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
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
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
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
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 in inexpensive way to keep your eyes protected.
5. Use a 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 a 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.
Unpublished Blog Posts of Resin Obsession, LLC © 2019 Resin Obsession, LLC