Recently on the windshield repair forum, “Stihlcarven” posted that he’s guilty of not wearing gloves when doing a windshield repair:
“I am guilty of not wearing my gloves….ever. I have plenty of them, too. I do plenty of repairs every day and I am getting the effects I expected on my hands….cracks (painful)…roughness….I am also getting nauseous and dizzy towards the end of my day especially…is it possible that by using alcohol to clean my hands after repairs that I am absorbing resin into my system carried in by the easily absorbed alcohol? Just wondering if anyone has experienced this…I am going to try to make an effort to wear gloves from now on regardless…just curious to know if it’s a common reaction or maybe I’m just getting sick,” says Stihlcarven.
Several forum members chimed in with opinions. Brent Deines, a veteran windshield repair technician, offered the following advice:
“Your skin will absorb resin, which is why we always recommend wearing proper fitting nitrile gloves. Alcohol will very definitely increase the rate in which the resin is absorbed into the skin, so it is even more critical that you protect your hands when you are cleaning your equipment.
Some individuals are also far more sensitive to windshield repairs than others as well, but even if you have been repairing windshields for years without any sort of reaction, you should never let down your guard. Windshield repair resins are sensitizers, meaning repeated exposure increases the likelihood or an allergic reaction.
Some resins are far more likely to cause skin irritation than others, but regardless of the resin you use you should take every possible precaution to keep from getting it on your skin. I have been repairing windshields for 23 years, the first 10 of which without the use of gloves, and so far have had no negative reactions to the products I use. However I now use nitrile gloves and eye protection whenever doing windshield repairs, and work in well ventilated areas whenever possible.
I have never heard of anyone getting sick from working with windshield repair resins, but I would imagine that like with any other chemicals if enough resin and alcohol is absorbed through the skin it is possible. If the problem continues I would encourage you to seek medical attention, and by all means start taking proper safety precautions whenever working with chemicals of any kind,” says Deines.
Delta Kits recommends that all windshield repair and headlight restoration technicians wear gloves, but keep in mind that all nitrile gloves are not created equal. Some offer far better resistance to tears and punctures, which does increase the cost. A nitrile glove that is compromised by a tear or puncture is worse than not wearing a glove at all, as chemicals can become trapped against the skin. If a nitrile glove is torn or punctured it should be disposed of and your hands should be washed thoroughly with hot water and soap immediately.
Nitrile gloves have low resistance to friction and slide on easily. They are made from a synthetic polymer and contain no protein, so they are hypoallergenic and less likely to cause irritation. Most Nitrile gloves are very durable, providing a high degree of softness, flexibility and better protection against a greater range of chemicals than other disposable gloves. Nitrile gloves also protect against the acrylic acids found in windshield repair resins, whereas latex and vinyl gloves do not.
The premium blue color of our nitrile glove serves a functional purpose, as it makes it much easier to spot pin holes in the event that a puncture or tear occurs. Remember, safety first and foremost…always! Wear Nitrile gloves when repairing windshields or restoring headlights.