Re: From a One Time Build

Posted by Terry Mcadams on Sep 3, 2004

Gee, I'm out of the office for a day and I miss this fascinating thread, a thread which has resurfaced on this forum many times over the years.

On Mac's problem with removing gloves, I wear an old long sleeve shirt and make sure the gloved cuff goes over the shirt cuff. This not only makes you look much cooler in that you'll look a bit more like an O.R. surgeon, but makes the glove cuffs easy to grab.

On the use of respirators, a point was raissed some years ago (by LeeG, if my few remaining neurons still file memories accurately) about the eyes as a potential exposure pathway for airborne dust and vapors. This, I believe, is an overlooked area in personal protection for amatuer builders (and many professionals, also). So how can one reduce or eliminate this exposure pathway? Well, the usual safety glasses and even the vented goggles will guard against splashing or absent-mindedly scraching your eyebrow with gooped hands, but they won't do diddly for airborne stuff. One has to go to the full-face respirators to get that level of protection.

Now, I wear full-face respirators on occassion in my line of work (environmental science at contaminated Superfund and other sites) and they are not the most pleasant things to wear. They can be hot, heavy, require anti-foging measures (like my brain), reauire eyeglass modifications and need to be professionaly fitted. They also cost 2 - 5 times more than a half-face unit.

Should we wear them for amatuer boatbuilding? Who really knows? Epidemiology data from NIOSH and other sources are usally based on industrial exposures and, as the many postings on this forum confirm, symptoms vary among individuals. Personal protection in the home is optional, based on caution rather than hard data: there are no OSHA inspectors to ride herd on your managers.

So what do I use? I use a well-fitted full-face respirator with organic vapor cartridges and dust filters for all large sanding and epoxying jobs. For small jobs with only momentary exposure, I use a half-face with safety glasses. If I were allergic, a teen or younger, very old, or a woman of child-bearing age, I would problably us a full-face unit for any potential exposure. But I want to underscore that this is just my personal inclination and preference. I have no professional opinion on home eposures because I have found very little data on which to base it.

Anyhow, be careful with the epoxy, dust and vapors, though I suspect a far greater risk from home kayak building is drowning.

terry

In Response to: From a One Time Builder by Mac on Sep 3, 2004

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