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Epoxy fumes from coating floor of CLOSED garage. Harmful?

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Epoxy fumes from coating floor of CLOSED garage. Harmful?

Postby VEFF on Mon Dec 13, 2004 11:10 am

Maybe someone can give me feedback on the effects of the following:

This weekend I decided to coat my large (2 car + small workshop bench area) garage with epoxy.

Unfortunately, the epoxy must be laid down when the air AND surface temperature are at least 50 degrees F.
I should have done this earlier in the season, but
1) My house was constantly being worked on and the garage was always
full of either building materials, old carpet etc.
2) I wanted to do the floor last, so that cost me an extra week.
3) I didn't realize, or think in advance about, the temperature restrictions.

Anyway, because the temprature outside at application time was only about 50 and it had been colder overnight, I kept the garage doors CLOSED and turned the heat in the house up to 75, since the funrace / laundry room are in the garage area as a separate room, to which I kept the door open - I wanted the furnace to heat the garage up, which it did.
The garage was 60ish (at beginning) - 65 degrees (by the time I finished).
The concrete garage floor may have been cooler than 50; I don't know; oh well.

Anyway, on to my concern:

EXPOSURE TIMES AND HISTORY
This was my first time using (being exposed to) epoxy, so I don't have any prior exposure;
I read that it has a cumulative effect...

- The whole application took about 2 1/2 - 3 hours (2:20 - 5:15 or so for reference).
- I then went into the house, where the fumes (didn't realize it since I had been in them during application) were being drawn into the house through the force air of the heating system - fumes were bewing drawn into the furnace and then spread / blown throughout the house.
I left the house after about 2 hours and went away for about 4 - 4 1/2
hours.
I then stayed and slept in the house for another 13 hours before going out again.
I returned after about 2 - 3 hours and stayed for 3 - 4 more.

I did a few times, open some windows and run the attic (suction) fan for about 20 minutes (couldn't do it longer because the house was getting dramatically colder.
I also ran the fan briefly (15 minutes?) the day or night before at some point after applying the epoxy, if I remember correctly.
Also said screw it last night and opened one garage door for about 25 - 30 minutes.
I then went out since I had a headache and felt a little out of it (very minor nausea-type symptom, but not really actual nausea) and slept at my parents' place; I wish I had thought of, or done, that the FIRST night.

EFFECTS:
Anyone if this length of exposure (taking into account the the gaps when I was out, the fan running for those two sessions) could cause any longterm effects?
I still have a bit of a headache, but it is (very) minor to say the least.

NOTE THAT THIS WAS PRE-MIXED EPOXY, as opposed to the ones where you have to mix the two.

I may be overly concerned, but this was my first time working with epoxy.

Thanks in advance for any feedback!
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Postby bill on Mon Dec 13, 2004 3:25 pm

We (our company) have only worked with the two part mix...bad stuff. We wear a gas mask to avoid the fumes except in one instance when a coworker removed his because he was hot. He was overcome by the fumes and was sick for a couple of days but recovered 100%.

If you go back to the house while the epoxy is still out gasing try to pick up a chemical filter from the hardware store, the cost about $30.00. It's cheap protection for the short term and as you now know try not to sleep there until the fumes have dissipated, about three days with good drying conditions.

I think your ok because of the limited exposure. But I would suggest you call the manufacturer of the epoxy and get some advice, hopefully they will completely settle your concerns.

Don't do that again! #-o :wink:
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Postby VEFF on Thu Dec 16, 2004 9:15 pm

Thanks a lot for the helpful info.
First of all, yes I won't be that foolish again. :oops:

Unfortunately I did sleep here again from Tuesday night onwards, because my parents had the cleaning lady coming over on Tuesday (even though I was just sleeping in a guest bed in their fully finished basement and not using any sheets) and had noticed nothing as far as fumes are concerned on Monday night when they were here for an hour helping me re-arrange some furniture etc.
That is three full days since the application was completed on early Saturday evening, but it has been cold here, so I wouldn't call that 'good drying conditions' that you said would allow it to dissipate in ABOUT three days.

