Working safely with Epoxy, what and how?

Epoxy is relatively safe and, above all, very fun to work with. Are you curious about how you can work best and safely with epoxy? Do you wonder whether you should wear a face mask or gloves while working with epoxy?

On this page we answer these types of questions. Is your question not listed or are you looking for other expert advice? Then you can always contact our customer service , our experts will be happy to help you.

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What is epoxy?

Epoxies are polymers that are produced as a liquid and turn into a solid form through a chemical reaction. Cured epoxy is very strong. Epoxy has a compressive and tensile strength that is twice that of concrete. After the epoxy dries, a kind of hard plastic is created. Cured epoxy is completely safe for both humans and animals to wear.

There are two types of epoxy

1. UV Resin (ready-made)

This epoxy is, as the name suggests, ready-made. UV Resin has been very popular in recent years and was specially developed to quickly make jewelry, key rings and other small art. This epoxy is ready-to-use and quickly drying. Thanks to a handy spout, you can pour the epoxy directly from the bottle into a mold.

2. Epoxy casting resin (2 components)

Epoxy casting resin , for example, is mixed 1 to 1, but there are also more difficult mixing ratios. The mixing ratio is quite precise. In addition, such an epoxy must dry for 24 hours before you can process it further and harden for up to 48 hours before your workpiece is really ready. But watch out! There is also an epoxy variant in the Netherlands called Resion UV resin. This is not ready-made UV Resin, but ordinary epoxy casting resin. You also still have to mix this yourself with 2 components and it has the same long drying time as epoxy.

What is suitable for what?

For making jewelry and other small objects we recommend ready-made epoxy such as UV Resin . This is because of the fast processing time and ease of use. You can also build up a piece of jewelry or other work of art in thin layers. By using different layers with colors or materials you create a beautiful 3D effect.

For larger projects, such as casting a tray or coaster, we always choose a two-component solution such as the Epoxy casting resin . These are also much cheaper for large surfaces.

How to work safely with epoxy?

Some vapor may be released during the curing of epoxy. The components of the epoxy contain a very small amount of volatile components. Some of this is released during use and the curing process. It is better to avoid prolonged exposure without protection and your work area must be sufficiently ventilated.

When working with epoxy it is therefore necessary to work safely:
- Our advice is to always work with latex gloves and clothing that can be properly covered and dirty.
- If you work in a well-ventilated area (window open) you do not need a mask. The fumes released during curing are very minimal.
- Wear gloves to prevent epoxy from touching the skin.

- If you want to be on the safe side, you can wear a vapor mask , but this is not necessary if you follow the above tips.

See the table below about recommended personal protection based on how long you work with epoxy.

Protective equipment Short Long
Sufficient ventilation Yes Yes
(nitrile) Gloves Yes Yes
Safety glasses No Yes
Half face mask No Yes

Is epoxy harmful to the respiratory tract?

Fumes can be released during the curing and mixing of epoxy. If you work with cheap epoxies or those that come from abroad, you have a greater risk of this. Our epoxy meets all safety requirements. You won't have any trouble with this.
When working with epoxy, the risk of irritation of the respiratory tract and skin is minimized by using suitable protective equipment (a face mask, protective clothing, safety glasses and gloves). If you work a lot with epoxy or are sensitive to it, you may consider wearing a vapor mask.

Can working with epoxy cause an allergic reaction?

In practice, only a very small percentage of people appear to be hypersensitive or even allergic to this. This may involve a specific substance in the epoxy or several. Follow the above tips on working safely with epoxy and the chance of this happening will be extremely small . In the event of an allergic reaction due to epoxy, redness, pimples, blisters and swelling may be seen at the points of contact with the skin. You may also experience irritation of the airways (coughing fits).

If you have any complaints, stop working with epoxy immediately and go into fresh air. Consult a doctor if necessary. He/she can answer your question whether you are allergic to it.

Your workplace

If you work with epoxy, make sure you have everything at hand. We use baby wipes in case we make a mess. Always work on a silicone mat or placemat. The epoxy does not adhere to this. If the epoxy gets on here, remove it quickly. Always work with an extra pair of gloves on hand. This is in case your gloves are covered in epoxy or epoxy glitter.

Is epoxy food safe?

Cured epoxy casting resin is safe for both humans and animals, for example to display as art in the home or to wear. Epoxy is resistant to grease, oil and moisture and can withstand high temperatures. This makes it a durable and hygienic product.

You can feel free to make a fruit bowl with a banana in it or a nice etagère with treats, that's no problem.
However, we do not recommend using epoxy to store or cut food directly. In such a case, no UV stabilizer should be added, because it is not suitable for food contact. This is because the epoxy casting resin can react with acids in the food and potentially release toxic substances.

Making a breadboard with epoxy is also not recommended, because cutting and using the board can cause small residues of epoxy to end up in your food. Therefore, it is important to use the epoxy only as a protective coating for food contact surfaces.

More information?

Do you have questions about making art, jewelry or casting/coating floors or other objects? Several people work at itsOkay epoxy experts each with their own expertise. We are happy to help you.

Please contact the customer service from itsOkay or take a look at it Epoxy knowledge center .


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