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Old November 28th, 2005, 08:59 AM   #61
BlueSquad2001
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spcglider
Here's the low-down: Urethane, when it cures, releases Isocyanate gasses. Sound familiar? That's because the root word is Cyanaide... poison.

Isocyanates are long-term poisons that build up in your system. Your body will try very hard to get rid of them, but they don't like to go easily. Exposure to them (even regulated exposure) wil eventually cause them to build up in your body and make you ill.

The amount that it takes varies from person to person, and the time it takes to build up in your body varies as well. But over time, you WILL develop a sensitivity to them.

Typical symptoms include: shortness of breath (induced athsma), skin rashes, itching, throat irritation, dizziness, and oddly enough, back pain. Other, less obvious effects are irritability, short temper, and even paranoia.

But like I mentioned, this all varies from person to person.

Example: My boss Dave got a massive exposure to urethane several years ago. He can no longer be in the building when we pour resins or he immediately goes into athsmatic arrest. I have been exposed over the course of 12 years. I get skin rashes, back pains, and athsmatic attacks when I'm exposed. But my boss Mike can work with the stuff unprotected after 12 years and has no obvious effects. On the extreme end, I personally had a friend who committed suicide after long-term chronic exposure. First he tried to commit suicide by police officer. Eventually he just did it himself. His diaries indicated a long-term paranoia that coincided almost perfectly with his unprotected exposure to urethane. Did he have other problems? Yes. But I sincerely believe that the situation was spurred on by chemical influence.

So, how to avoid all this? Easy:

1) get yourself a NIOSH approved filter mask with the biggest, most ass-kicking filter cartridges you can buy. Make sure your catridges are the highest rated ones you can get. They won't completely protect you, but they will help limit the exposure through your lungs.

2) set up your workspace so that you are cross-ventilating to the OUTDOORS. This means you need to have a CONSTANT flow of air running through your space. Clean air must enter at one end and fume-y air must be vented out the other end. Be sure you don't vent right into an area that supplies air to another house or building. Your fumes will just get sucked up and deposited into their space.

3) always wear latex (or if you're allegic to latex) nitrile gloves when handling the urethane components or the mixed combo. Not only can Isocyanates enter your body through the lungs as fumes, but they also affect you through the skin. Be sure to get yourself some of those disposable tyvec jumpsuits they use when they paint cars. It'll keep you from wrecking your clothing.

4) Use and Do all the stuff above. Also: DO NOT do this IN YOUR HOUSE. There is a reason why these things are called "garage kits" by hobbyists. Its getting to the cold seasons of the year, so I suggest you make a spot in your garage and set up space-heaters to keep the place warm. PLEASE... I'm BEGGING YOU. DON'T DO THIS IN YOUR BASEMENT OR HOUSE.

5) If you feel like you've started to show any of the signs of overexposure, you need to get away from the stuff. Take a break from it for at least two weeks. In the mean time, you can exercise and pump your lungs good and hard...run, bike, whatever. Drink ALOT of water. It helps your body get rid of the toxins. And best of all, get thee to a sauna. Especially after you workout. A sauna will force you to sweat alot and encourage your body to expell the toxins that way.

Now, about your resin. If you weren't given a MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) when you bought it, you should go back there and get one. Every chemical available to the populace MUST have an accompanying MSDS. It is the law. Read the MSDS carefully and it will probably tell you the make-up of your paint system. If you have any questions at all, just pick up the phone and call the manufacturer. They will be happy to answer your questions about the specific product.

Last but not least: Don't think you're invulnerable because it doesn't affect you right away. Use the protection from the start and you WILL stay healthy.

-Gordon
This is the BEST information on the subject I've ever read! Thank You!
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