I can smell the fumes when I am in the garage, briefly of course; they are not really strong to say the least. The rest of the house is not bad at all; also an understatement.
I also work during the day and have been out shopping the past three nights, so the exposure has been pretty limited, some of the limied exposure done intentionally to avoid fumes for too many consecutive hours.

Other than the headache(s) the second evening, before I ended up staying at my parents' place for two nights, I haven't had any strange symptoms.
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Postby bill on Thu Dec 16, 2004 10:06 pm

To refresh my memory I did do some reading since you started the topic. The vapors don't appear to have any long term health effects. Direct contact with the skin, however, can cause varying long term problems with repeated exposure, depending on the particular product. The seller or manufacturer should provide manufacturer safety data sheets with these type of products.

I was just teasing in my first post.

Glad you're feeling ok.
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Postby stix on Fri Dec 17, 2004 11:14 pm

You are a Goner!

just kidding.

best cautionary info is usually right on the product label.
definitely don't sleep at the house until fumes are gone.
prolonged exposure to solvent-based fumes can cause permanent nervous-system damage. ( ie. brain.)
always wear a respirator when using solvent-based products in closed areas, even so, ventilate the area. Non-fresh-air respirators don't do the job.
You will probably be OK since this was a relatively one-time, short-term exposure.
If you are still concerned, talk to your doctor.

Important:
by using a product that emits flamable fumes, and having a flame or spark within reach of the fumes, you risk having an explosion or fire.
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Postby VEFF on Sat Dec 18, 2004 1:17 am

BigMonkey wrote:To refresh my memory I did do some reading since you started the topic. The vapors don't appear to have any long term health effects. Direct contact with the skin, however, can cause varying long term problems with repeated exposure, depending on the particular product. The seller or manufacturer should provide manufacturer safety data sheets with these type of products.

I was just teasing in my first post.

Glad you're feeling ok.


Thanks again!
Not sure what you mean by teasing; nothing you said was worrisome and everything you said made sense. :)

I wore gloves, so I didn't get a lot of direct contact, except the few times I took the gloves off in the middle of the job (e.g. to open a new can of epoxy); I also washed it off thoroughly right after finishing the job.
Plus, I have not had repeated exposure...

I will make sure to do it in the spring or summer next time; it is just that I might put my house on the market, since I am switching to another office
in a few months - date has been moved back twice.
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Postby VEFF on Sat Dec 18, 2004 1:23 am

stix wrote:You are a Goner!

just kidding.

best cautionary info is usually right on the product label.
definitely don't sleep at the house until fumes are gone.
prolonged exposure to solvent-based fumes can cause permanent nervous-system damage. ( ie. brain.)
always wear a respirator when using solvent-based products in closed areas, even so, ventilate the area. Non-fresh-air respirators don't do the job.
You will probably be OK since this was a relatively one-time, short-term exposure.
If you are still concerned, talk to your doctor.

Important:
by using a product that emits flamable fumes, and having a flame or spark within reach of the fumes, you risk having an explosion or fire.


Thanks; if I had any lingering symptoms I would definitely contact a doctor.
The two things I wish I had done differently:
1) Not applied it in a closed garage; the minimum temperature requirement was the reason I did this; plus I didn't notice any fumes while applying it.
2) I wish I had not slept in the house the first night and kept the garage door open a little bit earlier the second day, although I was concerned about the curing / drying not going well with the cold temperatures.
I also think any fumes after the first day or so, were more from the floor and were not coming from the air anymore anyway.

I have a headache as we speak, but that could be from going to bed late the past few days and not going to bed on time for months, with a few exceptions.
Burners only:
Pioneer DVR-115D
Pioneer DVR-111D
Plextor PX-716A TLA0304
Plextor PX-716A same TLA

LiteOn 52246S 52X CD-RW
LiteOn 52246S (another)
LiteOn 52327S 52X CD-RW
TDK 40X USB 2.0 CD-RW
TEAC CD-W540E 40X CD-RW
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Posts: 2025
Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2002 9:36 pm


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