The topic of potential health hazards among windshield repair technicians is far from new. It continues to be discussed among techs in industry online groups and forums and among auto glass professionals in shops around the country. The issue was the topic of an article in the July-August 2017 issue of AGRR magazine.
The bottom line: today’s repair resins could present health hazards, but nothing a good pair of gloves, and other preventative measures, won’t mediate. Here are some tips not found in that article on how technicians can stay safe.
- Consult MSDS Data
Manufacturers and resin providers are required to provide material safety data sheets (MSDS) for each resin formula they sell, which should be included in the product packaging or literature. In the event that your provider (or employer) did not include safety sheets, you can request this information. (It’s your right as a windshield repair technician.)
While you should consult the safety sheets for individual products, below are some general guidelines that we found common to most resins:
Gloves: Specifically those made of Nitrile, which should be exposed to resin materials for no longer than 10 minutes at a time and (no matter how long they’re exposed) used for no more than one 24 hour period before discarding.
Protective clothing: Skin that’s at risk of coming in contact with resin should be fully covered by clothing and/or protective wear.
Eye protection: While we found no specific recommendations for type, the idea is to avoid any eye contact, including dust particles and fragments (so you may want to consider the type with sides protection).
While no MSDS or manufacturers’ guidelines suggested the use of protective respirators, it’s important to note that you should avoid breathing dust, fumes, gas, mists and vapors. If working inside, use a well-ventilated workspace and proper dust protection.
- React Appropriately
(in the event of)
Eye contact: Rinse with water for several minutes and remove contact lenses when present
Skin contact: Immediately wash with plenty of soap and water.
Contaminated clothing: Remove immediately from body and workspace, then wash before reusing.
Ingestion: Drink water (some MSDS’s suggest at least two glasses) and obtain medical attention; medical or experienced first-aid personnel should induce vomiting.
Resins should be kept in tightly closed containers and stored in well-ventilated and secured locations. It’s also recommended that you regularly clean work equipment and areas.
Drew Vass is a contributing editor for glassBYTEs.com and AGRR magazine.