Epoxy Safety
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Home > Articles & Tips Index > Construction > Epoxy Safety

[Courtesy of Don Stackhouse, September 1998 - originally posted on RCSE]

Regarding latex gloves for working with epoxy:

I had a discussion several years ago with one of the technical/safety experts at Hexcel, the makers of epoxy resins. He made a VERY STRONG comment that we should NOT use LATEX gloves with epoxy. Latex is good for protection from biological hazards, but some of the hazardous chemicals in epoxy diffuse right through latex. Barrier creams by themselves also do not provide adequate protection.

He recommended vinyl gloves. These have sufficient resistance to the chemicals involved. Barrier creams on your hands and forearms as a SUPPLEMENT to the vinyl gloves are also a good idea. Ventilation is also important. Even though epoxy doesn't smell as bad as other resin systems, some of its relatively odorless components are hazardous in vapor form.

EVERYONE will eventually develop an allergy to epoxy, given enough exposure. Some folks will get it in a few exposures, others may take years. The amount of exposure you get with each episode has a lot to do with it, the effects are cumulative. Vinyl gloves are available from the same medical suppliers as the those nearly worthless (for this application) latex gloves, for close to the same price. Buy a box of VINYL gloves, and use them EVERY time you do ANY work with epoxy!

Don Stackhouse "at" DJ Aerotech
djarotec "at" bright.net

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