Here are the best resin safety tips when working with resin and epoxy resin. Resin has become an extremely popular medium for creating pieces of art such as jewelry, resin pour paintings, bookmarks, geode resin art, coasters, resin tumblers, resin cups, cutting boards, jewelry boxes, river tables, and resin countertops.
There are many resin artists who experience what they think is an allergic reaction to resin when actually, they are experiencing sensitization. We are going to share all of the protection options you can use when working with resin, and the best safety options that are highly recommended to use every time.
Resin safety involves knowing all of the safety precautions one should take when creating resin art, as well as the potential risks to the body if working with resin when not using proper resin safety equipment.
Resin safety includes wearing proper gloves, respirator, having the right ventilation and more.
When using resin, there are areas of the body that should be safely protected from the possible effects of resin, and these include:
Let's get into some more details about resin safety.
Of course, these are safety recommendations and it is your own personal choice and responsibility to look into what you personally need and want to use for your personal protective equipment (PPE) when working with resin, and each brand and type of resin has its own recommendations as well.
Be sure to read the resin labels, safety data sheets or material safety data sheets for the brand you will be working with.
The following is a list of safety precautions, safety equipment and personal protective equipment to wear when using resin including respirators, epoxy tents, proper fans, the proper gloves, and more.
*Continue reading this article further to learn the details of each item, why you would want to consider using it as well as many more safety items to consider when using epoxy resin.
AREA TO PROTECT
*details on each product are in the article below
|RESIN SAFETY OPTION #1||RESIN SAFETY OPTION #2|
Resin Safety: EYE PROTECTION
|Goggles with vents protect eyes from resin splash + won't fog||Goggles without vents protect eyes from splash + fumes|
Resin Safety: LUNG PROTECTION
|Half face mask with a respirator and organic filters protects lungs from resin fumes||Full face mask with a respirator and organic filters protects eyes + lungs from resin fumes|
Resin Safety: BODY PROTECTION
|Kevlar sleeves help protect arms from resin||Tyvek suit helps protect body + clothing from resin|
Resin Safety: HAND PROTECTION
|Nitrile or vinyl gloves help protect hands from resin interaction||A barrier cream helps protect hands from resin exposure (can be used under gloves for further protection)|
Resin Safety: FUME CONTROL
|An epoxy tent protects by controlling and containing fumes *If using, remember you MUST properly vent fumes out||Fan and proper ventilation for room size to vent fumes out of a room or epoxy tent|
A full-face mask with a respirator will offer you the best face and lung protection out there when you are working with any resin. It covers your eyes so you don't need to wear goggles with it, and the air is filtered. Also, it won't let the resin fumes directly hit your eyes.
When looking for a full face mask to work with resin, you are looking for one that is safe, which means it is the proper mask for resin fume protection, as well as one that seals and feels comfortable on your face. You will need to find a respirator mask for resin that has organic vapor filters. Also, the proper full face respirator mask for resin protection will have an N95 or N95 equivalent rating, which means that it will block at least 95% of small particles; small meaning around the size of 0.3 microns.
To put this into perspective, the cross-section of an average human hair is between 50-75 microns, and a human red blood cell is around 5 microns. So 0.3 microns is microscopic protection for an epoxy resin respirator.
This respirator for resin safety offers:
We recommend purchasing your Parcil PD-100 Respirator directly from the manufacturer, as it comes with a 1-year factory warranty when purchased this way.
If you are looking into buying yourself a full face mask, I would suggest buying some extra organic filters to have on hand as well.
Listed below are more respirators from Parcil that will properly protect the user from resin fumes, as well as one specifically made for people who wear glasses:
How to clean your respirator for resin:
Once you have finished your resin project, it is a good idea to fill your sink with some warm, soapy water and use a disposable dishcloth to wipe your mask down with, whether you decide to wear a half face mask or a full face mask.
Do not dunk the respirator mask in soapy water and do not get the filters wet, but a clean wipe down after use will ensure there is no residual residue left.
You can choose to protect your lungs from epoxy resin with a properly fitted respirator in the form of a half-face mask if you prefer that to a full-face respirator.
Our recommendation is to invest in a full respirator like the one mentioned above as number 1 of this safety article, as many resin artists often start with the half mask and goggles and find them uncomfortable and end up purchasing the full mask further down the road anyways. Of course, this is your own decision, but it is the one we also use.
