And once you DO become hyper-sensitive, you can just about kiss your epoxying career goodbye--folks have tried double-gloving, full-face respirators, the whole nine yards. And without much luck, in really bad cases. Some folks seem to have a selective sensitivity, ie, brand A but not brand B. If you read a lot of MSDS's and web stuff about the chemistry of epoxy, you will realize that there are a LOT of variations in formulation of resin and especially of hardener. Basically, ANY chemical with two or more amine sites or amide sites be used as a "hardener".
In Response to: Re: epoxy fumes by Bill Davis on Dec 20, 2004