Eyes and Resin?

I’ve been rebuilding a canoe that has required quite a bit of resin work. For sanding I always wear a mask, that’s a given. But I am finding that when I am pouring resin into the the places I need to fix, and there are a lot of them, my eyes feel like they are swollen after wards and that lasts for a few days. They really aren’t but really feel like!

I have taken into consideration pollen this year which has been a tad high but this only coincides with resin work. Go figure.

Would a set of goggles perhaps help?

Many thanks,


Epoxy resin? Vinylester?
I long ago developed a sensitivity to epoxy resin, but the resins I use, from West, don’t aggravate my sensitivity. Older epoxies had a strong odor, and I think that was associated with a substance in the air that bothered my eyes.

I haven’t used vinylester as much and haven’t had problems. Of course, vinylester catalyst is MEKP which can cause blindness, but once it’s mixed in the resin it oughtn’t to be a problem. The Styrene that evolves? I don’t know.

Resin fumes
Since it’s fumes - not dust - regular work googles will help very little. You need an airtight seal around your eyes. Like a snorkeling googles or mask.

Or a ventilation hood to work under.

is what I’m working with. Not real clear on the differences between the resins, I’m a novice but this is what was needed for this job.

I have some diving goggles that I’m going to give a try and now have to take a few days off from the project due to work so maybe that will make a difference. Thank you for the responses.


ive heard the fumes kill brain cells
and i sure dont have many left to risk lol

all wrong Doug

– Last Updated: Apr-24-11 7:44 PM EST –

I did a g-flex repair on the bow of my Encore and had no issues at all. Just do your resin work outdoors, 30 mile per hour winds, and snowing. You should be good to go ;-).

I've glassed with polyester and epoxy a lot; sailboats and canoes.Just tried the g-flex, but have a few more projects lined up for this stuff. Never an issue with the resin. Issues with the mek and trichlor cleaners i used to use, and if you're sanding glass, that could very well be the culprit.

Ventilation good
You’re not rubbing your eyes while you are working are you?

You probably need more ventilation, and/or a full faced respirator. There is not much odor etc, but if you are sensitized, then it easy to start to see symptoms. It is not the resin that is the problem, but the hardener. You also need gloves and other protection (disposable clothing etc.).

Shed Work
Thanks for all the replies. My shed is basically a wind tunnel but I could do the work outside if the GD weather would cooperate! I am wondering from what I have gleaned from responses if I’m just sensitive to G-Flex as I’ve used other West System resins without a problem in the same enviornment. Time to look at the setup and make some changes. Gotta love Pnet for the wealth of info. Thanks again.


Previous Use
Yeah Doug, but the sensitizing takes time and exposure. You may have had no problem in the past, but now it may be catching up to you.

I now have similar itchy eye symptoms and I am trying to be very careful.



I’m puzzled, as G-flex seemed very
innocuous to me. West provides data on fumes and possible sensitivity. Wear vinyl gloves, not latex, and do be careful where you put your fingers during and after work.

rub raw onion on your glasses when you are working with the resins. Your eyes will still bother you but you won’t have to wonder what’s doing it.

I try to be helpful. Your welcome.


Resin cure?
How’d you get the resin to cure on the Encore when it’s cold like that?


It is mostly a contact issue, however if you are already sensitized exposure to vapors can be an issue.

Glad someone else’s yard…
…looks worse than mine. I’ve found canoes are better for hiding brush piles. Kayaks are too narrow.

Yeah, that fits with my early experience

G2d mentions what i was about to
If you are not used to latex this could very well be the problem. Even the non - powderd ones kick some stuff up and you might not notice your eyes being itchy 'till you are done.

took 2 days to cure
maybe 3. Used my sons Encore in the meantime (levels were insane and I just had to go), and added ankle blocks to his draconian outfitting.

I had to hide a few canoes
in the brush awhile back, before the wife got numb to “another free boat.” Sold a few at cost

+/- so things are cleaning up now. The snow made things look a lot neater.