Re: Surfers foot
This is for surf board manufacture - but you can see the acetones and hardeners are bad xxxxx - ie chemical peel agent that cosmetic surgeons use...
EPOXY SAFETY ISSUES:
Toxicity. Vapor from most epoxies is much lower than it's polyester counterparts.
The resins we produce (Resin Research Epoxies) are all high solids and have 1/50th
the vapor of polyester surfboard resins. In our shop (which is well ventilated) we
don't even wear masks. Epoxy is also NOT a carcinogen. That has been well proven
by OSHA and many others in industry. What epoxy is, is a skin sensitizer. This varies
greatly between different epoxy systems depending on different company’s
formulations. Most older epoxy hardeners are formulated with a chemical known as
TETA or another called DETA. These base hardeners are in the aliphatic amine
family, are very reactive, somewhat unstable, quite toxic and easily can cause
sensitization of the skin (or dermatitis). Most of these hardeners are also modified
with phenol and formaldehyde. Phenol is what dermatologist use for chemical skin
peels and increases TETA and DETA's toxicity to the skin dramatically. Many of
these older hardeners are up to 50% phenol. Formaldehyde is also no picnic as it also
increases risk because of it's ability to act as a vehicle for the phenol and amines
through the skin and into the blood system. By the way, the reason these epoxy
hardeners are still used today is because they're CHEAP. DETA and TETA cost 1/5
what a modern diamine based hardener costs to produce. Anyone who has worked
with many of the West System epoxies are familiar with these low cost systems.
Modern epoxy hardeners are nothing like their 60's counterparts. As I mentioned
above, they are formulated with modern diamines and have vastly reduced
incidences of sensitization. They also have lower vapor, better color, better finish,
and lower exotherm. They contain NO phenol and NO formaldehyde. Our company
was one of the first in the US to formulate and market diamine based epoxy
hardeners 20 years ago, which gives us an edge in experience with these chemicals.
As superior as they are they still must be respected as skin sensitizers. The simple
way to eliminate problems related to dermatitis in the workplace is to reduce or
preferably eliminate contact with the skin. This means gloves. That's it. We wear
disposable vinyl gloves. Vinyl is preferable to rubber because rubber gloves are also
skin sensitizers. The other, even more harmful, ingredient is contaminated acetone.
Like formaldehyde above it is a vehicle for toxins into the bloodstream. Fortunately
epoxy can be cleaned up with soap and water. Not standard bar soap but with
products like Go-Jo and Fast Orange. These products are water based and don't act
as a vehicle the way VOC solvents do. In 20 years of producing epoxy surfboards we
have NEVER had one incidence of dermatitis in our shop. I have also NEVER seen a
case of dermatitis that didn't have something to do with the co-toxin acetone. Given
the aforementioned resin parameters and if shop practice adheres to the above
suggestions, epoxy resins are MUCH safer to use for producing surfboards than their