Can You Be Allergic To Epoxy Resin?Posted on 29 Nov 14:47
Yes, it’s possible to be allergic or to develop an allergy to epoxy resin. Approximately 5% (or less) of epoxy resin users will demonstrate allergic symptom(s) to the basic chemical components of epoxy resin in general (i.e. the building blocks on which any given epoxy resin is formulated). This means that epoxy allergy is not specific to a particular brand: If you're allergic to one epoxy resin, you will be allergic to all epoxy resins on the market.
Allergic symptom(s) typically present as skin inflammation, including redness and irritation to varying degrees, which subsides once exposure has been interrupted. Symptoms can also include swelling and fluid-filled blisters. Unfortunately, it is impossible to tell whether someone will have an epoxy allergy until symptoms present themselves. Sometimes the onset is immediate and obvious, while other times it develops slowly over time.
Regardless of when reactions occur or their severity, allergy sufferers should discontinue use of all epoxy resins indefinitely in order to protect themselves.
The Federal Hazardous Substances Act (FHSA) has established labeling requirements for all products that contain ingredients that may cause allergy—called “sensitizing” agents. ArtResin epoxy resin was evaluated by a Diplomate of the American Board of Toxicology, wherein it was determined “the product is not considered to be toxic (acute/chronic), corrosive and/or a strong sensitizer when used as intended or under circumstances involving reasonably foreseeable misuse . . . While not listed as a strong sensitizer as per 16 CFR 1500.13, . . . [it] may cause skin sensitization.”
Let’s unpack that so it’s clear:
According to the FHSA regulation referenced above, a ‘strong sensitizer’ is defined as, “a substance which will cause on normal living tissue through an allergic or photodynamic process a hypersensitivity which becomes evident on reapplication.” So, ArtResin was determined to be a product that would not likely cause allergy in most users, however given its chemical makeup as an epoxy resin, it does have the potential for causing allergy. As such, we are required to write on our label: WARNING: May cause skin/eye irritation or allergic reaction.
In general, most allergies people encounter are to foods and products that most other people enjoy and use successfully without harm. For example, peanuts are a known allergen for some folks, however the majority of people in the world are able to consume them without an issue. They’re widely regarded as non-toxic even though they pose a big problem for a small percentage of the population (peanut allergy affects approximately 0.6% of the US population, according to Wikipedia).
Again, if you are someone who finds themselves demonstrating allergic reaction to epoxy resin exposure, the advice from the medical community is to discontinue use indefinitely. Such a situation would truly be unfortunate, however nothing is ever worth putting ahead of one’s health! :)