Instruct supervisors and workers about the need for care when working with formulated epoxy compounds.
Instruct supervisors and workers as to the need for keeping formulated epoxy compounds off the skin. In addition to smearing or splashing, the workers may get these compounds on the skin through rubbing exposed skin areas with soiled hands; through wearing soiled clothing or gloves; through handling soiled rags, tools, hardware, or through prolonged exposure to vapours.
Wash hands thoroughly before and after work, before rest periods, lunch and other interruptions, before applying skin creams and putting on gloves, and immediately after any hardener or resin has touched the skin. Use a mild soap without abrasive scrubbers or use a waterless cleaner which is low alkaline or neutral and contains minimum quantities of petroleum solvent or de-fatting agents.
Do not use irritating solvents to wash skin, as they tend to remove the skin’s natural oils and can alone cause severe irritation. Over a period of years, however, it has been found that denatured alcohol is very effective in the removal of the material from the skin, provided its use is followed by washing with soap and water and then applying lanolin type hand cream.
Forced draft ventilation at the point of work where vapours are generated, is essential when handling curing formulated epoxy compounds. The vapours should be drawn away from the operator and vented outside the building. Overhead ventilation at work areas should be avoided since it may pull vapours from the bench into the worker’s face.
Cured epoxy formulations can be machined readily by conventional woodworking, plastic working, or metal working practice. Fully cured epoxies are quite inert and present no toxicological problem. However, dust from grinding or cutting should be drawn off to prevent inhalation, as with any fine air-borne particles.
Good Housekeeping Practices
Do not soil clothing or work areas. Protect floors and benches with disposable plastic film or paper, which can be easily replaced as necessary. Use disposable wipers instead of rags to avoid contamination from reuse of soiled rags. Use fresh solvent for cleaning.
Mix small quantities of two package formulated epoxy compounds thoroughly in disposable plastic or paper containers using disposable wooden paint stirrers or tongue blades. Stir slowly to avoid entrapping air.
Drums and containers in which epoxy compounds are received should be disposed of and not reused for other purposes.
Protection From Contact
Clothing: Change coveralls, shirts, aprons, etc. frequently. If soiled, change at once. Wear coveralls or shirts with long sleeves. Disposable paper sleeve for the wrist and forearm are often used to protect clothing. Plastic or coated fabric sleeves should be discouraged since they cut off air circulation, open skin pores, and cause excessive perspiration.
Gloves: Where contact with hands present a constant hazard wear rubber, plastic coated or disposable plastic gloves over protective cream. Do not soil the inside of the gloves when removing them. Remove gloves by pulling at the fingers. Put gloves on clean hands only.
Eyes: The eyes should be protected against splashes of liquid components by wearing goggles or face shields. If a component is splashed in the eyes, wash the affected eye immediately and continuously for ten minutes with copious quantities of clean water such as from a drinking fountain. Bathing the eye further with normal saline solution may be helpful. Referral to a physician is recommended if there is any question about the seriousness of the injury.
Machining the cured product
Although solidified (cured) epoxy and urethane products are inert and relatively harmless, traces of residual components may be left on the surface. The finished parts may have to be machined to remove flash or to trim the component to the proper size. Machining or sanding finished parts will inevitably generate dust that should not be inhaled. Provide ventilation, wear a suitable mask, gloves and cover exposed skin to prevent contact with the dust.
These recommended handling procedures for formulated epoxy adhesives, encapsulation compounds, tooling compounds, can be of great help to engineers, production supervisors and company physicians in establishing efficient and economical procedures for production operations for using these compounds.
Instruction sheet and samples
Before using any formulated epoxy compound, read the Technical Data Sheet and review the associated MSDS documents carefully.