Breathing Vinyl-ester Fairing Compound Dust While Sanding

Discussion in 'Boatbuilding' started by SOUTHWIND, Apr 21, 2021.

    Joined: Apr 2021
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    SOUTHWIND New Member

    Hi guys,

    Whilst I was sanding Vinyl ester Fairing Compound the other day for a 2 hours and when I finished I was having a little trouble breathing. I was wearing a full face mask 3M but it wasn't sealed properly (not tight enough) and I am a little concerned of the long term damage. As soon as I used a asthma puffer I came good and was breathing no problems.

    I am hoping I may just be over anxious as it was only a one time thing but thought id ask... If it is only a one time exposure will my lungs be able to deal with the dust? I am not sure how much got in as there must have been a area under my chin that was allowing some dust in?

    Lessoned learnt I will always spray a little deodorant when fitting the mask to ensure a good seal all round.

    Am I over concerned?
  2. Mr Efficiency
    Joined: Oct 2010
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    I don't know the differences between polyester and vinylester dust, as regards hazard, but there was a bloke up the road from me that ran a business making fibreglass kayaks and what not, and very occasionally I would go in and get some talc or whatever I needed, he was always covered in dust from head to foot, was there for decades, I used to wonder how he hadn't succumbed and maybe he did, eventually ! I don't think a single exposure is anything to worry too much about.
  3. Blueknarr
    Joined: Aug 2017
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    Blueknarr Senior Member

    As Mr E said
    Vinyl and poly esters are relatively benign.
    Unless you are unfortunately hyper sensitive.

    All said and done- more precautions are usually better than fewer.
    ondarvr likes this.
  4. comfisherman
    Joined: Apr 2009
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    comfisherman Senior Member

    We stretched a boat in 2012 with ve, for some reason I had an aweful reaction to it. Small amount of dust and it was swole throat and hives and a panic run to epi and inhaler.

    Benadryl taken prophylactic kicked it and was able to finish the project.
  5. waikikin
    Joined: Jan 2006
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    waikikin Senior Member

    Just keep chemicals out of you body.
    Materials expensive but but lungs, eyes etc worth much more.
    Invest in the best PPE & extraction, catch dust at the source.
  6. fallguy
    Joined: Dec 2016
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    fallguy Senior Member

    I wouldn't worry about a 2 hour exposure. I am a bit nervous about an epoxy allergy. I seem to gag and cough a bit now and then near my new boat build.

    But, I have been using epoxy 4 years and only got a rash from degloving. But I have noticed the smell of the hardener seems stronger than when I began the project 4 years ago.

    The only time to worry about short term exposures is when they are acute. So, breathing sprayed compounds without any mask, for example, would be. And isocyanates are also quite bad I've read for any acute exposure.

    But sanding dusts are bad because they are not generally fully cured.

    Next time, be more careful is all you can really do at this point.

    My father has mesothelioma from some one time, incidental exposure.
  7. ondarvr
    Joined: Dec 2005
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    ondarvr Senior Member

    VE dust isn't good for you, but long term studies of people working in the industry for decades on end don't indicate there's a big risk of health consequences.

    But anyone with a preexisting condition may have more of a reaction, and that sounds like what happened in this situation.

    This is only anecdotal evidence. But after being in the industry for over 50 years, and doing just about everything wrong myself at times. Plus seeing many thousands of people taking few to even no precautions, and doing it every day, 8 hours a day for years or decades, I just haven't seen many people with problems related to exposure.

    Again, I'm not saying it's safe, or a good idea to not take precautions, it just doesn't appear to be something that has been a problem.

    Excess sugar in a diet is probably more of a concern than brief exposures to the dust or odors of VE or polyester.
    waikikin likes this.
    Joined: Apr 2021
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    SOUTHWIND New Member

    Thanks for the replies everybody.

    Joined: Apr 2021
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    Location: Australia

    SOUTHWIND New Member

    Sorry to hear about your fathers ill health.
    fallguy likes this.
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