Resin Safety and Usage

1.  Have good room ventilation. Make sure there is fresh and/or circulating air in a room when working with resin. Open a window or use a fan if necessary. This is usually enough for many resins, including epoxy. If you’re working with resin that requires respirator use, you need to do it in an area where you can evacuate fumes or leave the room once you’re finished.

2.  Wear disposable gloves. Preferably nitrile gloves since they are the least likely to react with the resin. (Latex can inhibit the curing of some resins.) Other types of gloves may also allow resin through the glove and contact your skin. If you have sensitive skin, coat your hands with a barrier cream before putting on your gloves. For all you thrifty artists (like 99.87% of you), you can reuse your gloves if you’re careful when taking them off. Pro tip: Be careful when putting your gloves away. If they have resin on them, they will leave resin on whatever you store them in. 

3.  If you’re working on a large project, wear protective clothing. When mixing up large amounts of resin, this is important for resin craft safety. Also speaking from experience, wear something you don’t mind getting resin on. Resin drips will not come out of clothing, especially if they’re your favourite shorts.

4.  To avoid food contamination, mark items you use for your resin projects as ‘resin only’. Many kitchen items, like cups, spatulas, and baking moulds are great tools for your resin studio. But, once you use them with resin, don’t use them with food again.

5.  If the resin manufacturer recommends a respirator, wear it!  Some resins, including polyesters and some polyurethanes, can emit dangerous and noxious fumes.  Note:  Don’t think because you don’t smell the fumes when working with these resins, they aren’t there. When crafting with resins that need respirator use, wear one approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) for fumes and make sure it fits properly.

6.  When sanding, grinding, or drilling resin, wear a particle mask or a NIOSH respirator approved for dust. It is important not to inhale the resin dust, which could cause an allergic reaction.

7.  Use safety goggles. If you are wearing a dust mask or respirator, you need to wear safety glasses as well. They are also necessary if you are working with any power tool.

8.  Clean up spills immediately. Yes, I know this is inconvenient, but you don’t want yourself or someone else to find sticky resin later only to not know what it is. Acetone works well to remove spills but wear gloves while cleaning it up. It can draw the resin into your skin and cause irritation.

9.  Clean resin spills on your skin immediately with soap.  When cleaning up resin on your skin, do not use acetone or a chlorinated product. This will make it more likely you will have a resin skin reaction. Instead, use a quality detergent and water.  If the resin is sticky, use a pumice soap.  Pro tip:  Baby wipes work great for resin off skin too.

10.  Dispose of resin products properly. Never, ever, ever pour them down your sink, toilet, or sewer system. Follow the resin kit instructions for disposal of unused product and empty containers, which may involve you taking them to your local hazardous materials collection centre. 

11.  Ask for Safety Data Sheets (SDS) for the products you are using. This information is the ultimate resource on resin craft safety and will include the chemical composition of your products, safety recommendations, and first aid advice should you have a problem.


How to dispose of used or unused resin?

1.  NEVER pour chemicals down your drain or toilet.

You may cause damage to your pipes or stop up your system.  Many resin supplies can also be marine pollutants, so you are harming aquatic life when you do this.

2.  If you have liquid resin components that you don’t want any longer, the safest option is to take your local waste collection centre as ‘hazardous materials’ waste.

These centres generally also collect paint, batteries, electronics, etc. to keep them out of landfills.  You can also review the safety data sheet (SDS) information for your products.  There will be recommendations and cautions on how the product can be disposed of.  Be sure to keep labelling on the containers and put them in a package that allows waste collection personnel to handle the items safely.  (e.g. Don’t hand them a bottle with sticky resin on the outside.  Put it in a plastic bag first.)

3.  If you have resin containers that are empty, be sure they are capped tight before throwing the containers in the trash.

Once I have used all the contents on resin and hardener kits, I will finish by putting one cap on the other bottle.  This will cure them shut!  Alternatively, if you have a small amount of resin and hardener in each, you can pour one bottle into the other, allow to cure, then throw away with your regular trash.

4.  Cured resin is considered inert and can be disposed of in regular trash.

Yes, you can throw your resin mistakes away. 

5.  If you are working with mixed resin and find you don’t need all of it, allow it to cure before throwing it into the trash.

Otherwise, you can have some resin experiments ready to go for times like these