Fiberglassing & Your Health

Wearing a respirator is highly recommended when working with fiberglass materials, especially during sanding and applying resin. Fiberglass dust and fumes can be harmful if inhaled, causing respiratory irritation and other health issues. A proper respirator will help protect your lungs from these particles and fumes.

Here’s some safety tips when working with fibreglass:


  • Use a Respirator: A respirator with a P100 filter is effective in filtering out fibreglass dust. Make sure it fits well to ensure no particles can enter around the edges.
  • Work in a Well-Ventilated Area: This helps disperse fumes and dust, reducing your exposure. If working indoors, use fans to help circulate air and consider using an air filtration system.
  • Wear Protective Clothing: Long sleeves, gloves, and eye protection are essential to avoid skin and eye irritation from fibreglass particles. A disposable coverall can prevent fibreglass fibres from embedding in your clothes.
  • Clean Up Properly: After finishing your work, vacuum the area with a shop vac equipped with a HEPA filter to remove any lingering dust. Avoid using compressed air, which can spread fibreglass particles into the air.
  • Personal Hygiene: Shower after completing your work to remove any fibres that may have settled on your skin. Washing your work clothes separately from other laundry is also a good practice to avoid transferring fibres.

By following these safety measures, including the use of a respirator, you can minimize health risks associated with fibreglass repair work.

When working with fibreglass and chemicals like resin and hardeners, it’s crucial to prioritize safety to protect yourself from potential hazards. Beyond wearing a respirator, here are additional safety measures you should consider:

  1. Eye Protection
  • Wear safety glasses or goggles to protect your eyes from fibreglass particles and splashes of hazardous chemicals.
  1. Skin Protection
  • Use gloves, preferably nitrile or another chemical-resistant material, to protect your skin from direct contact with fibreglass fibres and chemicals.
  • Wear long sleeves, long pants, and closed-toe shoes to minimize skin exposure. Coveralls can provide additional protection.
  • Apply barrier creams to exposed skin areas not covered by clothing to make it easier to wash off any resin or fibres.
  1. Proper Ventilation
  • Work in a well-ventilated area to ensure fumes and dust are effectively dispersed. If working indoors, use exhaust fans or open windows. Consider using an air filtration system to capture airborne particles.
  1. Safe Handling of Chemicals
  • Read and follow all manufacturer instructions and safety data sheets (SDS) for the materials you’re using. This information will include specific handling, storage, and disposal guidelines.
  • Store chemicals in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight and heat sources. Ensure they are properly labeled and out of reach of children and pets.
  • Use mixing containers and tools that are clean and free from contaminants to prevent unintended chemical reactions.
  1. Fire Safety
  • Fiberglass resin and hardeners can be flammable. Keep them away from open flames, sparks, and heat sources.
  • Have a fire extinguisher readily available in your working area, and ensure it’s suitable for chemical fires (Class B).
  1. Dust Management
  • When sanding cured fibreglass, use a dust collection system or a vacuum with a HEPA filter to capture airborne particles.
  • Wet sanding can be an effective method to reduce dust, but ensure the area is appropriately prepared to handle water and resin residue.
  1. Personal Hygiene
  • Avoid eating, drinking, or smoking in the work area to prevent ingesting any hazardous materials.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after finishing work, even if you wore gloves, before handling food or touching your face.
  1. First Aid and Emergency Preparedness
  • Keep a first aid kit nearby in case of accidental cuts, splashes, or other injuries.
  • Know the location of an eyewash station or have a method to flush your eyes if chemicals or particles enter them.
  • Be aware of how to contact emergency services in your area if a serious injury occurs.

By adhering to these safety measures, you can significantly reduce the risks associated with fibreglass repairs and ensure a safer working environment.

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