Epoxy resin has become a highly popular material for making different applications, including construction, woodworking, and art & crafts. It is a popular choice due to its strength, durability, and ability to bond a variety of materials, including, wood, metal, glass, and ceramics. However, epoxy resin can also be hazardous if not handled properly.
Here we are going to discuss the safety precautions that should be taken when working with epoxy resin.
There are so many resin artists who experience what they think is a sensitive reaction to resin. They are experiencing resin sensitization from resin subjection without any proper resin safety gear on.
We are going to share all of the safety options you can use when working with resin, but first, it is necessary to mention why it is necessary and what type of safety precautions you need to take.
Why Epoxy Resin may be hazardous?
Epoxy resin can be hazardous if inhaled, ingested, or comes into contact with the skin. The fumes produced by epoxy resin can irritate the eyes, nose, and throat. Prolonged exposure to these fumes can cause respiratory problems and headaches.
Additionally, epoxy resin can cause skin irritation and allergic reactions. It is essential to take the necessary precautions to avoid these potential hazards.
Use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
When working with epoxy resin, it is important to wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE). This includes gloves, a respirator, and protective clothing.
Gloves should be made of a material that is resistant to epoxy resin, such as nitrile. A respirator with a proper filter should be worn to avoid inhaling the fumes produced by the resin. Protective clothing should be made of a material that is not easily penetrated by epoxy resin, such as a cotton/poly blend.
Work in a well-ventilated area
Proper ventilation is crucial when working with epoxy resin. The fumes produced by the resin can be harmful if inhaled, so it is important to work in a well-ventilated area.
If you are working indoors, a ventilation system should be used to ensure that the fumes are exhausted outside. If working outdoors, make sure to work in wind to disperse the fumes.
Proper storage and disposal are necessary
Epoxy resin should be stored in a cool, dry place away from any heat source and direct sunlight. The containers should be tightly sealed to prevent contamination.
When you need to dispose of epoxy resin, follow the manufacturer’s instructions and also any local regulations.
Do not dispose the resin in the trash or pour it down the drain.
How to use Resin Safely
Epoxy resin is a widely used material in various applications, including arts and crafts, construction, and many other industries.
However, like any other chemical substance, it is important to use it safely to prevent health hazards.
Generally, you should follow at least the following to use epoxy resin safely:
- Read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully before using epoxy resin. Understand the recommended mixing ratio, curing time, and other important details.
- Wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), such as gloves, safety glasses, and a respirator. Avoid direct skin contact which may cause irritation and avoid fumes inhalation by working in a well-ventilated area.
- Dispose of the leftover resin and other materials properly. Epoxy resin should not be poured down the drain or thrown in the trash. Follow the recommended disposal method provided by the manufacturer, and maybe your local authorities as well.
By following these simple safety precautions, you can ensure that your experience with epoxy resin is both enjoyable and safe.
Remember, safety should always come first.
Here is a summary of the safety equipment you can use to protect yourself when working with any type of epoxy resin.
AREA TO PROTECT
RESIN SAFETY OPTION #1
RESIN SAFETY OPTION #2
Protect your Eyes
Goggles with vent holes protect eyes from resin sprinkle + won’t fog
Goggles without vents protect eyes from sprinkles + vapor
Protect your Lungs
Half face mask with natural filters protects lungs from resin fumes
Full-face respirator mask with organic filters protects eyes + lungs from resin fumes
Protect your Skin
Kevlar sleeves help protect arms from resin
Tyvek suit helps protect the body + clothing from resin
Protective Equipments to use when dealing with Epoxy
When working with any type of epoxy resin, it is important to use appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) to prevent eye contact, skin irritation, and inhalation of fumes.
Protective equipment can minimize the risk of health hazards associated with epoxy resin use.
Use the following types of personal protective equipment when dealing with epoxy resin. By taking the necessary precautions and using protective equipment, you can work with epoxy resin safely and confidently.
1. Respirator For Epoxy Resin | Resin Mask
A respirator is one of the most important safety equipment. A full-face mask with a respirator will offer you the best face and lung protection when working with any resin.
It covers your eyes so you won’t need to wear goggles, and the air is filtered.
How to choose a respirator to work with epoxy resin?
When working with any type of epoxy resin, it is necessary to wear a respirator to protect your lungs from inhaling the potentially harmful fumes that the resin emits.
There are different types of respirators available in the market, and it is crucial to choose the right one for your needs.
Here are some tips to follow when choosing a respirator to work with epoxy resin:
- Look for a NIOSH-approved respirator if possible. This means that the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has tested and certified the respirator to filter out a certain percentage of airborne particles.
