Toxicity of Light-curing resin?
I'm one of the lucky (??) Kickstarter supporters who received a T3D resin printer. This uses a proprietary (so far as I can tell) resin which cures under exposure to visible, rather than the usual UV, light. The manual is full of dire warnings about touching the resin, but no MSDS.
Anyone know if there is a datasheet on their resin, or more generally, for light-curing resins in general?
(see myt3d.com for limited info on the machine and the resin)
While you probably cannot find an MSDS on the resin for your printer (yet), they are out there for other resin based printers. Here's a generic MSDS on one for Objet RGD515:
It's not a pretty thing.
To back this up, Fabbaloo has two articles out which talk about the toxicity of liquid resin which is light cured. I'm not entirely positive your resin falls into this arena, but would assume since they state in the handling instructions it's toxic, it's probably right along the same lines as the other toxic resins. Please note, in the article it states there are resins out which aren't toxic. They suggest one should handle all resins of this type as though they are toxic unless you have specific documentation which states otherwise.
In one of the articles (Nov 2015) quotes findings which were published by the University of California, Riverside. Their study focused on zebrafish embryos and the toxicity of two different 3D printed materials which are commonly used. The materials were Stratasys Dimension Elite (plastic extrusion) and Formlab’s Form 1+ (photo-cured resin). These printed samples were placed in zebrafish tanks to observe their effects on fish embryos and compare to “control” tanks without the samples.
The University stated:
While the embryos exposed to parts from the plastic-melting printer had slightly decreased average survival rates compared to control embryos, the embryos exposed to parts from the liquid-resin printer had significantly decreased survival rates, with more than half of the embryos dead by day three and all dead by day seven. And of the few zebrafish embryos that hatched after exposure to parts from the liquid-resin printer, 100 percent of the hatchlings had developmental abnormalities.
Fomrlabs has quite an extensive list of MSDS sheets for their products. Their page states the following about their resin materials:
Formlabs Standard resins are designed to be similar or safer to handle as other household chemicals or adhesives. When measuring potential acute health effects of inhalation or ingestion, there are no known significant effects or critical hazards. Eye contact may cause eye irritation. Skin contact may cause an allergic skin reaction. The safety data sheets (SDS) are up to date for every resin product and follow the latest government guidelines. Always consult the SDS as the primary source of information to understand safety and handling of Formlabs materials.
Use chemical-resistant gloves - such as nitrile or neoprene; do not use latex - when handling liquid resin, including when removing printed parts from the printer. Exposure to resin in the liquid form can cause mild skin irritation for some people. If you get any on your skin, make sure to wash thoroughly with soap and water before moving on to other activities. Do not use solvents to wash hands, face, or any body parts. Wear gloves and use alcohol, followed by soap and water, to clean tools after handling resin.
While this is not conclusive about your specific resin, like was stated, always treat the material as though it is toxic until documentation tells you otherwise. If all else fails, treat it as toxic and you can't go wrong.
Thanks -- i'm getting the idea that resin printing should be in a very well-ventilated area.
note that the toxicity is tested for the **uncured** resin. The cured resin might have entirely different effects.
@Trish - I'm *thinking* the idea is, after it's cured, there's no toxicity issues. If it wasn't, what good would it be?
@Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 while mostly correct, some plastics can be toxic to stuff on its surface.
@Trish Are you sure? To me it reads like they tested finished parts, i.e. cured or extruded. And it makes sense that the resin ones would be worse. For example if the resin is contaminated (with air for example) then the reaction might happen partially or differently which could cause problems. Some of the resins I tried certainly didn't seem safe for human contact even after being cured with plenty of uv light.