Resin Poisoning Symptoms – Side Effects of Using Epoxy Resin

Resin poisoning refers to the intentional or accidental consumption of epoxy-based products. This can occur if you breathe in its fumes or swallow epoxy resin. And like other complex chemical compounds, this can have severe health impacts.

To understand the impact of the poisoning, it’s good to know the resulting signs and symptoms. That way, one can manage the effects and take the necessary preventative precautions. Unfortunately, most people don’t know the symptoms of resin poisoning.

More Resources: Difference between UV Resin and Epoxy Resin

What Are The Side Effects Of Using Epoxy Resin?

Various symptoms result from resin poisoning. And these side effects may occur in different body systems. It’s also worth noting that these symptoms tend to vary from one person to another.

For that, the symptoms can be severe in some, and mild in others. This will depend on the patient’s overall health condition. They’ll depend on the amount as well as the name of the product swallowed. So exposure to resin can lead to various potential health effects.

Here are some common side effects associated with resin poisoning;

1. Allergies

Allergic dermatitis is one of the most common harmful effects of exposure to epoxy resin. This condition occurs when the body overacts because of a certain allergen. It’s also worth mentioning that this condition can occur after one or several exposures.

More notably, the chances of developing this condition depend on your immune system. Also, it will depend on your frequency and degree of exposure to resin.

Allergies

The allergic reactions can either cause respiratory problems or irritated skin. But skin irritation is the most common effect. Some symptoms of skin irritation are; red eyes, itching, and swelling.

This condition is a bit tricky to diagnose, especially since they’re many kinds of epoxy.

However, in some instances, medication can treat the symptoms. If you’re experiencing an allergy because of exposure to resin, avoid epoxy for days. And if the allergic reaction persists, consult a health professional.

2. Respiratory Irritation

Respiratory Irritation

Mixing resin and hardener triggers a reaction that remains active until epoxy cures. During this reaction, the mixture produces adhesive vapors. Inhaling these fumes can lead to various respiratory issues like irritation and asthma.

You can also experience these problems by sanding partially cured epoxy. This is because sanding produces reactive dust particles. When these particles are trapped in your respiratory system, they cause allergies & irritation.

3. Cancer

Cancer

Some resins can cause skin cancer. This is because some formulas may contain carcinogenic ingredients like epichlorohydrin. So, make sure you choose formulas that are 100% safe and free from harmful compounds.

4. Chemical Burns

Chemical Burns

Chemical burns are not that common when you’re handling a hardener. But, if it remains on the skin for long, the compound can cause severe irritation and moderate burns. This starts with slight pain and irritation. Over time, the burn can slightly scar or discolor the skin.

Nonetheless, these factors will depend on the hardener concentration and the affected area. However, always make sure you get epoxy resin off your skin right away.

How Dangerous are Toxic Epoxy Resins? Should You Choose to Work With it?

As can see, there are many health problems that epoxy can cause. This is a clear indication that it’s not the healthiest option available. So, should you work with it?

Fortunately, not all epoxies in the market are harmful. Instead, some are made up of natural ingredients and are free from toxic substances like VOCs. Besides, they don’t produce unpleasant smells, thus creating a healthier environment.

By observing the right safety precautions, you can safely use epoxy. For instance, you should always have the proper PPE when undertaking your project. Also, work in a room with adequate ventilation and your projects will always go as planned.

What if You Inhale too much Resin Fume?

In its liquid state, epoxy evaporates to form respirable fumes. The evaporation process increases with high temperatures and poor ventilation. Sanding uncured epoxy can also produce respirable particles containing hazardous components.

Inhaling the produced fumes or dust can affect the throat, lungs, and nose. The fumes become trapped in the respiratory lining, causing serious health issues. Symptoms of inhaling epoxy involve inflammation & irritation of the lungs, nose, and throat.

High amounts and repetitive exposure to those fumes can cause asthma and sensitization.

Sensitization refers to experiencing allergic reactions because of exposure to resin. This condition can happen at any stage, regardless of the duration or extent of exposure. For instance, you can get an allergic reaction after breathing epoxy fumes for the first time.

However, breathing greater amounts of fumes increase your chances of getting this condition.