- Choose a respirator that is rated for organic vapors, as epoxy resin emits fumes that can be harmful when inhaled.
- Make sure the respirator is easy to wear and fits properly. A loosely fit respirator will not provide adequate protection. Perform a fit test to ensure that the respirator seals tightly around your face.
- Consider the type of work you will be doing. If you are working in a confined space or an area with poor ventilation, choose a respirator with a higher level of protection.
Follow the above tips, and you will have a respirator that is suitable for working with epoxy resin and ensure that you are adequately protected from harmful fumes.
Here are some choices you can get right now. The first is a full face mask (with eyes protection) while the second one is a half face mask (without eyes protection but affordable).
Remember, always wear a respirator when working with epoxy resin, and replace the filter cartridges regularly to maintain its effectiveness.
A proper full-face respirator mask for resin protection will have an N95 or N95 equivalent rating, which means that it will block at least 95% of small particles, small meaning around the size of 0.3 microns.
How to clean your respirator mask for resin?
Clean your respirator mask once you have finished your project by gently taking your filters off and storing them in a waterproof bag, filling your sink with some warm, soapy water, and using a plastic dishcloth to wipe your mask down.
You don’t need to dunk the respirator mask in soapy water and get the filters wet, but a clean wipe-down after each use will make sure there is no remaining balance left.
2. Wear Nitrile Gloves For Resin Safety
Wearing gloves is one of the most important protective measures when working with epoxy. Gloves not only protect your skin from the resin but also prevent the resin from getting on your hands, which can cause skin irritation and allergic reactions.
When buying gloves to work with epoxy resin, it’s necessary to consider the type of resin you will be using. As there are several types of gloves, including latex, nitrile, vinyl, and neoprene gloves.
Latex gloves are the most affordable and they provide good dexterity and sensitivity. But, they are not suitable for working with all types of epoxy resin, because the chemicals can degrade the latex.
Nitrile gloves are more durable than latex gloves and are resistant to many chemicals, including the epoxy resin. They provide good dexterity and are available in different thicknesses.
Vinyl gloves are affordable and are suitable for working with some types of epoxy resin. However, they are not as durable as nitrile gloves and are less resistant to chemicals.
Neoprene gloves are the most durable and provide the highest level of protection. They are resistant to many chemicals, including epoxy resin, and are suitable for working with the most hazardous types of resin. But, they are the most expensive and are less dexterous than other types of gloves.
Here are a few choices you may like
Tip: Pick gloves that fit perfectly to be able to work easily with epoxy.
3. Wear A Barrier Cream To Protect Your Skin From Resin
Another safety item that many resin artists use as a part of their personal safety equipment is barrier cream. This can be applied to the skin and hands before putting your hands in protective gloves and forearm protection.
Barrier cream is not typically used as a stand-alone protection, but as an extra safety for those seeking a second barrier between their skin and their resin art.
A barrier cream comes up with an extra layer of safety to the skin when you are in close contact with resin. Many resin artists use this before using resin and they say that it makes a big difference.
This may be something to try with your gloves. If you are looking for ways to protect your skin further when working with epoxy resin.
4. Wear A Full Resin Bodysuit
One thing a few long-time resiners pick to use is a resin-select bodysuit to cover themselves quickly and easily. One that has been all over the epoxy resin artist blogs is the Tyvek suit on Amazon.
These are sold individually and in large packs.
Here is why so many resin artists are opting for these Tyvek suits:
- They can go overtop of regular clothes when working with resin
- They protect from the ankles to the wrists as well as the neck and head area, excluding the face
- They have positive feedback since it is easy to use
These suits are perfect for protecting your body and clothes from resin drips.
5. Eye Protection From Resin
There is no question that you need to wear protective eye gear when working with epoxy resin. If you are only wearing a half-face respirator with resin, then think about wearing protective eye gear (safety glasses or goggles) that have a band around the head.
We use pyramex safety goggles but you can use any brand which properly protects your eyes. At least look for the following when choosing safety goggles.
- They should have an adjustable headband
- They should have a quick-release button
- Safety goggles should have anti-fogging on the inside and the outside
- Better to use scratch-resistant goggles if possible
- Consider price. It should not break the bank ;).
Most goggles have air vents in them (to keep them from fogging!) and it can be hard to find goggles that completely seal the eyes from fumes unless you are trying on swim goggles.
Working with epoxy resin can be safe if proper precautions are taken. By wearing appropriate personal protective equipment, working in a well-ventilated area, and following proper storage and disposal procedures, you can reduce the risk of exposure to the hazardous fumes produced by epoxy resin.
Last update on 2023-12-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API. Note: Jigsaw Expert may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.