Do you wear a respirator when working with less than a gallon of epoxy?

Discussion in 'Fiberglass and Composite Boat Building' started by BPL, Jan 17, 2013.

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Do you wear a respirator when working with less than a gallon of epoxy?

  1. Yes

    5 vote(s)
    17.2%
  2. No

    15 vote(s)
    51.7%
  3. Sometimes

    9 vote(s)
    31.0%
  1. BPL
    Joined: Dec 2011
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    BPL Senior Member

    If so, how good a respirator is good enough?
     
  2. michael pierzga
    Joined: Dec 2008
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Hmm....small batches

    Yes and no.

    When im glueing a wood bung or two sticks together, No respirator

    When the job is big enough to put on a pair of gloves.. laminating or fairing Yes...respirator

    Normally I use the 3m cartridge repirator. no 6000
     
  3. upchurchmr
    Joined: Feb 2011
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    upchurchmr Senior Member

    Never when laminating, etc.
    Yes when power sanding. No when hand sanding
     
  4. Submarine Tom

    Submarine Tom Previous Member

    No, but I do stand up-wind...
     
  5. viking north
    Joined: Dec 2010
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    viking north VINLAND

    Yes if I'm exposed more than 5 to 10 min. If more than say 1/2 hr. and working inside I not only wear a resperator but set up a fume extracter. This, making use of a, 4 in. hose fed dust collector unit dedicated for this use and vented to the outside. Generally this involves an big exaust hood hung over the work area or if in confined spaces say inside the hull, i feed the intake hose again to extract fumes/dust from the area. I also use the same setup in addition to resperiators/filter masks for petrolium based painting, sanding/grinding fiberglass, wood , steel, and welding. A little tid bit here be especially careful when grinding stainless- the resultant particles are burr shaped and attach aggressively to the lungs. Possibly more dangerious than FRP dust.
     
  6. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    I always rig up some kinda air supply, exhaust, circulation system. Indoors, I feel the epoxy on my eyes when fumes are dense, particularly in bilges. Normally its only a simple kitchen type blower and a lenght of flex pipe
     
  7. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    There's a lot of misconceptions with this and they should be dispelled. If you are a hobbyist and occasionally working with epoxy, the only real precautions you need are a particulate filter when sanding freshly cured epoxy and of course gloves during application.

    If you use the stuff everyday or nearly so, you need to make a stronger move towards contact and inhalation protection. Inhalation protection is two fold, particulate and chemical. If the epoxy is freshly cured, you need both chemical and particulate protection. You only particulate if the epoxy has been cured for a few weeks. Simply put, if the epoxy is past a full cure (2 weeks, minimum) then a dust mast is all you need.

    Direct contact with wet goo should be avoided, but it's not a life altering thing if you're a hobbyist, just wipe it off and clean the skin (no solvents).

    Some folks are just destined to develop a reaction, while others can swim in it and not experience a problem. Most everyone I know with sensitivity, admit to prior poor practices. The biggest problem I see is folks not treating the freshly cured dust, as a chemical, thinking a dust mask will do. Again, if you're a hobbyist, you'll probably be fine, but if much work is done, you'll develop issues.

    Fully cured epoxy is inert and should be treated just like any other dust. Freshly cured epoxy, isn't completely inert and is still chemically active, which is the primary hazard. Wet goo should be obvious to most and those that use it, as a cream rinse or conditioner for their lochs, well maybe this is nature's way of thinning the gene pool.
     
  8. tunnels

    tunnels Previous Member

    If you get the slightes wiff of smell then its not good enough . you sould never ever even get the hint of smell .
    And how smaller amounts dosent even come into question . all the time you are working with the liquid resin and also the glass . the glass fibres hang in the air and gently float . Go stand in a door way on a bright sunny day and see the drift it carries for miles . !!
    Its your life you are playing with!!! of all the guys started working with back in 1972 i am the last one, most pass go years ago of those mysterious illnesses that no one wants to talk about !!.:(:confused::eek::mad:
     
  9. viking north
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    viking north VINLAND

    Tunnels that can be said of many exposures -- woodworking, welding, auto. body and paint, new home carpets, new car smell, just to name a few. All one can do is try and protect oneself as viglant as possible and hope for the best. As humans we do have a lifespan. Recall the old but very truthful saying --(within reason of course)--It's not how long one lives but the quality of that life that counts. At 68yrs. i'm reaching the limit of the average males life which I think now is 76. The old measuring tape example drives it all home. Roll it out to 76 in. and see where you are on the scale --- Life has been good --thank you Rock & Roll, WINS New York, Wolf Man Jack and Cousin Brucie :):):)
    Clairification-- WINS New York 1010 on the AM dial was the largest and possibly the most powerful Rock & Roll station in the world. It was next door to us kids on the south west coast of Newfoundland. (Stephenville --U.S. SAC, Earnest Harmon Air Force Base)
     
  10. hoytedow
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    hoytedow I'm not a cat.

    Ditto.

    Of course I have the luxury of a subtropical climate in which to work; no closed shop; ergo no concentrated fumes.
     
  11. mastcolin
    Joined: Jun 2005
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    mastcolin Senior Member

    http://www.yachtpaint.com/LiteratureCentre/your-health-using-epoxy-hse-usa.pdf

    The best thing everyone can do is not try to out think the suppliers. In every country there is strict legislation that helps protect the user (and supplier in a legal sense).

    I know loads of people barely read the instructions regarding practical use but there are loads of stuff openly available to help you come to the correct decision ie the medically and factually correct decision.

    Above is link to Interlux/International epoxy. Most users in europe have the poster hanging on the shop wall somewhere and most guys do know the dangers...we don't always listen (you try board sanding in summer time with a protective suit on)
     
  12. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Hoyt, we have a decided advantage in our climate. For most an open bay is a year round thing, with occasional bouts with a cold week or two to contend with. Most builders have to work indoors and closed up for a substantial percentage of the year.

    One thing that has improved sand for me is a dedicated extraction system. Not only tool equipped, but area as well. For me this is a 24", corrugated duct with a 22" fan at one end, that sucks dust off the surface, as it's created and gets it out of the space. I keep the duct as close to the work, usually on the surface to one side of the work area. I often shake the tool at the mouth of this duct, to suck off built up debris and dust. A simpler, though not as effective method is to just place a box fan up stream of your work, blowing directly across it. This does clear the surface, but also makes a big cloud in the shop, but if wearing a mast, on inconvenient in clean up.
     
  13. hoytedow
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    hoytedow I'm not a cat.

    Yes, PAR, those extracter fans are great. I worked in a shop/fabrication facility that used them. The shop downwind of us wasn't too happy though one day when a lot of noxious fumes hit them. That was a complicated day.
     
  14. Roly
    Joined: Jul 2005
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    Roly Senior Member

    Epoxy no mask when laminating as long as we have good air thru-put via extraction.
    Even in bilges as long as we have a blower & a sucker.

    Polyester-Carbon mask and extractor always.Styrene is a killer for me.
    Sanding anything- minimum 3m 6000 series or carbon if fresh.
     

  15. Milehog
    Joined: Aug 2006
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    Milehog Clever Quip

    So. For sanding green epoxy an organic vapor filter cartridge is or isn't better than a HEPA particulate filter cartridge?
     
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