At BECOSAN® we deal with epoxy resin almost on a daily basis. One of our many services is grinding epoxy on concrete floors, a preliminary step that must be carried out to in order to install complete our BECOSAN® concrete flooring. Therefore, we know better than anyone what the dangers of epoxy are.
This is why, based on our experience, we can assure you that the health effects of epoxy resin are very real.
Health Effects of Using Epoxy Resin
Because of this, we would like to explain to you what are the most common dangers of using epoxy resin.
Above all, if you pay close attention to the information bellow, you can avoid many of its derived problems.
If the necessary precautions are taken, you can continue using it without risk of developing health problems.
However, we cannot fail to mention that there are alternatives to epoxy that are much safer, healthier and from which a better economic and productive performance can be obtained, such as, for example, polished concrete.
Now, we will explain the dangers of epoxy resin.
Epoxy Hazard # 1: Respiratory Problems
The treatments used on epoxy resin are very varied.
Some of them cause it to turn into steam, which affects considerably our respiratory system.
However, the effects of epoxy in a vapour form are different depending on where it is being treated:
- In nonventilated spaces and with high temperatures, the concentration of epoxy vapour is higher, which can trigger an allergic reaction.
- But if it is done at room temperature and in an outdoor space, the exposure is low.
Most of the works that BECOSAN® carries out to remove epoxy flooring is taken place within closed spaces, especially in industrial warehouses, so the precautions to avoid these dangers are very high.
For example, dust from sanding epoxy contains chemicals that, if inhaled, these can stick to the respiratory system, causing health problems.
Epoxy Hazard # 2: Burns
Burns are one of the less common epoxy hazards. If it is in contact with skin for a long period of time, it can cause severe irritation and chemical burns.
“Epoxy burns can discolor and scar skin.”
The time it takes to leave a wound depends on the concentrated amount of epoxy within the mix and the area of
Epoxy Hazard # 3: Dermatitis
Less than 10% suffer from skin reactions when exposed to epoxy resin.
On the other hand, the most common reaction is a dermatitis or skin inflammation.
“The discomfort can be serious, but it goes away with time.”
However, we must be very careful, because repeated contact with epoxy can cause chronic dermatitis.
If not treated quickly, this reaction can lead to eczema, a type of dermatitis that causes itching, blisters, or swelling.
When we sand down epoxy floors to install our polished concrete floors, we run this risk. Therefore, the many precautions we must take.
Epoxy Hazard # 4: Allergic Reactions
We’ve saved the worst for last … Although the chance of dermatitis occurring is less than 2%, they are one of the most serious health hazards of epoxy.
Acute dermatitis, like any other allergy, occurs if the body reacts disproportionately to an allergen.
Likewise, this reaction depends on many factors:
- Frequency and degree of exposure
- Immune system
- Type of skin
The greater or lesser sensitization to epoxy can occur with a single exposure or after many.
We can become sensitized after 10 days, a month or after 4 years. However, being a dangerous resin, it is necessary to count the number of times we are exposed to it to see our own evolution.
Of course, we cannot forget that all the necessary precautions must be taken to avoid these allergies.
Among the most common allergic reactions to epoxy are respiratory problems and skin irritations.
When it comes to respiratory problems, they are mainly due to the inhalation of vapours, which can irritate our airways.
On the other hand, skin irritations, which is the most common case of acute dermatitis, its effects can range from swelling and itching to inflammation and red eyes.
Once the body is “immunized” or used to these exposures, the effects tend to disappear, but we should not stop using precautions.
“It is also essential to follow the protocols for the use and application of this resin to avoid all this of which we have spoken about.”
Identifying symptoms, applying first aid and preventive measures are the best way to avoid the problems generated by epoxy resin.
Is there an alternative material to epoxy resin?
After having seen all the dangers of epoxy we ask you the following question: are you still considering to use it?
Whether it is your first time using it or you have been for a long time and you have experienced tis negative effects in your own flesh, it is time to find a much safer and more effective alternative.
But the drawbacks of epoxy resin do not end there.
In addition to the dangers that we have mentioned, there are many other inconveniences of its use.
In another of our BECOSAN® articles, you can discover other problems caused by an epoxy floor.
Epoxy floors have very limited uses. However, polished concrete can result in a durable and versatile floor that is guaranteed to work in all kinds of industrial settings.