One challenge of sensitization is that even small amounts can trigger a reaction. Therefore, working with this material will become very difficult once sensitized. Worst of all, there’s no certain way of curing this condition.

On the good side, there are methods you can adopt to relieve the resulting symptoms.

What Can Resin Do to Your Lungs?

Breathing epoxy vapors can cause some people to develop lung diseases like asthma. Asthma is a permanent health condition. So, once you get asthma, even the slightest exposure to resin will trigger an attack. Also, an asthma attack may occur at night or after work.

Some symptoms of asthma include;

  • Breathing difficulties
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Chest tightness

Can Resin Fumes Make You Sick?

Inhaling epoxy fumes doesn’t cause volatile problems. In most cases, the curing agents have a pungent smell that causes temporary irritation. However, breathing these fumes doesn’t usually result in poisoning. That’s not always the case though!

Remember, resin is a chemical compound. So, like other chemicals, they can make you sick, especially when they’re not used safely. For instance, inhaling highly concentrated resin vapor can cause sensitization and respiratory irritation.

For this reason, always take the necessary safety precautions when handling epoxy. Also, make sure you read the manufacturer’s instructions before you any resin. Observing these conditions will enable you to work safely with resin for a long time.

Tips to Avoid Getting Poisoned

1. Wear a Mask

The face and eyes are some of the most exposed places to epoxy fumes. Therefore, you must protect these body parts from exposure to fumes. And the most effective way to achieve that is by wearing a respirator mask when handling epoxy.

2. Get Rid of Epoxy Fumes

Another way of protecting yourself from resin fumes is working in a ventilated area. For instance, you can open any windows and doors or even work outdoors. If that’s not possible, increase ventilation and air circulation by putting a few fans in the room.

Alternatively, you can get rid of the fumes by buying a fume extractor. This system traps all the harmful vapors, preventing them from affecting the users.

3. Use Non-Toxic Resins

Lastly, look for epoxy products that don’t pose any health threats to the users. In other words, choose epoxy resins that are non-flammable, non-toxic, and non-harmful. That way, when the resin and hardeners react together, they’ll not leave respirable fumes or VOCs. Thus eliminating any potential threats associated with epoxy vapors.

Final Word

In general, resin poisoning can affect various systems of the body. For instance, it can affect your lungs, nose, esophagus, stomach, throat, mouth, and eyes. The effect will depend on the extent of damage and how fast they receive treatment.

Most cases of resin poisoning aren’t fatal though. Nonetheless, one should get the appropriate treatment as soon as possible.

22 thoughts on “Resin Poisoning Symptoms – Side Effects of Using Epoxy Resin”

    • Hello Cristi,
      I’m so happy to see your comment on my post. And to answer your query, YES, it’s still toxic while the resin cures. It’ll be toxic until it dries completely within more or less 24 hours based on the weather parameters such as temperature, moisture level, etc. You can find more information here on this article on my blog.

      Reply
        • Hi Gurious, Thanks for your comment!

          I would like to remind that heat lamps/UV lights are used to cure epoxy resins that are UV curing type. (It should be specified by the manufacturer somehow about what wavelengths are required, and what not)

          Consequently, Epoxy+hardener will cure without any aids and that’s the standard practice to get a high-gloss, non-yellowing finish.

          However, feel free to make a small coaster to try out if your lamp supports the type of resin you have thus getting an idea of what-and-how behind crafting. I would take crafting as fun, not serious…try out as you love to!!!

          Love…YA
          – RA Admin

          Reply
  1. When I work with it my kid tries to come and see . I don’t allow her much . What should be the safety distance for other persons when I work with resin.?

    Reply
    • Hi Aathira, Glad to see your comment!

      The safest distance for your kid depends on a few things. If you’re working in a closed room, there’s almost no safest distance because the fume will spread all over the room. But in an open place like the backyard, you may allow her to stand 3-5 feet away to the sideward wind direction so the fume is blown away by the wind sideward.

      By the way, It hurts me to listen she’s eager but can’t see what Mom is doing…!!! Here’s an easy fix for you, use non-toxic epoxy resins for all your future projects AND buy her a respiratory mask. Also, if you have the budget, it’s better to use a fume extractor. I believe she’ll be able to get more closer to her LOVELY and CONCERNED MOM.

