Thursday, May 11, 2023

Resin Safety - Can I Use Resin When I'm Pregnant?

I get asked a lot of questions about resin safety. One question that pops up from time to time is:

"Can I work with resin if I'm pregnant?"

I want to start out by saying I'm not a medical expert, so I'm not qualified to give advice.

But with 16+ years of resin experience, I can HELP YOU FIND the information you need to make an informed decision.

Resin is made of chemicals that can be hazardous if not used properly. Even with resins that have little or no odour, there are still potential risks to be aware of. There is the chance of inhaling fumes as well as getting resin on your skin.

Whether you're pregnant or not, whenever you use resin, you need the following: 
  • gloves to keep sticky resin off your skin (resin is a skin sensitiser and can cause skin irritation)
  • good ventilation so you don't breathe in fumes
  • protective eyewear, in case of splashes
  • protective clothing to keep drips and spills from both your skin and your clothes
Safety with resin is a serious matter, so I wrote a whole article just on working safely with resin.

But now that you're expecting the pitter-patter of tiny feet, you suddenly realise you have two people's lives to consider.

That may mean taking a break from working with resin during your pregnancy and while you're breastfeeding. 

But BEFORE you decide to do that, here are 3 resources to help you make the decision that's right for you and your baby.

Silhouette of a pregnant woman on a pink and blue gradient background with overlay text that reads, Is it safe to use resin during pregnancy?

1. The Safety Data Sheet for Your Resin Kit

At first glance, the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) might look like a lot of gobbledegook. The first time I ever looked at one, it made my head hurt. It seemed so "sciency". But don't let that put you off...the information in it is invaluable!

Some of the things included in the SDS are:
...the chemical components 
...risks you should know about
...what safety precautions to take
...handling and storage information
...first aid measures
and more.

Where will you find the SDS?
  • Sometimes, it's a printed leaflet inside your resin kit 
  • If your kit doesn't have a printed SDS, check the manufacturer's website. They often link to them. 
  • Email (or phone) the manufacturer and ask for a copy
  • Google the name of your resin with the term "SDS"

2. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 

There are a lot of unknowns about the effects of epoxy resin on the unborn child, but this CDC article about epoxy resins and reproductive health makes for interesting reading. It's written in plain English, so it's easy to understand. It's just a five-minute read, and it's 5 minutes well spent.

3. Your OB-GYN or Doctor 

Your qualified medical professional will have a better understanding of the chemicals in the resin and hardener and advise whether or not you should avoid them. 

They can also recommend what precautions you should take if they consider it safe for you to continue working with resin. Take the SDS with you to your appointment so you can show it to them. 

Your Options

If you make the decision to continue working with epoxy, follow all the safety advice provided by your medical professional and read the article on working safely with resin.

Switch to a SAFE Resin

If you decide not to take any risks during your pregnancy but still want to create gorgeous resin crafts, then switch to an acrylic-based resin. Acrylic resin is non-toxic and is even considered safe for children to use, and it's a whole lot of fun to work with. 

Here are two different types of acrylic resin.

Both kits include acrylic resin, colours, and moulds, so all you need to add is creativity!

Ultimately, the choice to work with resin while pregnant or breastfeeding is a personal one. It's important to weigh the risks and make an informed decision based on your individual circumstances.

And if, after reading all this, you still want my opinion, I recommend to my students that they don't use epoxy resin while they're pregnant or breastfeeding.

Pregnant woman wearing a pink top cupping her belly

Happy Resining!

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