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Old 17-05-2006, 09:59 AM   #1
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Exclamation TECH: Safety @ work when using fibreglass and resin

i wrote this for 2 german car communities and i'll try to translate this into english...

it's mainly about
breathing protection when working with fibreglass

most DIY for working with fibreglass include a note to wear a breathing mask when working with resin or when grinding/sawing dried out fibreglass. unfortunately none of the DIYs mention, which mask exactly to wear, what filters must be used.

as an asthmatic i do care about respiratory tract and so i called around, wrote mails, faxes and here's what i could gather:

working with resin will emit STYROL / PHENYLETHENE:
for those emissions you need a filter type A, which will protect you against organic gases and vapours and you need filter class 1 or 2, depending how high the concentration of emissions actually is (working outside vs. working inside a small room etc..). when doing minor work on your doorboards or your subwoofer moldings, an A1 filter is actually sufficient.
it is clever to buy a resin which quickly creates a sort of "skin" to prevent a lot of styrol emissions. might be a bit more expensive but the money is well spent.

what happens if you don't wear a mask with the corresponding filter:
headache, nausea, dizziness... stryol will enter your body (even through skin contact!) and will be stored in your fat tissue, liver, waterworks (renal), and your brain..it is still suspected to cause cancer and is known to cause impotence. luckily enough your body is able catabolise styrol within a relatively short amount of time.

besides that: polyesther- and epoxy resins always contain acidly substances, so protect your eyes and skin, too


sawing & grinding fibre glass emits glas dust.
for this you need at least filter type P, filter class 2 = P2, which will offer protection against and solid and liquid particles and asbestos (which gives you a slight hint in which league fibreglass is playing. P3 filters already offer protection against radioactive substances, spores, virii etc!!!).

you're well advised to also wear protective gear for your skin and your eyes as well.
what happens if you don't wear a mask with the corresponding filter:
serious problems with your respiratory tract. even relatively low and infrequent emissions can cause all sorts of massive diseases of the parts of your respiratory tract.
the main problem with the fine glas dust particles is that they have barbed hooks on them and your body is NOT able to catabolise those particles. what you actually breath in, will hook onto your respiratory tract and will STAY there until the day you die.

a few things to say about the filter masks:

+ a higher filter CLASS always includes the protection level of the lower filter class (e.g. A2 > A1)
- a filter TYPE only offers protection at the field of application it was made for (e.g. a particle filter will not help against gases)...

you will know the standard masks like this one:

my problem with this masks is that they don't really fit the form of my face very well. left and right of my cheek there are small gaps (due to the form of the mask) which will let through contaminated air. therefor they're pretty useless in my case..
i'd rather recommend those masks:

they have exchangable filters and they really sit on my face very well.. they're not cheap, but the money is well spent.

if you don't wear protective gear for your body, go wash your working clothes seperated from your normal clothes, otherwise glas dust could come into your normal clothes.
remember: styrol might be annoying, but glas dust is something you don't want in your house, in your clothes, on your skin or in your lungs.. it is -freaking- dangerous. do not be a fool => at least wear the right breathing masks.

happy customising from TStarGermany@protege323com 8-)

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