      Love YA…

      – RA Author

      Reply
    • Hi Adriana, Thanks for your comment!

      Yes, I believe if you’re using toxic resin without wearing safety equipment (even if that’s 2 or 3 hours once/twice a week), you’ll also be affected to a certain level that may be not so acute.

      Once or twice a week pretty much means being an occasional hobby crafter. So why bother your hobby when there’s safety equipment available?

      Love…YA
      – RA Admin

      Reply
  2. What is the treatment if you have breathing problems from sanding uncured epoxy? Is there anyway to cleanse your lungs? What about medicine?
    Thanks

    Reply
    • Hi McNallen, Thanks for your comment!

      I am really not able to give you good medicine late alone not being in touch in the case I need to observe your health condition. I highly recommend checking up with your medical advisor.

      I believe that will be a good practice.

      – Thanks

      Reply
  3. Hi just used some resin for about 30 minutes and now I’m light headed
    How can you get a small amount off your hands

    Should I be worried

    Reply
    • Hi Jessica, Thanks for your comment!

      You don’t have to worry now since it’s already dried. And dried epoxy is less harmful than it was while it cured on your skin. So, it’s always advised to wear resin working gloves. Also, I hope you can find some tips here about how you can get it off your hands.

      – Thanks

      Reply
  4. Hi –
    I used a Rain-X windshield crack repair kit to fix three cracks.
    I had gloves but no mask.
    I did it outdoors in a parking lot,
    but it was a windy day. It has been two weeks now and I am having a hard time breathing, chest is tight, nose and throat are flared. My exposure was approximately 45 mins.
    total, all outdoors. However,
    I did not have a mask on and did breathe some fumes as I waited for it to cure. Should I be concerned with a single 45 mins. exposure outdoors? Thank you

    Reply
    • Hi Henry, Thanks for your comment!

      I believe health impacts due to this exposure will depend on some pre-existing health conditions. For some people, only a single 45 mins of exposure might not show up any major symptoms or anything hard to notice. But I guess it’s a little more hazardous to your respiratory system so you’re experiencing some problems.

      I would suggest not going into action next time without a “mask & fume extractor”. And for the current situation, if you’re curing slowly, that’s good! Otherwise, talk to your doctor immediately and that should solve the problem. Please feel free to ask…

      – Thanks

      Reply
  5. Can you get an itchy rash from inhaling resin? I haven’t let epoxy resin touch me but I was itchy the next day. I’m trying to figure out if it was an allergic reaction or me just having a new fibromyalgia symptom….

    Reply
    • Hi Amy, Thanks for your comment!

      Not sure, if you have pre-existing allergic problems but frequent exposure to toxic resin compounds can also be the reason so far what I know. So it’s always good to use a fume extractor. Why let crafting be stopped when there are simple solutions?!?!

      – Thanks
      LOVE YA

      Reply
  6. I have been having a serious congested blocked ear for 1 week plus now after having been exposed to resin fumes for a good 6-8 hrs each time for 5 times over half a year. I am on antibiotics and anti histamines, any idea if these will help? Thanks

    Reply
    • Hi Cuppy,

      To your problem, I’d like to ask, do you take necessary precautions when working with epoxy resin? These might include – hand gloves, fume extractors, respirator masks, etc.

      However, on the treatment side, I can’t really get to a point since your condition should be closely observed by a Medicine doctor…

      – Thanks

      Reply
  7. Hello!is it necessary to wear a mask while working out with small projects like making earrings out of small amount of resin epoxy?

    Reply
    • Hi Mireille,

      Even though it’s a small project, you’ll still be exposed to epoxy fume to a certain degree. So it’s always a good practice to have essential safety equipment put on because every little exposure counts. And there’ll certainly be a time when you’ve already gone through a long exposure adding all your projects into a time frame.

      – Thanks

      Reply
  8. My throat and my lungs are irritated. I have a bit of asthma, tightness. I love doing my resin. I have a mask and four little extractors. I lost my goggles. Does it affect your eyes?

    Reply
    • I thank you Michelle for your valuable comment on my post.

      Yes, if you’re exposed to epoxy resin frequently for a long time without goggles, it might also irritate your eyes.

      Reply

Leave a Comment