Epoxy resin is a popular product that is widely utilized by all sorts of craftsmen and those who need to deal with it because of the specifics of their jobs (for instance, people involved in aircraft or marine vessels building).
Naturally, since epoxy is a chemical substance, people start wondering sooner or later whether it is safe for humans. Is epoxy toxic? This is probably the most frequent inquiry asked these days.
If you are also interested in the epoxy safety topic, we advise reading this article attentively.
Is Epoxy Resin Toxic?
Epoxy resin is marvelous stuff: it can be used for almost any task from flooring and various handmade crafts to boat repair and wood furniture making. This material is well-known for its extreme durability, a wide area of utilization, and of course, ease of use.
However, since this stuff is mostly made of artificial compounds, people become concerned about epoxy toxicity.
Is epoxy toxic? Shortly speaking, no, it isn’t. This kind of casting substance is considered to be of minor threat for humans if, for instance, it is ingested, inhaled, or touched. However, we still need to take into account several nuances when working with this material since, in some states, epoxy can be somewhat harmful indeed.
- The cured epoxy resin is non-toxic which means that the solid hardened item made of it is completely safe. Feel free to touch it, walk on it, or place anything on it.
- The uncured epoxy, on the contrary, can be hazardous. When the uncured (liquid) resin is combined with the hardener, a chemical reaction takes place which can cause certain damage if no precautions are taken.
- Dust epoxy appears when we sand the finished item to make it smooth. Remember to wear a barrier mask/respirator and eye protection every time you’re sanding the epoxy item.
The hardener that often comes with the epoxy resin as a part of the two-stage system is also safe to use.
Epoxy Resin Health Hazards
Is epoxy resin hazardous? Well, at a certain point yes. The hard material is safe for people but its liquid form is more harmful. The fumes of liquid evaporating epoxy, as well as tiny particles of epoxy dust, by the way, contain harmful compounds that can cause certain problems when inhaled.
You won’t get an epoxy poisoning, of course, but certain resin toxicity may lead to quite an unpleasant aftermath.
- One of such epoxy dangers is inhaling its fumes. They can damage the nose, throat, and lungs causing inflammation and irritation. Repeated exposure may even result in asthma.
- If the dust is inhaled, it can be stuck in the lining of the respiratory system and lead to serious problems.
Of course, those who are initially allergic to epoxy have another reason to avoid this substance.
Is There a Non-Toxic Epoxy Resin?
If you are concerned about the epoxy resin toxicity, try to find a non-toxic epoxy to work with.
The non-toxic clear casting resin is not something rare in the market, fortunately, so everything hangs upon what you need it for. The most common health-friendly casting substance is the one produced by the ArtResin brand.
This product is described as non-toxic, non-flammable, and non-hazardous, and it’s used for various resin arts like jewelry making, etc.
Working With Epoxy Safely
Like any chemical substance, this substance must be treated with care. Even though it is not toxic, ensure you follow the basic precautions:
- Ventilate the room you’re working in. Open the windows and the door, turn on the fan, well, do anything you can to let the maximum of air in.
- Protect yourself by wearing gloves, goggles, and a respirator. Also, put on a long-sleeved shirt and pants to avoid any accidental drippings.
- Remember about hygiene. After you finish working with the epoxy, wash your hands (pay extreme attention to nail beds and nails where the substance likes to hide!) and take off the contaminated clothing. If any epoxy residue gets into your eyes or into your mouth, it may cause irritation, so double-check you’re properly washed!
Like that, you’ll be sure that no chemical stuff ends up in your plate of an eye.
Epoxy is great stuff to get creative with, but no matter what it’s used for, be careful and protect yourself to enjoy the process safely.