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Safety With Resins And Micro Balloons

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Its been on my mind lately, and wanted to start a thread about safety regarding our various resins we use with hard baits. I personally have developed a sensitivity to certain resins and upon further research I fault myself for not using better precautions. The fastest way to end one's lure making days is to develop a sensitivity to one of the chemicals used in bait making so I will give my lessons learned with safety and encourage others to give their lessons learned. 

 

First, polyurethanes use a toxic chemical known as methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) which is usually the yellow or darked tinted liquid in two part mixes. The clear liquid is usually a diol compound similar to antifreeze and is less toxic. Studies have found nearly everyone can eventually become sensitized to MDI with enough time. 2-8 years of low chronic exposure to MDI will result in 25% or higher likelihood of sensitization. Of those sensitized, 60% will retain the symptoms of sensitization for life, even when permanently removed for ALL exposure. Recently it has been learned that dermal contact with isocyanates can be as dangerous or even more dangerous than inhalation. You may not have realized that spraying an auto clear without a mask is as dangerous as spilling uncured resin on your skin. 

 

Second, epoxies usually contain triamines and/or formaldehyde and have caused even worse sensitizations than with isocyanates in studies with Guinea Pigs. Everything above applies but even more severe.

 

Third, microballoons are borosilicate glass and when inhaled chronically can cause silicosis (permanent scarring of the lungs). I work in the abrasives/grinding industry and have personally viewed ceramic dust under a SEM, and have seen many particles often as small as 1 micron by 4 microns. Hence, your dust mask and/or filter is not removing them. When you sand microballoon filled resin your dust mask is not enough. 

 

To protect yourself when pouring resins, at a minimum, you should:

[1] Work in a well ventilated area

[2] Wear nitrile gloves and long sleeve shirt (no exposed skin)

[3] Use a vent hood when pouring/sanding/mixing resins or use a full air supplied respirator

[4] Never heat any resin without industrial equipment designed for such a purpose

[5] Forget about "it won't happen to me" because it will, given enough chronic exposure

[6] Remember that even organic respirators do not remove isocyanate vapors

 

Any other stories/suggestions?

 

 

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Worked in a boat yard 30 years back, and hot under the roof so rolled up sleeves when mixing 'microballoons'. Some of it splattered on my arm and I neglected to wash off immediately. Was about half hour later for tea break. Was a very bad thing to do as am now sensitised for life from resins and glues. Was a a few large volcano full of pus on arms and now still get bloody rash burns appearing now and then .. who knows about inside my body ..  

Edited by Andybbrown
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I am working with polyester resin at the moment, and yes, it scares me, especially the MEKP catalyst.

I use disposable gloves and work outside. I poured the catalyst from the sloppy bottle into a proper dropper bottle for better control and no mess.

The micro-balloons are another bad one. Work in a closed room with still air and wear a mask.

A modicum of fear will keep you safe, respect the products.

Dave

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Years ago I did some reading on the different filters for masks. From what I read, there is no filter made to stop isocyanates. Great post. Good information. Thanks for sharing.

Skeeter

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I always have a 20" box fan behind me, blowing past me on high and out my open garage door.  If I can't feel the air moving past my face, I won't use superglue, because it really messes up my lungs and sinus.

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So basically use a respirator when pouring resins, sanding resin with micro balloons, and using epoxies. What about Createx Paints? That dangerous also?

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I have a little workshop that I do all my casting, sanding, airbrushing and epoxy coating. It’s a 12x 14 room with a window unit. I have a door and a window that opens on opposite ends of the room.

It’s  hot as the hinges on hell right now, but I need to be safe. I do have a respirator. 

Maybe I should open the place up when I’m pouring the urethane resin or epoxy coating.

any other suggestions? I appreciate this post.

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great post. I prototyped a soft plastic over 7 years until I finalized it. About year 5, I was dating a health nut and she had me question the fumes and liquids. Originally I had watched a very popular well known lure maker say the fumes were completely safe.. :lol: whatever, or at least I know now. 

I took a test to see how much plasticizer were in my body from skin contact and fumes. Of those that have ever taken the blood test to measure this, I scored in the 93 percentile. That means that I was within the 93% in highest accumulation of plasticizer in blood compared to everyone that's been tested.  

I started detoxing immediately. At some point I'll retake the blood test. I do have some minor health affects from it but it will probably be more of a long term test to see what's really happened or not. Plasticizers are endocrine disrupters so it could really show up as anything, not just cancer although cancer is an possibility.  

I will say that I lost 15 lbs during the time I was working with the plastic weekly, and since I detoxed I was able to put 10lbs back on.

Do I still work with baits, yes, but I adhere to similar practices above.

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On 9/2/2019 at 12:01 PM, TroutSupport.com said:

great post. I prototyped a soft plastic over 7 years until I finalized it. About year 5, I was dating a health nut and she had me question the fumes and liquids. Originally I had watched a very popular well known lure maker say the fumes were completely safe.. :lol: whatever, or at least I know now. 

I took a test to see how much plasticizer were in my body from skin contact and fumes. Of those that have ever taken the blood test to measure this, I scored in the 93 percentile. That means that I was within the 93% in highest accumulation of plasticizer in blood compared to everyone that's been tested.  

I started detoxing immediately. At some point I'll retake the blood test. I do have some minor health affects from it but it will probably be more of a long term test to see what's really happened or not. Plasticizers are endocrine disrupters so it could really show up as anything, not just cancer although cancer is an possibility.  

I will say that I lost 15 lbs during the time I was working with the plastic weekly, and since I detoxed I was able to put 10lbs back on.

Do I still work with baits, yes, but I adhere to similar practices above.

Wow man!! That’s an eye opener. Where can I read up on safety measures for this?

 

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Currently I just use a box fan set up on a table behind me blowing on high at a 45deg angle to me (so my body doesn't block any air) and out of a window, seems to work well enough. Soon, I'm wanting to install a Harbor Freight dust collector with a table top dust funnel, and eventually upgrade the bag filter to a pleated Wynn Environmental 0.5micron filter. The push/pull of the fan and vacuum should handle almost all of the fine dust that I create. 

What other precautions can I take working with resins and MBs? I know I'm not currently doing much with the fumes other than trying to blow them away from my face. I'm 24 and really enjoy doing this; it would be great to continue building baits for a long time. 

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