Andersen, K.E., Occupational issues of allergic contact dermatitis, Int. Concrete repair agents and wood repair agents. Arch. Employers have to make sure that the hazards of substances and products used are identified, that the exposure is assessed and that these two aspects are combined into a risk assessment, which enables the selection of the proper risk management measures. approximately 230 per year. in construction; figure 4). . Industrial products that contain epoxy resins – such as car parts – may be produced in closed systems that largely prevent exposure to the non-cured product. In Germany and the Netherlands, guidelines have been made that support companies in distinguishing ‘recommendable’ epoxy products on the basis of defined criteria [2] [3] [13] [14] 429-438. Available at: Institut für Arbeitsschutz der Deutschen Gesetzlichen Unfallversicherung (2013), Gestis Substance Database, English version, retrieved June 14, 2013 from: JRC (2013), Epoxy resin. Learn more about personal protective equipment (PPE). Potential health hazards associated with the use of advanced composites ... the resin components have very low vapor pressures and they are not present as a volatilized airborne hazard. Although Olin Epoxy Products have been used successfully for more than six decades, their handling, use, and storage can present certain hazards. We don’t know what causes most fertility problems, miscarriages, birth defects, and other reproductive problems. Available at: [18]. As epoxy cures, the chemical ingredients react to form a non-hazardous solid. Most commonly, the epoxy resin prepolymer is constituted of 1 to 3 monomers, each made up of one molecule of bisphenol-A and one molecule of epichlorohydrin [1] [2](figure 2,3). Rühl, R., Wriedt, H., ‘Some economic benefits of REACH’, Ann. In order to identify relatively less harmful epoxy products, one should consult the Safety Data Sheet of the supplier. What safety precautions should be taken when working with thermosetting resins ? In that case, the product label will state “This product contains epoxies”. Typical applications include: Practically all major ingredients of epoxy products are moderate to strong irritants as well as moderate to strong occupational allergens. As a ‘rule-of-thump’, substances that have a boiling point lower than 250°C are relatively volatile. Skin Contact: May cause irritation and sensitization. Health Hazards Eye Contact: May cause irritation and swelling. Learn how to avoid. Epoxy refers to any of the basic components or cured end products of epoxy resins, as well as a colloquial name for the epoxide functional group. in industry. To be effective, respirators must be used correctly. Med., Vol. While spraying, or when splashes may occur, use. In on-going research it is attempted to include the relative sensitization potential of the products into these criteria in the near future [15]. The contact dermatitis generally expresses at the hands or fore-arms, and sometimes in the face. High solids products: these resemble solvent-based products, but they have a reduced solvent content, and thus, a higher content of ‘solids’; Solvent free products: products with no or only a very low amount of organic solvent. Measures to prevent negative consequences such as allergic contact dermatitis and airway disease should be implemented according to the ‘prevention hierarchy’. EU-OSHA – European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, ‘Occupational skin diseases and dermal exposures in the European Union (EU-25): policies and practice overview’, 2008. (See ref 4) Reporting schemes of incidents and health problems within the company – in addition to any reporting obligation to national occupational disease registries – may increase the companies’ capacity to trace any remaining risks not tackled yet. HSE– Health and Safety Executive, Skin at work (2013), Skin at work. Cleaning of tools, and disposal of empty packaging; Continued wearing of contaminated or even soaked clothes or shoes. Epoxy Resin Health Hazards. Available at: Terwoert, J. a filling material such as quartz sand in epoxy-reinforced flooring. This may be used for pouring the product (especially cast floors) as well; Apply floor coatings with long-stemmed rollers or with long-stemmed spreaders. Make sure that you are not bringing these chemicals home on your work clothing or shoes. This holds true for the epoxy resin itself as well as the polyamine or anhydride hardeners and the reactive diluents [3] [6]. 1076, 2006, pp. Irritant contact dermatitis may enhance the penetration of allergens through the skin, increasing the chance of developing an allergic contact dermatitis. Available at: EU-OSHA – European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, ‘Expert forecast on emerging chemical risks related to occupational safety and health’, 2009. Even minor skin contact, if repeated often enough, can cause chronic health problems. Charcoal masks or surgical masks will not protect you from these chemicals. Available at: [16]. In addition, constituents of epoxy products may cause airway and eye irritation, and airway allergies or even more serious diseases such as cancers or diseases of the reproductive system. Roughly half of these were construction workers. 