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March 9 - March 13, 2015

What health and safety precautions should contractors take when applying isocyanate-cured epoxies in the field?


Selected Answers

From Wilfred Offor of Intertek Moody International on August 25, 2016:
Consult the MSDS to determine the toxicity of the material and apply the specified protective equipment needed.

From Jerry Trevino of Protective Liner Systems on April 1, 2016:
Isocyanate-cured polymers are currently used in very small confined spaces such as manholes and underground concrete structures. They are atomized-sprayed in manholes 4 feet in diameter and 5 feet to 15 feet in depth. The sewer collection system remains operational as the work is being performed; therefore, the isocyanate-cured polyurethane is exposed to all the attendants, home owners and bystanders. This is a very risky, hazardous practice. One hundred percent solid epoxies are much better suited to this environment.They are less risky, generate less hazardous exposure, and actually bond better to the wet substrates than polyurethanes or urethane coatings. Therefore, isocyanate-cured products should be avoided in underground confined spaces.

From Qaisar Malik of ABC on July 13, 2015:
Take proper care, shield your face, and use a mask.

From Joe Miller of NextGen Green Building Products, Inc. dba Direct2Contractors.com on July 3, 2015:
There are isocyanate-free, 100% solids, minimal odor polyurethane formulations on the market today that are two times more durable than conventional polyurethane-based floor coatings and that reduce the need for extreme protective gear.

From James Colter of Structural Integrity Solutions on July 1, 2015:
When I was painting, I always had the practice of being covered from head to toe (coveralls, gloves, spray socks, etc.) as well as using a full-faced respirator with tear-away covers as opposed to half-faced respirator, and with the proper cartridges due to isocyanates being potentially carcinogenic. This toxin can be readily absorbed through your eyes as well as your skin. It is a chemical known to cause sensitization and occupational asthma in exposed workers, as well as being known to cause cancer in animals. Bottom line is, the workers should be equipped the proper PPE and knowledge of the hazard they are working with.

From David Rasmussen of E2 Consulting Engineers/ PG&E on June 25, 2015:
We have a brand-new, custom-made, state-of-the-art extraction and ventilation system at our new ADF facility in Great Falls, Montana. Even so, we require half-face chemical respirators on all our paint crew members. Even with all this expensive technology, it still comes down to proper PPE.

From paul graham of Tornado Combustion on March 17, 2015:
From the handling aspect to application to clean up, ensure all containers are sealed, and use respiratory care. Post signage for personnel to stay out unless protected.

From Stephen Cantrelle of Century Industrial Coatings on March 11, 2015:
Due to the various formulations and the raw materials that go into them, the safest thing to do would be to consult the manufacturer's SDS/MSDS.

From tim hady of tjhady painting on March 10, 2015:
Use air-supplied respirators, long-sleeve coveralls, and gloves.

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Tagged categories: Asia Pacific; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); Epoxy; Health & Safety; Health and safety; Isocyanate; Latin America; North America


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