Epoxy resin safety precautions – How to use epoxy resin safely

epoxy resin safety precautionsSafety precautions to take when working with epoxy resin

Using epoxy resin is a creative way to make art, jewelry, and crafts.  Before you get started though, you want to be sure you are aware of the epoxy resin safety precautions you should be taking to make sure you can work with resin and stay healthy for a long time!

1.  Wear gloves

nitrile gloves

You need to protect your hands from the resin and hardener liquids.  After all, these are chemicals!  It’s really no different than protecting yourself from other things around your home you might use like bleach, ammonia, paint, etc.  Nitrile gloves are best since they are least likely to react with your skin and with the resin.  Latex gloves can sometimes interact with silicone resins and may inhibit curing.

What do you do if you get resin on yourself?

Baby wipes are a great thing to have handy to wipe it off your skin.  After that, use soap and water to get off any remaining residue.  A pumice soap is helpful in case the resin is sticky.

What should you not use to remove resin from your skin?

Any type of acid or solvent like acetone or alcohol.  These can aggravate a resin reaction.

2.  Have good ventilation in your work area

Now I know what you are thinking, ‘What’s good ventilation?’  Well, if you were a lab animal, you need a complete air exchange of the room every 15 minutes.  That may not be possible, but here are a few other ideas:

Open a window or two

I like to have cross-ventilation in my resin crafting room, weather permitting.  I open a window on each side of my studio to get air moving through the room.

Turn on your ceiling fan

If you have a ceiling fan in your room, set it to run such that it draws air away from you and up to the top of the room.  This is especially helpful if you can’t open the windows.

Use other fans to keep the air moving

desktop small fan

Even a desktop fan can help to move the air.  This is a little fan I like to use to draw the fumes away from the resin.

3.  Wear a plastic apron

plastic apron

Because, let’s face it — when working with epoxy, spills, and drips happen.  Not only is it awful to ruin your favorite shirt, but sometimes you don’t even know you have done it until much later.  I love wearing a PVC apron when I’m resin painting as it protects me from the large amounts of resin I’m pouring.  Should resin get on the apron, I can wipe it off or peel it off once it cures.

4.  Wear safety goggles

safety glasses for resin

Hopefully, you aren’t in a situation where you have to worry about resin splashing into your eyes, but to be completely safe, safety glasses are an inexpensive way to keep your eyes protected.

5.  Use a respirator

safety respirator

Okay, don’t freak out here.  First, many resins do not require a respirator when using.  How do you know?  That information can be found on a resin’s safety data sheet in the personal protection section.  However, once again, we are talking chemicals.  You cannot be too safe!  This is the respirator I use when I’m resin painting and using large volumes of resin.  I want to keep myself safe from fumes, even ones I may not be able to smell.

If you want to use a respirator, make sure it is a NIOSH approved respirator for fumes.  If you don’t have one yet, but want to get one, I get my respirator and cartridges from PK Safety.  There are a bunch there to choose from, and their customer service is great with helping you get the one you need based upon how you are going to use it.  Ladies, you will do fine with a small respirator mask.  They will tell you the majority of their clients need a medium, but they must be working with a lot of big guys.  Mine is small and fits perfectly.

6.  Use a resin that is approved for arts and crafts purposes

By law, any resin in the United States that is sold to people for the purpose of making arts and crafts must conform to ASTM D-4236.  In a nutshell, this means that a toxicologist has reviewed the resin kit components and determined they are safe for use for art purposes.  This same toxicologist also makes recommendations for how to use the product safely.  That’s where wearing gloves, etc., come into play.  This certification does not mean the resin is non-toxic, food-safe, location safe specific or anything else.  If you are using a resin that does not conform to ASTM D-4236, you don’t know whether or not it’s safe for art purpose use.  (If you want to learn more, you can read the FAQ on this topic from the Consumer Product Safety Commission.)

The good news is that all of the resins on Resin Obsession conform to this important Consumer Product Safety Commission law and can be safely used for any art purpose.

To be even more thorough, you should ask for a copy of a resin’s safety data sheet so that you can know everything about a resin.  Not only does it include the personal protective gear necessary to work with the resin, it shares how to dispose of the resin properly and who to call in case of a serious emergency.  I would never use a resin where a company would not share a safety data sheet with me.  It implies the company has something to hide.

Have more questions about epoxy resin safety precautions?

Join us in the resin safety section of the Resin Obsession forum where we can help you with your specific resin safety questions.

Learn more about how to use resin safely and successfully in the ebook, Resin Fundamentals.  It has everything beginners need to know to go from confused to confident when creating with resin.

