My window screen frame came apart at the top, so I decided to get a strong
epoxy. I bought the Devcon 5 minute Expoy in my local hardware store. There
were warnings not to get it on your skin as you mixed it, etc. Of course I
got some on my skin, so I washed immediately. I also left a window open
during the screen drying process.
Question: How dangerous is the warning below that accompanied the product?
Should this product be avoided in favor of Duco Cement or Krazy Glue? Or is
this in almost every product?
Warning: Contains epoxy resin and polymercaptan amines. This
product contains a chemical known to the State of California to cause
cancer. Avoid contact with eyes and skin. Avoid breathing vapors.
Use with adequate ventilation. Wear suitablle protective clothing.
<< How dangerous is the warning below that accompanied the product? >>
Assuming you meant to ask about the product itself, the warning is valid as
regards the hardener compound. Many epoxy co-reactants (hardeners) are organic
amines which are known to cause dermatitis in sensitive individuals. For the
majority of the public moderate brief exposure will be harmless.
<< Should this product be avoided in favor of Duco Cement or Krazy Glue? >>
No, use with some common sense. Like most things, adhesives are specialized.
Learn their attributes and choose the right ones to do the job you want them
Them Krazy Kalifornians require all sorts of ominous warnings. Over
exposure to the chemicals can eventually cause a problem, but a small
exposure usually bothers no one. Just clean off as best you can.
Most cancer warnings are based on rat studies. Also, in the headlines you
often hear about some new drug does something wonderful to rats. Of course
when they test on humans it doesn't work. You can bet that lots of those
chemicals which cause cancer in rats do not cause cancer to humans just like
the medications which work on rats don't work on humans. Humans are a bit
more complicated than rats.
wrote in message
I stopped worrying about those when they decided that Scotch whisky caused
cancer. Plus, in California, *everything* causes cancer.
On the serious side, a cancer warning about a product or component thereof
doesn't mean you are going to go toes up if it touches you. It means that
it *may* cause cancer with frequent and/or prolonged contact. I'd worry
more about sun induced cancer.
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In my job, I worked with various epoxies and hardeners for several years and
had no ill effects until I suddenly became sensitized to it. Thereafter, a
minute amount would cause an itching, painful rash. Now I wear gloves and
apply a barrier hand cream before using it and I'm ok. For most people using
it occasionally in small amounts, I can't see that it would cause a problem.
If it were as dangerous as the warnings make it out to be, I should be dead
by now because I used it regularly in large quantities for 20 years.
There are warnings to make you safe (don't put epoxy glue into your
eyes or eat it), and then there are warnings to help prevent lawsuits
(epoxy may cause cancer). I don't know how nasty epoxy is to breathe,
but I don't like the 5-minute type simply because it smells like burnt
Lab rats are used to evaluate cancer risks because they're about the
most uniform mammals available and, despite costing $1,000 apiece,
it's far cheaper to test with them and expose them to high
concentrations of the test substance than to test at normal levels in
humans because the latter requires way too many subjects (hard to keep
track, hard to prevent unknown quantities from being introduced or
factored out) and way too much time for accurate results. When
something gives lab rats cancer, it almost always gives humans cancer,
too, but the risk may be so small to be barely meaningful. The
problem is that warning labels for cancer don't distinguish between
big risks (cigarettes, big doses of hydrocarbons or microfine carbon
dust) and small risks (artificial sweeteners, epoxy that you use once
Then there are inbred idiots who think that nothing is dangerous and
that only crazy Californians worry about cancer.
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