What is especially made of resin jewelry

Epoxy Resin: Environment and Health | A DIY trend under the microscope

Is Epoxy Resin Toxic? Is epoxy resin food safe? Can I make glasses out of resin? Can epoxy resin be heated? How harmful is epoxy resin to the environment? These and other questions have been asked so many times since my two epoxy posts were published, and I was only able to answer as far as my common sense and manufacturer information could reach. Now I've asked a chemist for some insights.

Epoxy resin and VLV

I first encountered epoxy resin in spring 2018, when the material became a trending topic in the DIY sector. Like probably many of my readers, I assumed: if I can buy it as a layman, it cannot be super-harmful. The Warning notices (Wear gloves, ventilate rooms well, avoid contact with skin, serious eye damage is possible in the event of contact with the eyes ...) hardly differ from paints and varnishes.

responsibility

But with every call of mine Epoxy DIY projects I feel a responsibility on my shoulders to make myself smart for my readers, because imagine: Manufacturers only tell you as much about a material as they have to say. They don't answer all of the questions you might ask about a material. (This is purest sarcasm.)

Independent information

That is why I took advantage of the opportunity and asked a doctorate in chemistry how dubious the use of epoxy resin in the DIY sector really is for people and the environment and I am giving you the sometimes astonishing answers in my lay words.


short version

Environment: From an environmental point of view, epoxy resin can be compared to plastic. Disposable epoxy is just as bad for the environment as single-use plastic.

bless you: Epoxy resin is often found in the food sector, which is a problem especially when it comes into contact with heat and acids. In the DIY sector, you should make sure that the resin does not contain bisphenol A (BPA-free).


The most common questions about epoxy resin, the environment and health

Is epoxy resin particularly bad for the environment?

Compared to what? Measured by what?
It probably uses less energy to manufacture than glass. Epoxy resin is more problematic in terms of disposal. Because while glass is 100% recyclable, epoxy resin can only be used once. With a large number of materials, the lifespan is the most important factor in terms of environmental concerns.
The areas of application of epoxy resin are diverse. Demonizing epoxy resin as "bad" is just like that Scissoring plastic over a comb.

As with all plastics, there is also one with epoxy resin Proper disposal of material residues, but also of finished workpieces (DIY projects made of epoxy resin) are important. Cured epoxy resin is a plastic and can be compared with plastic in terms of its environmental problems.

There is a dead fish on the packaging - a sign of the environmentally harmful effect?

Material residues - especially in liquid form - must be disposed of properly. It is best to take them to the nearest garbage collection point. This also applies to cured epoxy resin.
The dead fish especially means that the liquid material must not get into the water. Epoxy resin sometimes contains hormone-active substances - Fish that are permanently exposed to this pollution in the water are massively affected by these substances.

Is epoxy resin harmful?

Epoxy resin is a plastic. Many - not all epoxy resins - contain Bisphenol A (BPA). You probably know the abbreviation for drinking bottles and other plastic objects - we are feverishly looking for the "BPA free" phrase in product descriptions, because bisphenol A is a hormone-active substance and will with carcinogenic properties connected.

Panic? Hold your horses!

  1. You don't drink the liquid epoxy.
  2. I was told that this is especially important when you Epoxy resin heated or with acid in connection - so: a clear no for mugs, cups and plates made of epoxy resin. Personally, I wouldn't use it to decorate cutting boards from the kitchen area. In addition, epoxy resin is not suitable for the production of trivets, because it is described - also by the manufacturers (of the epoxy resin for the DIY sector) as unsuitable for such heat exposure.

Can I use epoxy resin in the food sector?

Can and should - two different pairs of shoes. The fact is that epoxy resin is found in the food sector. For example, inside cans are usually covered with a layer made of epoxy resin. Therefore, canned food should not be heated in the can, but should be stored and heated in another container after opening.
As with all plastics, this is Heating the material is not recommended.

I want to make plates, cups or glasses out of epoxy resin. Can epoxy resin be used with food?

Of which is strongly discouraged. It cannot be ruled out that epoxy resin can also be found in dishes that you eat from. However, there is a huge difference between industrially produced objects in the food sector and those that have been made in your own handicraft cellar.

Basically, you should Plastics not at all (in the microwave) heat. Especially not those for which this was not intended by the manufacturer, tested and approved by qualified institutes using standardized procedures. And that's just not the case with self-made epoxy resin workpieces.

I want to make jewelry out of epoxy resin. Is resin jewelry hazardous to health?

In principle - without having carried out a specific test - according to the assessment of the chemist, whom I asked about it, jewelry made of epoxy resin (more or less) without hesitation wear.