What do you need to know about using a half-face respirator as protection from resin fumes?
This last point is the most important one as you would hate to go and buy a mask and respirator and have it not filter out the substance you are planning on working with! You *need* organic filters on your respirator if using it for epoxy resin safety.
The N95 equivalent T-61 Half Face Respirator from Parcil Distribution is our top pick for half-face respirator masks for working with resin. We have personally used this mask and can say that it is comfortable and fits well and it has the organic vapor filters that you need when working with resin.
This half-face respirator comes with 100% money back guarantee and a 1-year factory warranty when purchased directly from Parcil.
Many resin artists like to set up their working area outside, where the abundance of fresh air keeps potentially dangerous fumes well-dispersed.
However, creating a safe, outdoor space to work with resin is not always an option depending on the season, the weather, the availability of outdoor space for safety and so many other reasons that may compel a resin artist to bring their craft indoors.
If you have a designated room with an open window, please make sure there is enough fresh air coming in and going out. You can read more about proper ventilation in point number 4.
If you don't have a proper space to work with resin safely, many artists use a portable, designated epoxy tent. These mostly are popping up in the form of hydroponic grow tents.
An epoxy resin tent is a portable, easy to set-up room typically made out of canvas or a similar, sturdy material. An epoxy tent will provide a resin artist with an enclosed space but should ALWAYS be bought in conjunction with proper air ventilation, which we will talk about more in the next point.
When considering buying a hydroponic grow tent to use exclusively for epoxy resin art safety, you will want to think first about where you are going to put it. This will determine the size you can buy.
Have a look at these hydroponic growing tents by Zazzy on Amazon. These come in three different sizes for you to choose from:
The poles are all steel, they are easy to set up and they have fantastic star ratings and some really great and informative customer reviews.
Let's explore the topic of ventilation when using resin. There will always be fumes when you are working with any resin, even if it says it is non-toxic.
How much ventilation do you need when working with resin for it to be safe?
Not tying hair back is an easy mistake to make when first starting with resin. You don't want to find a strand of hair in a cured piece.
Here is a 4" Inline Duct Fan by Vivosun from Amazon that would work well with the above-listed epoxy resin tent in the largest size. It also has carbon filters and even a speed control, so this would be a good set up.
You will have to get some 4" ducting to vent the air from the fan to your window.
Send it all outside. You don't want any of those resin fumes lingering.
You can find some options for 4" ducting here on Amazon, or you can likely find it at your local hardware store as well.
If you are using a room in a house or your garage to do your epoxy work, you will want to consider the size of the room in cubic feet (CF). Once that is determined, you will use that to decide on a fan that can adequately move enough air in and out of the room.
A fan is sized in CFM which is cubic feet per minute. It refers to the measure of air volume moved in/out by the fan.
Let's explore the exact fan and grow tent mentioned in the above points.
The Vivosun fan from Amazon has a rating of 203 CFM.
Here is an example: The tent from Amazon mentioned above, in the largest size of 96"x48"x98" which, measured in feet is 8'x4'x6.5'. Multiplying these numbers together = 208CF.
Now, the general rule of thumb with non-toxic resin is that the air should be exchanged at least 8 times per hour (of course, this depends on the product you are using).
Please refer to the MSDS, SDS or PSDS for the resin you are working with, or call the company and ask 'what is the recommendation for how many times per hour the air needs to be exchanged when using your product?'.
Here is how you can figure out how many times the air will be exchanged with your grow tent or room in your house and your fan choice (hang on to your hats, we're getting a bit mathematical here!)
So the fan mentioned above (203 CFM) would work in the grow tent mentioned above in the largest size (208CF). I will show you how to input these numbers into the formula above to figure out how many air changes per hour occur with the fan and tent I chose:
So that is a lot of air changes when we need an air exchange rate of at least 8 full exchanges of air per hour, so you can be sure your space is well-ventilated.
If you are putting the air fan in a window of a room, you will input the same calculations depending on the cubic feet of your room.
Resin full cure time refers to how long your mixed epoxy, UV or polyester resin takes to completely harden. Some artists refer to a soft cure time and some refer to a hard cure time.