Unpublished Blog Posts of Resin Obsession, LLC © 2020 Resin Obsession, LLC

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24 thoughts on “Epoxy resin safety precautions – How to use epoxy resin safely

  1. I use Alumilite resin to coat my wood turned bowls. I sand with 220 between first and second coat and wipe dust off with denatured alcohol on a paper towel. This seems to work fine allowing 20 min dry time for the alcohol. The alcohol does not seem to react with the first sanded cure coat. Do you have any suggestions to improve this?

  2. I am new to the epoxy/resin world. Just bought a box for craft purposes but I want to make sure I’m not going to harm my family, pets and myself. My Q is, would this set up be safe; craft room, door closed,window open w/a fan in the window facing outward and a fan near the project on the table, and an oscillating fa stand fan as well. Respirator mask and other safety equipment. AFTER, the resin is on my tumbler, spinner is spinning, and the remaining resin is disposed of, is it safe to close the window, but leave fans on w/door closed between resin applications? I really don’t want to leave my window open for 24-48 hours.

    1. Hi Kathryn, I’m happy to hear you are taking safety seriously! This question sounds like one you should ask the manufacturer of the resin you are using. They can best direct you on how to use their products safely.

  3. Thanks, those are great safety tips for beginners. one thing is missing (and other safety manual do the same) and it’s the about kind of eye protection to wear when, like myself, you must wear glasses. I wear big glasses because I’m nearsighted and the safety goggles are difficult and uncomfortable to wear with no good protection as a result. So, is there a solution for working with resin and the sanding it or should I invest in a full mask.

    1. Hi,

      I am just wondering if there are any resins that are suitable to work with with children. My 9 year old is desperate to do some crafting and I had thought she could maybe make some resin items, obviously fully supervised and assisted by an adult. But is this suitable to be doing with a sensible 9 year old? And if so where can I get PPE suitable for her? Do you ship to the UK? I have bought some moulds already but I Havnt bought any resin as yet, as it is quite pricey I wanted to fully research what I need/ what is suitable before fully committing to doing it!

      Thanks in advance.

      1. Hi Laura, resin isn’t suitable to use with a nine-year-old. They don’t have the mindfulness to be thinking about resin safety.

  4. Hi Kathryn, I made four placemats with autumn leaves that I found this Fall. I used Mod Podge on the individual leaves to preserve the color and then used Mod Podge to have the leaves adhere to the base, which is a paintable canvas board. The board is about 1/8″ thick. The top of the placemats is not flat because of the curling of some of the leaves but it is not bad. I thought I could cover with contact paper so they would be protected and I could use for a few years. I put hours and hours of work into each placemat. However, the contact paper does not adhere and makes the leaves cloudy looking. The only other option to protect the mats seems to be coating top, sides and bottom with resin. They are 14″ by 11″. I would appreciate hearing what your thoughts are on how to protect the mats. Enjoy a wonderful holiday season.

    1. Hi Carol, it’s hard to say what you should try next without seeing the situation. Would you be interested in booking me for a coaching call? A 15-minute call is $20 and I do them by Zoom. If you would like to get that started, send me a message through the contact us link.

  5. I have started to become lightheaded after working for long periods of time. I’m going to invest in a respirator, but want to make sure I get something safe and COMFORTABLE! This article was very helpful. Can you please provide specifics on what all you ordered for your mask? Brand, filters, etc. Thank you!

    1. Hi Jennifer, I suggest asking the mask retailer for help. There may be something newer and better than what I have. I’ve found the team at PK Safety has been very helpful in making sure I get the right resin safety supplies.

  6. Katherine,

    This is probably another one of those “it depends” kind of questions/answers, but even if you keep your windows open to ventilate the room you use the resin in- with the door closed- is it generally safe to use in a house with other people? (For the purpose of this question, I would likely be starting with epoxy resin).

    In conjunction and/or addition to the first question: it is necessary for me to walk through my craft room to get from my bedroom to the rest of the house. From your experience, if I used a resin that instructed me to wear a respirator while using the resin (or maybe even without a respirator), once the project is setting and the windows are open, would it be safe to walk through the craft room or would I typically need to avoid it for a few hours while it airs out?

    Please and thank you 🙂

    1. Hi Becky, I’m afraid it really does depend. It’s hard for me to say what you are doing is appropriate without seeing your space.

  7. Hi ive been using resin for 4 months then one day came out in a very bad rash on my face and one hand the doctor said it looked like an allergic reaction it was very itchy and then my face began to swell I am very upset as I love making things with resin would you suggest to not use at all or are there a safer resin to use for craft?

    1. Hi Sarah, I’m sorry to hear this happened to you. I’m sure you are disappointed. :(. Unfortunately, I don’t have the medical expertise to know whether or not you should continue using resin.

  8. i use resin in my room but no mask, no hand glove. window close, fan also. its dangerous for my body? my lung? i cant sleep thinking about it. im scare.

    1. Hi Mira, you should review the safety data sheets for the resin kit you are using. It will detail the specific safety precautions you need to take when using it.

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