Polyurethane glue is a type of adhesive put to use in construction work requiring strong bonds. It is made of polymers but often contains several additives. There are two types of polyurethane adhesives, and the difference lies in the number of chemical components used in it. The difference between these adhesives is the chemical composition and reaction of different ingredients.
These chemicals react with the environment’s elements, such as light, heat, moisture, etc., to cure and harden in place. The adhesive’s consistency is like slime and doesn’t shrink when cured but instead forms a waterproof and strong bond that can be painted or sanded after it has dried.
Professional polyurethane adhesives are two-component adhesives. They come with two separate components, resin, and hardener, which are put together in a mix to make the actual adhesive. It is the type of glue that requires extra care before using. Therefore, it is better to make sure of all the safety precautions before starting to work with this adhesive type.
A one-part ready to use version also exists for minimal usage. Generally, the one-component adhesives are for quick use around the house and aren’t as dangerous as the glue’s two-component counterparts. Nevertheless, it’s better to store them in a place outside the reach of kids after using.
The most critical part is making sure that you’re taking safety precautions while dealing with the said adhesive. The polyurethane glue can be hazardous to the human body if it comes into contact either through the mouth or the skin. It can cause several health issues, from breathing to eye-related and even skin infections.
Safety Measures for Using Polyurethane Glue
Polyurethane glue has its benefits, but it also has comes with a set of some health hazards. Here is a list of some of the tips and safety measures you should follow when dealing with polyurethane adhesives:
Use Safety Gloves
Polyurethane adhesives react fast and harden in seconds forming bonds. They need moisture to cure and harden, which they absorb from the air. However, they can also absorb moisture from your skin if the adhesives happen to touch the skin.
When that happens, it can affect your skin badly, causing various kinds of infections and burns. Therefore, it is better to wear safety gloves and suitable gear when working with these adhesives to protect the skin.
Wear Safety Goggles
It is best to avoid getting polyurethane adhesives in your eyes, as they can seriously damage your eyesight and can even end up blinding you. Therefore, it is essential to wear safety goggles when dealing with such adhesives. Never rub or pry open your eyes if the glue gets in your eyes. In this situation, wash your eyes with warm water until it finally comes off. If the problem is severe, you should immediately seek medical assistance in this case.
Use the Right Kind of Glue
Before starting with curing and bonding things together, you should consider the nature of the project and what glue would be suitable for your needs, and what type of hold strength you’re looking for, whether it is a hot-melt or a quick-use one.
Also, ensure if the adhesive isn’t hazardous to the health because some products aren’t as dangerous as their substitutes. Before buying the glue, it’s better to consider all these things to avoid landing yourself in trouble and ultimately wasting money.
Prevent Inhaling the Fumes
The fumes and vapors of polyurethane adhesives can cause irritation, coughing, and throat infections if inhaled. Some people can also experience severe allergic reactions to the glue. Hence, it is necessary to wear a mask to avoid and reduce these toxic fumes from being inhaled.
Work Outside or In a Ventilated Area
It would help if you tried to work outside or in a ventilated area at all times, so you aren’t exposed to concentrated vapors or fumes of the polyurethane adhesive. In case you feel sick after working with the glue or have trouble breathing, it’s best to take a break for a while and get some fresh air.
Read the Datasheet Carefully
Before starting, always read the datasheet carefully that comes with the adhesive, containing instructions and precautions. If you’re not able to understand something, it is better to consult with a qualified person for help.
Keep the Glue Away From Children and Pets
It is essential to keep the kids and fluffy friends away from a polyurethane glue or the place where it is applied. A polyurethane adhesive bottle can be opened easily and used in unintended ways by your kids if you’re not careful enough.
Inhaling the fumes and hazardous vapors emitted from polyurethane adhesives can lead to many health problems, so it is better to keep it outside the kids’ reach at all times.
Check if the Packaging is Intact
It is crucial to check the packaging to ensure whether it’s damaged or not since the polyurethane glue is made of several components that are carcinogenic and hazardous to health. If the packaging or the cartridge is exposed, the entire thing is not safe for use and should immediately be disposed of to avoid any risk.
Use Older Adhesives First
If you have had an adhesive sitting for a while or used it at some point, it’s better to utilize that first since it has limited validity, after which it isn’t fit for use.
Seal the Cartridge Well
The cartridges must be sealed properlyright after it’s used, to prevent it from drying. If left open, it can dry out the whole cartridge, making the entire adhesive cartridge useless.
Store in a Cool and Isolated Place
To prevent the adhesive from drying out and ensuring its maximum shelf life, storing it in a cold and dark place is essential. It’s best to be careful about keeping these adhesives in a place where there isn’t any food, as these adhesives have harmful fumes that can affect the food. The ideal temperature is between 50 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit.
Keep it Away From Wetness And Moisture
Make sure to keep adhesive cartridges away from places that are damp or have moisture. The adhesives are highly reactive to the humidity’s wetness, and hence if not taken proper care of, they will dry out.
Seek Immediate Medical Help if Ingested
Polyurethane adhesives are very dangerous if consumed accidentally. They require moisture to harden, and the mouth is full of it. Due to this, the glue sits in the mouth and doesn’t go past the throat. To remove it, wash your mouth with warm water at least 15 times. However, it is recommended that you seek medical help immediately.
Never Try To Remove it By Force Upon Contact
If these adhesives ever come in contact with your skin or get stuck, never try to rub them by force or scrape them off; else, you will end up peeling off your skin. The only way to get these adhesives off your skin is by washing your skin with warm soapy water. You can also use nail polish remover, which dissolves and removes the glue. If nothing works, seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Polyurethane Glue – A Dangerously Useful Adhesive
Along with having several advantages, polyurethane glue has its fair share of disadvantages and risks. The chemicals used in this particular adhesive are hazardous to the human body and health. Therefore, one has to be extra careful when dealing with it to avoid burns on the body or various health hazards.