MID GlassFibre Supplies Ltd
Ph: +353 1 466 3786
Please Note: The Safety Data Sheets are available below or (click the product name) in this article. Most Glassfibre materials and resins are perfectly safe to use, providing the potential hazards are recognized and reasonable precautions adopted. Normally you will have no problems if you follow these simple steps:
1. Do not let any materials come into contact with skin, eyes or mouth. 2. Do not inhale mists or vapours-always work in well ventilated area. 3. Do not smoke or use naked flames in the working area.
Skin and Eye Contact
Many materials used in glassfibre work are corrosive, or irritant, or have some undesirable effect on the skin. The simple answer is not to allow any materials to come in contact with the skin at all. Gloves and barrier creams should be worn at all times. Catalyst (hardener) used for Polyester resins is an organic peroxide (Methyl Ethyl Ketone Peroxide) and is particularly dangerous. Use the correct dispenser for measuring, and be especially careful when handling this substance. Take great care NOT to get it in the eyes or mouth. If catalyst is splashed in the eye, irrigate under water for at least 75 minutes, whilst summoning medical aid (see Safety Glasses). Acetone is a powerful grease solvent. If this comes into contact with the skin, it can destroy the natural oils and may lead to an unpleasant form of dermatitis (see Gloves). For this reason, Acetone should not be used for removing resin from the skin. Polyester & Epoxy Resin should be cleaned off with hand cleaner, then wash in soapy water. If Polyurethane Foam mixes get on the skin, wash off IMMEDIATELY, once hardened it is difficult to remove. None of these materials should ever be swallowed-nor should they be stored in lemonade bottles or other drinking containers.
Many GRP products give off fumes which can be harmful if inhaled in sufficiently large quantities-in normal DIY use, reasonable ventilation of the work area will be an adequate precaution. Care should be taken particularly when using Polyurethane foam mixes, these produce iso-cyanate fumes during the initial reaction. If overcome by these fumes, the user should be removed to hospital. With most materials, over exposure to fumes will result in nasal irritation and watering eyes, eventually followed by drowsiness and possible unconsciousness. The simple remedy is to remove the patient to fresh air-if he does not revive at once, summon medical aid. When machining finished items in cast resin or laminated glassfibre, the tiny particles of glass or resin can be dangerous to the eyes and lungs. When filing, sawing or drilling, always wear Safety Glasses and a suitable Respirator/face mask (see Health & Safety)
Many resins and associated products are either inflammable, or contain inflammable additives. Styrene, Catalyst and Acetone are particularly dangerous. DO NOT smoke or use naked lights, oil burners or similar heating devices in the working area. If a fire does start, do NOT attempt to put it out with water. Dry powder extinguishers can be used on Accelerator, Polyurethane foam, Acetone, Resins and Release agents. The only exception is catalyst. This MUST be extinguished with water. Fires can be started if catalysed, but uncured, resins are thrown away. The waste resin will continue to cure and the heat generated by the curing process can ignite other waste materials. Leave unwanted resin in a safe place until it is cured. It can then be discarded without risk.
Generally speaking, small quantities of most resins, etc., if spilt, can be absorbed in sand or earth. Catalyst is an exception. This should be mopped up but be diluted with large quantities of water. Large quantities of any materials will often require specialized disposal methods. By far the safest procedure to adopt is to take every possible precaution against accidental spillages happening in the first place!