Fibreglass is a man-made product that consists of glass shards. It has many uses and is not harmful once installed. However, during the cutting, sawing, sanding or trimming, small glass fibres will be released. These can cause irritation to the skin, throat, lungs, eyes and stomach. When the skin comes into contact with fibreglass, an itchy, burning rash occurs. Rubbing or scratching the rash only serves to embed the fibres into the pores. If the skin has been exposed to fibreglass, there are several ways you can remove the fibres that will not exacerbate the problem.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Eye protection
- Long-sleeve protective clothing
- Epsom salts
- Nylon stockings
- Duct tape
Prevent skin exposure by wearing protective clothing. This includes gloves, eye protection, long sleeves, respirator and loosefitting clothing. Work in a well ventilated place. When you have completed the task, wet the fibreglass dust on the floor and use a vacuum to remove it. Wash clothing separately and rinse the washing machine after use.
Shower to remove the fibreglass from the skin. Use cold water for two minutes. This will close your pores and prevent the fibres from becoming embedded. Follow the cold shower with a two-minute hot shower. This will help flush the fibres from the skin surface.
Mix one cup of Epsom salts in boiling water. Add to your bath water and wash the fibres from your skin. Rinse with cold water. If some fibres remain after the bath, rub your skin with a nylon stocking to remove stray fibres. This also will work if the skin has been exposed to fibreglass for a short period.
Use duct tape to remove fibres. Gently press the sticky side down on the affected areas. Pressing too hard will force the fibres into the pores. Some hair may be removed with the fibres.
Tips and warnings
- Always wear protective clothing and use a respirator when working with fibreglass.
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