3:43. LanternCat Crafts 4,025 views. They are highly toxic and meant to be used in industrial applications with heavy duty respirators, protective eyewear and hazmat clothing. In Germany, more detailed data on the numbers of workers who have developed an allergic skin disease caused by exposure to epoxy products have been collected [10] [11]. Workers may be at risk of strong airway irritation as well as (allergic) occupational asthma. Linking to a non-federal website does not constitute an endorsement by CDC or any of its employees of the sponsors or the information and products presented on the website. EU-OSHA – European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, ‘Skin sensitisers’, FACTS-40, 2003. Available at: [23]. Wear gloves. Workers that have acquired an epoxy-allergy will be faced with an ever stronger skin reaction after each contact with the products. The finished product is a smooth, glossy and durable surface that is easy to clean. Ingredients that are less volatile or less capable of penetrating the skin may reduce the risk of harmful effects. Whenever a two- of three-component product is used, one should be aware that it might be an epoxy product. Terwoert, J., ‘Working conference on epoxie’s’, London, April 11, 2003, Arbouw, Amsterdam, 2003. Health Hazard Summary: The most common effects of overexposure to the chemicals used in epoxy resin systems are eye, nose, throat, and skin irritation, skin allergies, and asthma. If you get these chemicals on skin or clothes, wash the skin or change clothing as soon as possible. . In general, epoxy resin systems can present some health hazards; however, they can be handled safely as long as some appropriate precautions are taken. As it solidifies, epoxy and its components are less likely to enter the body. Kersting, K., Geier, J., Rühl., R., ‘Epoxidharze – eine Lösung wird gesucht’, Sicher ist sicher 2008, No. However, prior to the cure of epoxy terrazzo, components of epoxy resin … 76, 2003, pp. Available at: Directive 98/24/EC of 7 April 1998 on the protection of the health and safety of workers from the risks related to chemical agents at work. As epoxies cure, they generally turn into much less toxic polymers. Working with or exposure to certain epoxies or resins could increase your chances of having fertility problems, miscarriage, stillbirth, or a baby with birth defects. In the construction industry as well as in ship, yacht, windmill blade and car manufacturing, large quantities of epoxy products may be applied to large surfaces. Linear extrapolation of these figures to the European Union leads to an estimated number of cases of about 1,500 each year. Epoxy paint is typically used to cover concrete floors because of its ability to keep the concrete from becoming damaged due to water absorption over time 2. 541-544. Adhesives for tiles and for metal or concrete construction parts, Flooring materials and floor coatings, such as industrial floors, Corrosion protective metal coatings for steel constructions, ships and vehicles. In addition, in Germany and the Netherlands product information systems exist (GISBAU and PISA, respectively) that provide information on products used in the construction industry, including brand names. where possible. floor layers) develops an epoxy-allergy at a certain moment in their career [3]. However, low-quality resins from outside the European Union might contain significantly higher levels. epoxy resins and are shelf stable after mixing. Consult the Safety Data Sheet; The use of epoxy products in confined spaces; Preferably, choose ‘epoxy kits’ with a well-defined mixing ratio for the components, that are fully consumed during one application (‘one unit’ packaging). It is known that epoxy resins can cause skin sensitisation and photosensitisation. Available at: [17]. Arch. Available at: Heine, K., Kalberlah, F., Hassauer, M., Geier, J., Lessmann, H., Ranking von Stoffen in Epoxidharzsystemen aufgrund ihrer sensibilisierenden Wirkstärke (Kennziffer FP-0324), 2012. Finished, hardened epoxy products are practically non-toxic unless they are cut, sanded, or burned. Available at: [22]. Available at: INQA Chemie, ‘INQA-Bewertungssystem für Epoxidharz-Produkte’, Initiativkreis Anwendungssicherheit bei Chemischen Produkten, 2009. We do not know what levels of these agents are safe for pregnant women. Gloves have to be the right materials or they may not protect you. Occup. We don’t know what levels of exposure to these chemicals are safe. After finding cases of sensitisation, skin or airway disease, the effectiveness of control measures in place should be evaluated. The system may also contain solvents, reactive diluents and fillers. These chemicals include styrene, methyl methacrylate, epoxy resins, vinyl chloride, and others. Practically all major ingredients of epoxy products are moderate to strong irritants as well as moderate to strong occupational allergens. Products based on epoxy resins generally are multi-component products. Mixing vessels should be placed on an even level surface. Epoxy products are potent skin sensitizers (allergens). Posted May 19, 2010 by admin. Chemicals in some epoxy resin systems have additional health effects. For the early-detection of health disorders, one may use: In order to facilitate early detection of skin disease, so-called ‘pictionnaire’ questionnaires have been developed, which use photos of affected skin [16]. Measures at source and measures that enable a safe use such as safer packaging and proper mixing aids should be implemented whenever possible. Environ. Zeiss, C.R., ‘Advances in acid anhydride induced occupational asthma’, Current Opinion in allergy and Clinical Immunology 2002/2, 2002, pp. Your health and safety are in your own hands. health risks. Increase ventilation as much as possible. 