Ingredients of epoxy resin systems have sensitising properties: In case of inappropriate use, employees may become sensitized. After this has occurred, contact with epoxy resins can result in allergic reactions in the form of skin rashes. However, this only occurs if an employee comes into contact with not cured epoxy resins.
Due to their unique technical properties -e.g. their high resistance to mechanical loads, high chemical resistance and excellent adhesion properties -, it has not been possible to replace epoxy resins by products based on different raw materials that perform equally well and are less dangerous in many fields of application.
Once epoxy resins are cured, they no longer have a sensitising effect. They are generated as a result of a chemical reaction between two components: One component contains substances with the epoxy group that is characteristica of epoxy resins, while the second component contains a hardener, which is generally an amine or an acid anhydride. Both components may contain sensitising substances. The wide range of different hardeners is the basis for the wide range of applications of epoxy resins.
Epoxy resins are used in a wide range of applications and in many different industry sectors. Across all industry sectors, epoxy resins are the most frequent causes of work-related allergic skin diseases. As early as 2007, this drove all those involved (industries that produce and use epoxy resins as well as occupational health organisations) to search for solutions to reduce the number of illnesses as part of the Epoxy Resins working group.
Continuous collaboration has resulted in various research projects and specific recommendations for technical, organisational and personal protective measures.
EIS mixture calculator
Standard assessment of epoxy resin mixtures
Recommendation to wear gloves for solvent-free epoxy resins (BG Bau)
'WINGIS' hazardous substance information system from BG BAU
'GisChem' hazardous substances information system from the BG RCI and BGHM
Data sheets and drafts for substance-related operating instructions for various products containing epoxy resins and for various working methods
Educational material for vocational schools from the EpoxSafe@School 1.0 project