Epoxy resins were first introduced about 10 years ago. Toxic effects, particularly dermatitis, have been frequently described. An investigation into the possible causes of pathological sequelae following the use of epoxy resin/amine mixtures has been undertaken. The cause of most cases of dermatitis and sensitization appears to be uncombined amine which is present in recent mixtures and persists in hardened resin for long periods. The results of experiments with two of the most commonly used resin/amine mixtures confirm this. Cold-cured resins are more dangerous and remain so even when hardened. A simple theory is suggested for the mechanism of the reaction between epoxy resins, amines, and biological systems. This theory leads logically to the handling precautions outlined.
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