While the resin is curing, it is off-gassing. Off-gassing is a term that refers to what happens when the gaseous byproduct produced by the reaction of a chemical process slowly disperses into the air.
During the time when your resin art is off-gassing, you still want to keep your ventilation going which may be until it is fully cured, typically after 72 hours.
Once you have established a safe working environment for your resin, you will want to protect your skin by wearing the proper gloves. The area of highest exposure on your skin when mixing and pouring resin would firstly be your fingers and hands, then your forearms.
If you notice above, the gloves I used to wear for resin felt bulky. My preference would be a tight-fitting latex glove, but I have learned that latex gloves do not protect hands when working with chemicals such as epoxy resin.
When working with epoxy resins, many of the MSDS say to wear "impervious gloves". So let's talk about gloves that will protect hands from the chemicals in epoxy resin and that are still comfortable to work with.
That brings me to two types of gloves to wear when using resin:
Latex gloves are flexible, comfortable, and are great for working in places of exposure to bacteria or viruses, but are NOT made for protecting from chemical interactions. Nitrile and vinyl gloves are the best options to protect your hands from chemicals in resin when creating resin art.
If you are trying to decide which gloves will protect your hands best when using epoxy resin, you may want to try a box each of nitrile gloves and vinyl gloves to see which you prefer.
You can find nitrile gloves on Amazon here (pictured below), and you can find vinyl gloves on Amazon right here. Just keep in mind you will need to pick the size of your gloves to fit your hands properly. Some longtime resiners like to wear double gloves as well, but of course, this is all up to you.
Another safety item that many resin artists out there use as a part of their personal protective equipment, is a barrier cream. Barrier cream can be applied to the skin and hands before putting on protective gloves and forearm protection.
A barrier cream provides an extra layer of protection to skin when you are in close contact with resin. Many resin artists use a barrier cream and say that it makes a big difference. This may be something to try with your gloves if you are looking for ways to further protect your skin when working with epoxy resin.
If you are looking for the best barrier cream when working with resin, Derma Shield has been a topic of conversation in many groups and websites and has been praised by many epoxy resin artists.
If you wish to have further protection from resin exposure to forearms, we would like to suggest you check out the Kevlar arm sleeves to protect arms from resin.
Now, keep in mind that these sleeves are not made from a chemical-resistant material, these sleeves are made for people working with sharp objects so as to not cut their arms. What is nice about them though, is the added layer that stays tight against your skin and can be worn under long sleeves.
With arm sleeves overtop of barrier cream, your forearms will be better protected. Of course, these are all just options for you to explore out there and it is up to you which PPE you would like to wear when working with any kind of resin.
One thing a few long-time resiners opt to use is a bodysuit to cover themselves quickly and easily. One that has been all over the epoxy resin artist blogs is the Tyvek suit on Amazon by DuPont. These can be sold individually or in large packs.
Here is why so many resin artists are opting for the Tyvek suits:
These suits are great for protecting clothing from resin drips because there is no getting epoxy resin out of clothing!
There is no question that you need to wear protective eye gear when working with epoxy resin. If you are not wearing a full face mask, then consider wearing protective eye gear that has a strap around the head so you don't have to adjust your glasses with resin-covered gloves.
These are the goggles we recommend for keeping resin out of your eyes.
Here is why these Pyramex goggles are good for protecting your eyes from resin interaction:
These goggles will protect you from getting resin in your eyes. If you are looking for goggles to also protect your eyes from any fumes, most goggles have air vents in them (mostly to keep them from fogging!) and it can be hard to find goggles that completely seal the eyes from fumes unless you are trying on swim goggles.
When working with epoxy resin, or any craft that involves chemical compounds, you should have specific tools set aside just for working on that craft, and epoxy resin is definitely one of those crafts.
If you are trying to create less waste you could also try using silicone mixing cups and let your epoxy resin mix cure in the cup after, peel it out, and reuse the cup.
Here is a tip: If you plan on using these and disposing of your used epoxy resin after it cures, leave a disposable mixing stick in the curing solution so you have something to pull the cured resin out easily.
If you do plan on doing this, you could take a black permanent marker and write right on the silicone mold FOR RESIN ONLY. Let's keep our resin tools for resin art and not for accidental dinner prep.
This goes for any other reusable tools you will be designating for epoxy resin only.
