Adhesives are widely used in various industries and applications, from construction and manufacturing to arts and crafts. While adhesives can provide strong and durable bonds, they also may pose potential risks to the users’ health and safety. In this article, we’ll answer some common questions about adhesive safety and provide tips on how to choose, use, store, and dispose of adhesives safely and responsibly.
What Are Some Common Chemicals Found In Adhesives?
Adhesives may contain a range of chemicals and solvents, depending on the type, formulation, and intended use of the adhesive. Some common chemicals found in adhesives include:
- Volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can contribute to air pollution and respiratory problems.
- Formaldehyde, a carcinogen and irritant that may cause eye, nose, and throat irritation, as well as asthma and allergic reactions.
- Isocyanates, which can cause asthma, skin irritation, and respiratory problems.
- Acetone, a flammable solvent that can cause skin dryness and irritation.
Bond Tech adhesive products are free of all of the above (some products may however emit VOC’s).
What Are the Safety Requirements When Using Adhesives?
To ensure safe and healthy adhesive use, it’s essential to read and follow the adhesive’s safety data sheet (SDS) and labels, as well as use personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves, goggles, and respirators when necessary. Advice on this is found in the SDS.
How Do I Choose Safe Adhesives for Different Applications?
You’ll need to consider several factors, such as the types of materials being bonded and their properties, such as surface roughness, porosity, and flexibility, environmental conditions like temperature and humidity, as well as the required strength, durability and curing time of the bonding agent.
To choose safe adhesives, look for products that meet industry standards and regulations, such as those set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Additionally, consider using alternatives to hazardous adhesives, such as water-based or solvent-free adhesives. Bond Tech’s entire line up of adhesives has your health and safety in mind!
Speak to a member of our team for help choosing the adhesive that will work best for your application & industry! Contact us today.
What Are the Hazards When Using Adhesives?
Adhesives pose various hazards when used improperly or inappropriately. Some hazards of adhesive use include:
- Skin and eye irritation or burns due to direct contact with adhesives or splashes.
- Respiratory problems due to inhaling fumes, vapours, or dust from adhesives.
- Fire, explosion, or chemical reactions due to storing, using or disposing of adhesives improperly.
- Allergic reactions or sensitization due to exposure to chemicals in adhesives.
To prevent hazards from adhesive use, follow the safety requirements and precautions mentioned earlier, and seek medical attention if any symptoms of exposure occur.
What Safety Precautions Are Needed When Storing Adhesives?
Follow these tips for the safe and proper storage of adhesive chemicals:
- Store in a well-ventilated area away from heat, flames, and direct sunlight.
- Keep adhesives in their original containers and label them properly with the name, date, and safety information.
- Store separately from incompatible materials such as oxidizers or acids.
- Keep adhesives out of reach of children or unauthorized persons.
What Are the Potential Health Risks Of Adhesive Use?
Exposure to adhesives can cause various health effects depending on the type, concentration, and duration of exposure. These include:
- Skin and eye irritation
- Chemical burns
- Respiratory problems
- Allergic reactions
- Central nervous system effects such as dizziness, headache, or nausea
- Cancer or reproductive effects
To minimize the risk of health effects from adhesive exposure, use adhesives that DO NOT contain any of the aforementioned harsh chemicals, use in well-ventilated areas, wear appropriate PPE, and follow the safety requirements and precautions mentioned earlier. Additionally, seek medical attention if any symptoms of exposure occur.
What Is The Safest Adhesive?
There is no single safest adhesive that can meet all applications and requirements. However, some adhesives are safer than others depending on their formulation, toxicity, and environmental impact. Some examples of safe adhesives include:
- Water-based adhesives that contain no or low VOCs and have low toxicity and flammability.
- Hot melt adhesives that do not require solvents or cure quickly without emitting harmful fumes.
- UV-curable adhesives that use light instead of heat or chemicals to bond materials and have low toxicity and environmental impact.
- Silicone, skin-safe glues that are flexible and resistant to high and low temperatures.
Are There Regulations and Standards For Adhesive Safety In North America?
Yes, both Canada and the US have regulations and standards for adhesive safety that aim to protect workers, consumers, and the environment from potential risks and hazards. Some of these regulations and standards include:
- OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) requires manufacturers to provide SDS and labels for hazardous chemicals, including adhesives.
- EPA’s Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) that regulates the manufacturing, processing, and use of chemicals, including adhesives.
- Canada’s Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) that requires employers to provide information and training on hazardous materials, including adhesives.
- The Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) regulates the manufacture, import, and use of chemicals, including adhesives.
How Do You Properly Dispose Of Adhesives?
Properly disposing of adhesives prevents environmental pollution and health hazards. To dispose of adhesives safely and responsibly, be sure to follow local regulations and guidelines for hazardous waste disposal.
Start by contacting your local waste management or recycling facilities for instructions on how to dispose of adhesives. Do not pour adhesives down the drain or into the garbage.
What Are the Best Practices For Glue Safety In the Workplace?
To ensure the safe use of adhesives in the workplace, consider the following best practices:
- Provide adequate training and PPE to employees who handle adhesives.
- Use adhesives in well-ventilated areas and avoid inhaling fumes or vapours.
- Store and label adhesives properly according to their safety information and requirements.
- Avoid skin or eye contact with adhesives and use appropriate first aid measures in case of exposure or injury.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and guidelines for adhesive use, application, and cleanup.
- Dispose of adhesives properly and avoid environmental pollution or contamination.
Work with The Experts at Bond Tech Industries
For high-quality adhesives that meet the highest standards of performance and safety, trust Bond Tech Industries. With over 20 years of experience, we offer a wide range of safe, reliable, and eco-friendly adhesives for various applications and industries. Contact us today to learn more about our products and services.