Fiberglass in my skin!!!

New position today at work has me dealing with fiberglass strands. Even with all the protection, I’m still covered on my arms and neck.

Any advice on what I can do in the shower to get rid of this? Or would plain soap work? I haven’t been in the plant long enough to have a tolerance and it’s driving me nuts!!!

In a word,
Duck Tape
will remove most of it, not guaranteed to remove all of it.

Be sure to rub the tape into intimate contact with skin to remove as much as possible. Remove very carefully.

Only Sure Cure is a new job.

For your arms-try running them under COLD water-it opens your pores to release the fiberglass. Itchy horrible stuff, isn’t it?

Good grief, not cold water, that closes the pores, hot water open the pores. :frowning:

Hmmm… that’s what I was told by my co-workers when I transferred to another assembly line that handles fiberglass. To use cold water to get rid of it-I have and it seems to work. She told me it opened them-I guess I never questioned it, since it worked. But now that you mention it, you’re right. In the back of my mind, I guess I knew that. So why does cold water seem to work? Jeez-I feel like an idiot. :o

Would cold water make the strands contract, and the pores to close and force the strands out of the skin?

Just my WAG here, if it works, it works. :stuck_out_tongue:

The guys at the printed circuit board shop where I once worked told me to wash up with dishwashing soap. I didn’t do any controlled experiments to tell if it really worked, but I was able to put up with the place for a year.

Of course, the fact that the dust in the air wore out three or four tape players, sealed in sandwich bags at that, makes me wonder how my lungs are these days.

Is it insulation fiberglass or strand fiberglass?

Cold water will close the skin’s pores and in turn (I assume) limit the amount of fiberglass that actually gets inside the pores. For what it’s worth, cold showers are also done as first aid for acid/caustic burns. The same mechanism works to minimize exposure.

Beyond that, I can’t help you. I’ve known folks who did fiberglass repairs on boats and their only comment was that “you sleep with it.”

In my yacht repair business, I deal with fiberglass everyday. My employees and myself rub a skin cream called PR88 on our exposed skin to fill the pores prior to contact. Avon puts out a cream called “silicone glove” which works quite well also. Just wash your self after work and you’ll have no problems.

However we do tend to forget the pretreatment now and then. the only answer I have in this case is apply your regular home skin softener cream after washing and the itch should clear up by the time you wake up the next morning.

As a cheap preventive measure you can use regular 'ole baby powder on your skin before you start working. It has the same effect as those expensive foo-foo lotions mentioned above. But it’s cheap and probably in your house already.

I was told by a fiberglass boat worker friend to rub the effected area with a pair of womans nylon stockings, he swore by it. I have tried it a few times that I worked with insulation and it seemed to work well for me. It is supossed to catch and pull out the glass fibers.

I worked 34 years in an auto parts plant. We were exposed to all of that, and worse. I’ve seen many people damaged by indoor pollution and working conditions. Yes, and a few killed. I have some advice:
Never give up your health for money. Never.

Do those methods work with carbon fibre too?

I hate that insanity-enhancing itch on my fingers.

Your pores don’t open or close significantly in response to water.

You use cold water to rinse acids and bases off most likely because the reaction is generating heat as it is and hot water would be terrifically uncomfortable on chemically burnt skin.

You might try running water over the affected area while scraping it with a butter knife. That’s always gotten it off my hands and arms. Wish you luck.

Excalibre, thanks for clearing that up.

In my experience very cold water is better because the shock of the water takes your mind off the itching

I swear they’re trying to kill me. I’ve only now had time to get back here. (15 hour days are fun!!!) :eek:

I got in the shower after I posted and just used warm water and Irish Spring. It went away immediately. Already after 3 days I’ve become accustomed to it and don’t even notice it. But I do appreciate the help and suggestions! :slight_smile:

Oh, and Reeder, it’s strand used in wind-turbine blades. Sorry for not answering sooner.

This appears to be 7 years old, but a good final answer… Cold water contracts the skin and closes pores, warm water relaxes skin and opens pores. During the day, touch the areas no more than necessary, as the main thing to avoid is pushing the fibreglass into your skin. For this same reason it is unwise to press hard with duct tape. Shower in cold water first and once you’ve felt your skin tighten up, spray it with water almost paralell to the surface. This will put maximum pressure on the fibres while minimizing the pressure into the skin on average. This should knock loose as many of the less embedded fibres as possible while keeping your skin tight to prevent any from being pushed deeper. Continue to spray paralell to the skin while you slowly turn the water up warmer until your skin relaxes. This should dislodge all of the fibres that were firmly enough embedded to be held by your tightened skin as it relaxes. Best to avoid starting warm and never go hot because that not only swells the skin but softens it. Any areas that remain itchy can be treated with duct tape.