Besides floor coatings, epoxy products are used for spray foams, paints, plastics, dental cement, and much more. Most of the time, people use it in jobs where they need tough coatings and adhesives. However, numerous downsides follow epoxy resin systems. Most importantly, chemicals in these systems affect our health, which is unacceptable. They can get in contact with our skin or even form a mist or dust in the air that we breathe.
The most common effects of overexposure to unhealthy epoxy chemicals are skin allergies, asthma, and irritations of the eyes, nose, and throat. Also, issues such as dizziness or headaches occur quite often. But, let’s go through each category and understand all the harmful effects of chemicals coming from epoxy.
Getting in touch with epoxy resins can often cause skin irritation. It is easy to recognize the symptoms, and some of the most common are redness, swelling, and itching on the hands. Getting in touch with epoxy liquids can also lead to skin allergies, and they can develop even after many years of exposure to epoxies.
Asthma and other lungs issues
Spray mists and vapors of epoxy system chemicals can often irritate lungs. As a result, people can develop asthma, which is a permanent health disease. Usual symptoms of asthma are wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath. Once a person gets allergic to curing agents, even the clouds of dust from sanding can trigger an asthma attack.
Even though epoxy resins themselves do not affect reproduction, there are still solvents in these systems that can affect it negatively. Two solvents (2-ethoxyethanol and 2-methoxyethanol) can cause reduced sperm counts in men. Some glycidyl ethers can cause congenital disabilities in animals, and it is still not known whether the same effects can affect humans.
When solvents get absorbed through your skin, they often affect the central nervous system. On top of that, the effect is precisely the same when drinking alcohol. Common symptoms of solvent overexposure are nausea, confusion, headache, and a loss of consciousness.
Eyes, nose, and throat irritation
Most epoxy chemicals and their vapors can irritate your eyes, nose, and throat. Severe headaches are often the outcome of these irritations. Care not to get splashed into the eye with liquids – it is by far the worst-case scenario and can cause severe damage. However, if it happens, go and rinse your eyes with water, and call for medical attention immediately after that.
Tests on laboratory animals showed that older epoxy resins caused skin cancer. It is, most likely, due to epichlorohydrin, which probably causes cancer in humans as well. However, newer epoxy resins contain less epichlorohydrin, so they don’t cause cancer in animals.
Also, particular glycidyl ethers in epoxy products can cause genetic mutations in animals. Even though that fact suggests that these ethers might be cancer-causing agents, it is still not known if ethers cause mutations or cancer in humans.
What is the best substitute for epoxies?
Fortunately, nowadays, we have a healthy substitution for harmful epoxies. There is an all-natural material, free of all toxins that can potentially harm people, and it is called Ecodur. It is entirely free of toxic Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC), as well as solvents and BPA. We were aware of USDA regulations when we were developing this non-epoxy floor coating. Therefore, we uphold the highest possible standards – the same ones that apply to food.
Besides being toxic-free, our natural floor coating is the ideal choice for anyone in the business of cannabis oil production. And most importantly, there is no unbearable smell as it is the case with epoxy. As a result, you will create a healthier, less suffocating environment.
And finally, our natural floor coating is less susceptible to cracking than epoxy-based coatings (which are considered to be durable). Therefore, it reacts better to the minor movement of the surface.
Even though it has been around for years, epoxy is not the healthiest option. As we mentioned throughout the article, chemicals in epoxy systems can cause health issues in almost every part of our body.
The cannabis industry provides much higher health standards, especially when it comes to goods that get in touch with humans. Natural materials in Lifetime Coatings are the guarantee of your health, but also the health of your family members or employees.
It is the right time to provide a safe working place for your employees or a healthy non-toxic home for your family!