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Old 17-05-2006, 09:59 AM   #1
TStar
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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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Old 17-05-2006, 10:08 AM   #2
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I think that should be made a sticky, due to the importance of the message. Well done Tstar.
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Old 17-05-2006, 10:42 AM   #3
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and remember, the masks dont work correctly if you have beard.


my previous job required me to wear a mask, it was very good and fit my face nicely (it was able to flex to the correct shape).

it was a "sundstrom" brand mask, and i would wholeheartedly reccomend them, they also have replacable filters so you could buy the different classes of filters for different jobs

i cant remember the class i was using, but it protected against fumes and particles from assorted herbicides.
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Old 17-05-2006, 10:51 AM   #4
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Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by hks_kansei
and remember, the masks dont work correctly if you have beard.
lol, that's true, i had to shave before i put on the mask
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Old 17-05-2006, 11:22 AM   #5
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Wow, some very good safety information to know. I really had no idea it was that dangerous!
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Old 17-05-2006, 03:39 PM   #6
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well remember... your breathing in tiny sharp glass fibres.
epoxy resin is allrgiht i gues but man polyester just stinks badly!
at the worst if you cant find a mask to fit you could need a full face mask. expensive thoguh.
when we were working on the boat we had one of them hooked up to a hose n just let the hose run outside about 10 m from where we were working so we didnt really need a filter either
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Old 17-05-2006, 03:48 PM   #7
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as i said: go spend some extra dime for a GOOD = high quality resin. epoxy- and polyester resin will both emit a hell lot of styrol (=utterly bad smell) if they don't have that skin forming substance.

last year i was working together with a buddy on a subwoofer enclosure. the buddy had ordered a 5 litre bottle of epoxy resin from ebay along with some fibre mats. believe me when i say: the smell of the epoxy resin came directly out of hell... although we were working outside you could smell this stuff in a radius of at least 20meters around the place... you won't make the mistake of ordering such a cheap ass resin twice.
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Old 17-05-2006, 04:58 PM   #8
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Well spoken TStar
btw

I own that mask hehe
I have to use all manner of hazardous chemicals in the commercial painting/spraying trade
Interchangeable filters are the bast as you will find that not all filters work with all hazdrds (as previously stated)
Filters here are rated P1, P2, P3 etc
I use all bases from isocyanates (kills brain cells) to Xylene based solvents (carcenogenic) and many other nasties.
But there are circumstances where I must also use fullly conatined-oxygen supplied spray suits when the chemicals are too bad or inadequate ventillation

Dont mess with your health its just not worth it to save a few bucks or if its uncool (isn't that the dumbest word in the world for this instance)
Always be safe as you only get one shot at this life
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Old 17-05-2006, 05:58 PM   #9
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i believe there are 3 reasons for people not using protective gear:

1) they don't know which mask to buy... filter classes/types are totally unknown to common people.
2) the price : a useful mask will be about 30+ euros / 45+ US$ plus filters...
3) a lot of people believe that beeing exposed to such substances just once (one time project) may not be that dangerous...

maybe i could clear up at least point 1) and 3)..after all everyone must decide if he wants to spend a dime on his health or not.
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Old 17-05-2006, 06:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TStar
i believe there are 3 reasons for people not using protective gear:

1) they don't know which mask to buy... filter classes/types are totally unknown to common people.
2) the price : a useful mask will be about 30+ euros / 45+ US$ plus filters...
3) a lot of people believe that beeing exposed to such substances just once (one time project) may not be that dangerous...

maybe i could clear up at least point 1) and 3)..after all everyone must decide if he wants to spend a dime on his health or not.
bit of a n00b in regards to this..and i dont think i'll ever do my own fibreglassing cos i dont think i need any done!...but... does the same go for sanding back/prepping FG for paint? you mentioned grinding and cutting, which is i can understand, but would straight up sanding produce enough dust to warrent the use of the mask?
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Old 17-05-2006, 06:08 PM   #11
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Dry sanding.......yes
Thats why most will 'wet' sand or at least they should do their best to when circumstances allow
When sanding large areas which require a fair amount of substance to be removed I still recommend the right protective equipment (respirator, long sleeved full body overalls or long clothes, gloves preferrably) and well ventillated area and vaccuum sander or device

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Old 17-05-2006, 06:13 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boostedbatman
Dry sanding.......yes
Thats why most will 'wet' sand or at least they should do their best to when circumstances allow
When sanding large areas which require a fair amount of substance to be removed I still recommend the right protective equipment (respirator, long sleeved full body overalls or long clothes, gloves preferrably) and well ventillated area and vaccuum sander or device
ah cool...and slightly off topic, same goes for Carbon Fibre? because i'll prob have to prep the bonnet and boot for painting when i eventually buy them...cos mrs worm dislikes the "funny lines" :P
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Old 17-05-2006, 06:30 PM   #13
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Yup same resins and nasty fibres also
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Old 18-05-2006, 03:58 PM   #14
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If you don't know what respiratory protection you require, get a Material Safety Data Sheet for the chemical you are going to use, then call the 3M TechAssist Helpline (in Australia) 1800 024 464 for advice (free of charge)

You can get MSDS's off the web of from the manufacturers and distributors of the chemicals you're dealing with.
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Old 18-05-2006, 05:12 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hks_kansei
and remember, the masks dont work correctly if you have beard.

ill have to get someone else to do my fiberglassin then...cause i could possibly have AGTs biggest BEARD!
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Old 19-05-2006, 04:12 AM   #16
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then get a full face mask..more expensive but you can hide your scrub under it ^^

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Old 20-05-2006, 03:34 AM   #17
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Now where's my light sabre
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