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EPOXY REACTIONS(From CP36, Page 4, April, 1983)
A small percentage of our
builders continue to develop allergic reactions to the Safe-T-Poxy. Applied Plastics, the
manufacturers of the epoxy continue to try to isolate whatever it is that causes this
problem. It is not an easy task. Safe-T-Poxy was recently re-tested by an independent lab
and again came up with an SPI rating of zero, on a scale of 0-10. Applied Plastics has
published an excellent brochure covering all aspects of using epoxy, precautions to take
and what to do if you react to it. They also evaluated the various types of gloves that
are on the market. They have a brochure that very thoroughly covers this subject. It turns
out that the only glove that is an absolute 100% barrier is one made of Butyl. Butyl
gloves are expensive but Applied Plastics has found a reasonable one that will last a long
time with care and still gives good feel. Some people are effected by contact with the
material, others by inhaling the fumes. A good quality respirator with charcoal filters
will go a long way toward curing the latter problem. Again Applied Plastics have found a
very nice disposable charcoal filter which they have in stock.
Write to Applied Plastics and enclose a SASE for the brochures
and prices of the Butyl gloves and respirator. See page 7 this CP.
No one at RAF has developed an allergic reaction to either the
old RAE epoxy or the Safe-T-Poxy. We are always careful and after every lay-up we wash our
hands and arms very thoroughly using Lava soap. Mike Melvill has been using Vaseline brand
Dermatology Formula Lotion". He uses it morning and evening whether or not he
has worked with the epoxy. Mike has been working with the various epoxies RAF has
recommended for 9 years and is a firm believer in washing after short layups and even
during large layups. Different techniques may be required for different individuals.
Cotton liners under vinyl, rubber, latex or butyl gloves are an excellent idea. These
absorb the sweat. Do not apply Ply 9 as well as wearing gloves. Ply 9 works quite
well by itself, but the barrier it forms, (which is impenetrable by epoxy) can be ruptured
while working. If you suspect this has happened or if a glove is torn, stop. Take the time
to wash your hands, dry them and reapply Ply 9 or a new pair of gloves.
Take care of yourself while building. A few builders have
simply had to give up their projects due to severe reactions. Do not think it
wont happen to you. Every one has a level of tolerance at which their body
will cry "uncle", dont try your luck.