50, No. Furthermore, several ‘subtypes’ of epoxy products may be distinguished: In this case, higher molecular weight epoxy resins, made up of 2 or 3 units, are used. The employer should provide for a separated mixing area which is clearly marked, so that co-workers not involved in the work involving epoxies can be protected from exposure. If you are pregnant, consider talking to your employers to avoid these duties during pregnancy and breastfeeding. If you do develop a health problem from working with epoxy resin you should be able to continue using it with adequate precautions. Here, you can learn more about these chemicals and what you can do to reduce your exposure for a healthier pregnancy. and success as well as the safe handling of Epoxy Products to protect the environment and the health and safety of those who use them. If exposure cannot be avoided during pregnancy, respirators can be worn to reduce the amount of certain chemicals that workers breathe in. Jeroen Terwoert, TNO, the Netherlands, Klaus Kersting, DGUV/IFA, Germany. When epoxy products cannot be substituted, it may be possible to apply an epoxy product that is relatively less harmful. All Entropy Resins product labels provide basic safety information and appropriate hazard warnings. Fortunately, they contain only a very small proportion of the more hazardous ingredients. Read the Current Intelligence Bulletin on Glycidyl Ethers, a common component of epoxy resins. 946-954., Available at: [19]. Mix with a low rotation speed (< 300 rpm) and cover the vessel while mixing; The transportation of mixed material from the mixing station to the application station can be best performed by means of a small trolley. Available at: http://oshwiki.eu/index.php?title=Occupational_exposure_to_epoxy_resins&oldid=241500, Chemical hazards related to occurrence in the workplace, Manufacture of doors and windows of metal, Building of ships and floating structures, Manufacture of railway locomotives and rolling stock, Manufacture of air and spacecraft and related machinery, Manufacture of military fighting vehicles, Construction of residential and non-residential buildings. Retrieved 4 March 2013, from: HSE – Health and Safety Executive, ‘Controlling skin diseases when handling epoxy resins’, , Bootle, in collaboration with Aalborg BST center, Arbouw, Berufsgenossenschaft der Bauwirtschaft and IVAM UvA (Epoxycode consortium), 2004 (in German). CDC is not responsible for Section 508 compliance (accessibility) on other federal or private website. Epoxy products are potent skin sensitizers (allergens). Available at: Kalberlah, F., ‘Vergleichende Bewertung von Epoxidharzen – Teil A: Entwicklung eines Rankingsystems für Epoxidharze’, Forschungsvorhaben F 2062, FoBig GmbH, Freiburg, 2006. RoutesofExposure Skincontactisthemainrouteofexposure,through splashesontotheskin,immersionofhands/armsinthe substanceorcontactwithcontaminatedsurfaces. During such activities, personal protective equipment and protective clothing may be needed. 331-338. 3rd Revised Edition of 2017 Available at: [20]. Usually, the worker has to mix at least two components prior to applying the product: the epoxy resin and the (polyamine) hardener. Other specialised construction activities n.e.c. EU-OSHA – European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, ‘Respiratory sensitisers’, FACTS-39, 2003. Epoxy is the combination of resin and a curing agent. Try to reduce or eliminate your exposure as much as possible. Environ. The other constituent of the epoxy resin monomer, bisphenol-A (figure 2), is a skin sensitizer too, as well as reproduction toxic class 2, and weakly estrogenic, i.e., showing effects mimicking those of the female oestrogen hormones [7] In some companies, having a low standard of prevention, this number would be even higher [3]. ... another chemical given off in the production of epoxy resins has copious amounts of health hazards. Health, Vol. N.Y. Acd. Symptoms can be immediate or delayed Obvious moments of skin contact include: Even though modern epoxy products contain low-volatile diluents and hardeners in most cases, employers and workers should be aware of situations in which exposure through inhalation may be relevant, such as: Indicative measurements for comparison with Occupational Exposure Limits or the use of risk assessment tools may support the assessment and management of risks through inhalation. Hyg., Vol. Workers should practice the use of protective clothing and personal protective devices. The risk of exposure to epoxy resin, hardener, and mixed epoxy is greatest when they are liquid. Epoxy, also known as polyepoxide or an epoxy resin system, is the combination of epoxy resin and a curing agent (also called a catalyst or hardener). Some of the chemicals in this group have been linked with an increased risk for fertility problems, miscarriage, stillbirth, and birth defects. In addition, epichlorohydrin is classified as carcinogenic in the category 1B, ‘presumed human carcinogen’, according to the EU classification [7] Epoxy products that contain volatile solvents may give rise to neurotoxic effects. When the origin of the problem is found, adequate prevention measures should be implemented and their effectiveness should be evaluated. Reliable data on the number of workers at risk at a European level, or the number of occupational diseases arising from exposure to epoxy products are not available. Dermatitis - the most common form of dermatitis that can form when epoxy resin (or epoxy resin dust) comes into contact with skin is contact dermatitis or skin inflammation. Available at: [31]. 32 1995, pp. Plastics Europe, ‘Epoxy resins and curing agents, Toxicology, health, safety and environmental aspects’, 2006. Epoxy Safety Summary. Safety when working with epoxy and hardener. Available at: Regulation 1272/2008 of 16 December 2008 on classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures, amending and repealing Directives 67/548/EEC and 1999/45/EC, and amending Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006, Available at: Plastics Europe, Plastics Europe epoxy resins committee (ERC) voluntary guideline on residual epichlorohydrin in liquid epoxy resins, reactive diluents and mixtures thereof, Brussels, Plastics Europe, 2007. This reduces the need for cleaning. 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