As described above - under the question "Is epoxy resin harmful", some epoxy resins contain (not all) bisphenol A (better known as BPA) - in combination with certain effects (heat or acids) the material can react and substances are released.
If you Epoxy resin jewelry (also called resin, cast resin, epoxy resin or synthetic resin) buy (I am thinking specifically of individual sellers at art, craft or Advent markets), you should inquire with the seller, what resin was used.

Remember: Presumably, many other pieces of jewelery "made of plastic" (plastics are generally lumped together too quickly) contain substances that should be examined more closely - but you don't think too much about whether / in how far a bracelet "made of plastic" (one does not usually delve much deeper into the subject when buying), sunglasses made of plastic or plastic drinking cups could be bad for your health. As consumers, we are challenged to look carefully at the packaging. Relying on the dealer or manufacturer in any case is not always smart - Just because a product is approved for sale doesn't mean that it will meet your requirements.

Conclusion

Just as plastic is not evil per se, epoxy resin does not have to be demoned either. As with all DIY projects, what you use it for and how long the finished product is designed for is crucial. Disposable epoxy resin is just like Disposable plastic free of sense.

Epoxy resin has been used for a long time in various areas such as floor coverings, in model making as a material for filling cracks in wood (furniture, guitar making ...). Since 2018, resin has also been increasing as a trend material in the DIY sector, which is particularly noticeable in how many more molds there are within a year. In addition, several suppliers have joined them who sell the epoxy resin in smaller, far more attractively designed bottles. There is an opportunity here for sales - this is used.

Therefore, as a consumer, you are asked to decide:

  • What am I doing?
  • What do i need this for?
  • How long will i use it?

Side note to think about: We do not know exactly which substances they contain of very many objects - while you know the composition of the fibers of yours Jeans on the Laundry slip can read, you don't know which one Coloring materials were used or which chemicals was sprayed into the transport container to keep pests away from the container during transport. If you buy plastic ear studs at an accessory shop, you don't know why what plastic it is or with what Glue the plug was attached to the plastic and now comes into contact with other substances day and night, when showering, when spraying perfume or creaming your face.

DIY, do-it-yourself, handicrafts
Between throwaway society, aesthetics in everyday life and environmental protection

For me it was previously and is also clear in terms of resin: DIY projects have to make sense!
The DIY area is often mentally with environmental Protection and Resource conservation connected - it's homemade! But doing it yourself is not automatically completely environmentally friendly and green.
A gift tag made of epoxy resin that is disposed of after giving away or an accessory for the wedding table that has had its day after a single day are DIY objects, the sense of which I am simply questioning here.

That's exactly how it falls to me environmentally It is difficult to see the usefulness of pumpkins that have been sprayed with varnish or painted with acrylic paint and are therefore not allowed on the compost / in the organic waste bin if they have been replaced after a few weeks or thematically by the Christmas hype. On the other hand: How does it differ from cat food cans that are sprayed with chalk paint in order to "upcycle" them as storage cans - you see, we could have a basic discussion here.
So I emphasize: From an environmental perspective, many things are inconclusive - objectively seen. If you change your perspective, you can also look at things from the point of view of the creation of something creative - the assessment of what is creatively valuable is subjective.

Do It Yourself - create something of your own

Art and creativity in general are important forms of expression. We live in the luxury of being able to express our individuality creatively and are allowed to make use of it, because creativity also promotes us humanly and socially - of that I am convinced. Let us do this with reason and in the perception of our responsibility to ourselves as well as to our environment.

So: Choose wisely! If you work with epoxy resin in the DIY sector, ...

  • ... make sure that the resin is BPA-free (manufacturers of BPA-free resins are e.g. ArtResin and Resin4Decor - however, with the second one, I wasn't that impressed with the result because it wasn't crystal clear and now, after a year, it has also been re-colored a bit (very light champagne veil).
  • ... finished pieces whose lifespan is as long as possible.

Thanks for looking!


Further articles

W.ECOTO. Ecological building material information system: epoxy resin adhesives (accessed: 09.10.2019)

Association for Independent Health Advice: Can hormone-active substances from packaging pass into food? (accessed: 09/30/2019)

Haufe: Danger from epoxy resin is underestimated. (July 9, 2015, accessed: October 9, 2019)

Plastic Facts: The Safety of BPA in Polycarbonates and Epoxy Resins (07.02.2018, accessed: 09.10.2019)

APA-Science: Riedler, Anna: Plastic in Medicine - Curse or Blessing? (09/27/2018, accessed: 09/30/2019)

APA-Science: Mörwald, Hermann: Kunststoff, Wunderwuzzi with dark sides (September 27, 2018, accessed: September 30, 2019)

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