When you are planning on working with epoxy resin, wherever you choose to do the work, make sure that it is a resin-only sort of workspace.
With this in mind, you will have everything that is designated for resin-only work on hand, and you won't risk having any cross-contamination by passing along residue onto your other art and craft supplies that you normally work with without gloves on.
Also, make sure you do not bring anything that would come into contact with your mouth into the resin room or area. If you need to take a break to eat or drink, keep those out of your epoxy resin working space for safety.
This is a good practice to get into and is just a good safety check.
If you do happen to get resin on your skin (we have been there before, yes, accidents do happen) You ABSOLUTELY do not want to use any chemicals or even vinegar to get that resin off.
What we have found is that using a little baking soda with dish soap works really well.
Plan out exactly what you are going to create with your epoxy resin. If you are doing geode resin art, lay out your colorants for tinting the resin, your cups for pouring, your stir sticks, your gemstones, glitter, and other resin-making supplies.
Think of everything you are going to do, step by step, and lay it out. This way, you won't be rummaging through a drawer or somewhere looking for that one color or glitter you want after you have started!
This means there will be less chance of epoxy resin carry-over onto drawer handles, doorknobs, etc. Plus, it is good practice to plan out what you are going to do before jumping in. Be well-prepared!
This was our own set-up before starting some geode resin art at our DIY Craft Club studio.
Here is one trick that you are going to love and this makes the whole resin art-making experience not only safe by keeping resin off of things but it will also add to the enjoyment of creating your art.
I have an Amazon Echo, and it is in my craft room. Why? Because I just have to say out loud "Hey Alexa, play some music". You can also answer phone calls, set a timer, and perform so many more functions hands-free, which is great if you have resin all over your gloves!
Another thing you can do while working is to listen to an audiobook. If you would like to try the Amazon Echo Dot, you can check the price on Amazon right here. You can also get the full-size Echo plus here.
This brings us to our final point for resin safety, and you can consider this more of a tip since it makes your life so much easier when using resin:
We love to fit Torani pumps on our Art Resin 32 ounce bottles from Amazon. We were so thrilled when we discovered this one! Before we did, our epoxy resin bottles were covered from us pouring resin into containers to mix.
Using these pumps on our resin bottles allowed our bottles to stay relatively clean, but it also allowed us to measure much easier: ArtResin has a 1:1 ratio for mixing.
Here is a video pin from our Pinterest account of us getting the Torani pumps ready for our resin bottles. Notice how we insert them slowly and pump the air out as we put them in so the resin doesn't overflow out the top.
*Click the "save" button on the top right of this video pin to save it to your own Pinterest board, and be sure to follow us on Pinterest for more awesome tips!
Of course, which containers fit which pumps is going to be trial and error, but these Torani pumps do fit the 16oz Art Resin from Amazon, and that is a brand of resin we use quite often and like.
So now that you know about the safety equipment you may want to consider when you are mixing and using resin, let's end this conversation by talking about some of the associated risks.
And always refer to the safety data sheet for any further resin safety information.
Each company that sells resin will have a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS), a Product Safety Data Sheet (PSDS) or a Safety Data Sheet (SDS) listed for each product you wish to use on their website. If that company does not have an MSDS, PSDS or SDS, you may want to consider finding the same product from another company and have a read over before buying or using.
An MSDS, PSDS and SDS sheet will provide you with instructions for safe product, material or chemical handling and use, as well as list the potential hazards associated with the material or product.
The MSDS, PSDS or SDS sheets also provide you with spill procedures as well as instructions in case of skin exposure, accidental inhalation or ingestion and what to do if the product gets in your eyes. These are important to know BEFORE working with a product or material.
Well, we hope you are leaving this article well-informed about working with resin. There is nothing better than arming yourself with knowledge when thinking of trying a new medium or keeping your safety in check as an experienced artist.
Now you can make well-informed safety decisions going forward with resin and now you know how to protect yourself properly with your safety checks in place.
Let's try to remember to keep a safe working space, healthy bodies, and clean breathing environments. And whatever you decide to do, go forward informed
If you found this article useful or helpful, be sure to PIN it now to come BACK to it later, and share away! Thanks for reading :)
Have a safe, productive day!
ANOTHER HELPFUL ARTICLE
You may also want to read more about whether or not you should wear a respirator mask when using resin. We talk about:
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