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Subject: Natural resins and health hazards

Natural resins and health hazards

From: Deborah Rohan <deborah.rohan>
Date: Friday, June 18, 2004
We have been using a natural resin (e.g. colophony) for many years,
mixing it with beeswax to lend hardness to repair wax for seals. A
colleague has just purchased a new supply, and has noticed that the
hazard data sheet has significantly changed, mentioning skin
irritation from prolonged exposure and vapour hazards from the
heated resin. The latter seems to be applied to the resin core in
solder, but it may have application to the lower levels of heat and
resultant vapours that we produce when we mix it with beeswax. It
has always seemed to me that the vapour was no more potent than one
would get from a day in a pine forest, but now I'm uncertain. It
apparently has uses in nail varnish and such, and is noted as an
irritant in that application.

Does anyone know whether the use of resin is restricted in
conservation practice these days, and what the long term
occupational exposure limit would be? Do the Health and Safety
caveats apply to such occasional use? Neither of us use it more than
once or twice a year, but we feel we should take precautions if
they're indicated.

Deborah Rohan,
Cambs. Archives Service

                  Conservation DistList Instance 18:2
                   Distributed: Friday, June 18, 2004
                        Message Id: cdl-18-2-022
Received on Friday, 18 June, 2004

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