Fiberglass Itch Remedy

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PlusOneShaper's picture
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I'm finishing up a two week vacation so I could re-do a fiberglass patio roof.  42 years of hideous roof

decay made for MASSIVE amounts of loose fiberglass in the worst form: raw glass dust.  To make it

worse, the glass is not washed like surfboard glass, so imagine something that is MORE ITCHY than

Volan or even production roving!  I took precautions, sleeved up, neck cover, suit, sprayed water, etc.

and still after the first day of demolition, I was in AGONY (afterwards I did the compressed air, cold

shower, wool rags and it was so bad I couldn't sleep...)

Then the light bulb went on, I'm into cars and we use these really "grippy" rags that seem to clean any

surface off, even the most stubborn debris-  Automotive Micro Fiber Towels.

So, in the middle of the night, out to the garage, got a Micro Fiber Towel (get them at autoparts stores,

and tons of other places, supermarkets,) and took a cold shower and wiped down with the WET Micro

Fiber Towel.  The towel is real grippy on wet skin, much like a wet chamois does.  I wiped my skin in all

directions, forward/back, side/side, angles, visualizing the towel grabbing spikes of glass pointed in 

different directions.

AMAZING!  Results were immediate, my skin cooled down, the bed sheets didn't irritate and I was able

to get a much needed rest.  Anyways, I'm wondering if anyone has met any success doing this?

I can say that it worked for me, someone who has worked in fiberglasses of all types, carbon graphite

and other extreme itchers for over 30 years.  I'm almost immune to most board cloths, ha ha.  The

worst glass (for me anyways,) is the raw type glass like boat cloth or uni-directional tape that is not

washed for more clarity (and softened as well.)

Oh, yesterday I tested the Micro Fiber Towel I used on my skin on an old car test panel, and as I

suspected it left the tell-tale "dazzle" reflection on the paint-  the used towel SCRATCHES paint so

do not use it for anything else afterwards.

Hope this helps,

George

jimthegenius's picture
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when I was about 6 years old in Ohio, my grandfather was a junkman, read, recycler, he had a loft in one of his barns filled with bats of rock wool, fiberglass insulation. My brother, sister and I climbed up on something and were jumping onto the piles of rockwool, it was blazing hot in the top deck of the barn and soon we were sweating, itching like we were going to die, it wasn't until building my first surfboards that it all came back to me, the dreaded fiberglass itch.

Everyone I knew had those bitchin' nylon hooded lightweight parkas in high school in Hawaii, I had to have one too, ever wear nylon after working on fiberglass? it compounds the itch a hundred fold

tblank's picture
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I always take a HOT shower when the itch comes. Theory being, the hot water opens the pores more and helps release the fibers better. I've been working around fiberglass insulation for 35 years and this seems to hold up to expectations. And of course, Scrub like a mutha.

shushka420's picture
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tblank wrote:

I always take a HOT shower when the itch comes. Theory being, the hot water opens the pores more and helps release the fibers better. I've been working around fiberglass insulation for 35 years and this seems to hold up to expectations. And of course, Scrub like a mutha.

Wow, thats funny because that's the OPPOSITE of what you're supposed to do when you've been working with fiberglass. I worked in mold removal for a long time and I know that rule #1 is NEVER TAKE A HOT SHOWER because, like you said, it opens your pores. The only problem is that the surface tension of water doesn't allow the fiberglass to escape from them, it actually pushes more in. So if you take a hot shower the itch will last considerably longer than if you take a cold shower. Also, scrubbing is a bad idea as it works the fibers into your skin. You want to take a long cold shower and just let the water run over you, that will allow the glass fibers to slough off your body - after that, scrub with cold water and you're golden!

a2tall's picture
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baby powder on my arms and neck before sanding.

PlusOneShaper's picture
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Well, I did it again and it worked!  Zero itch.  Pretty stoked.  Would like to hear of someone else doing

this and the outcome...

George

petec's picture
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I'm not very sensitive to fiberglass, but I sometimes get the itch after sanding glass-ons or smoothing an epoxy lam.  This isn't for everybody, but I use a green scotchbrite pad and dove soap in lukewarm water.  The more the scotchbrite is worn the better, pulls out the fibers like velcro.  

ghettorat's picture
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Duct tape works great for those little pesky nasties, but it isn't for the weak or feeble; it leaves your skin newborn fresh, and ruddy; furthermore it removes unnecessary hair.  Try it and you'll see, I use it to remove the micro-spines from my hands I get harvesting cactus fruit, "opuntia ficus indica"  which are at its seasons best right now in the northern hemisphere.   The taste of good cactus fruit rolling around in a bath of ice and water, is one of the best things ever immediately after a long surf-session; that's old school, and a lesson most have never experienced.  Make sure you brush off the fruits with something first before attempting to remove the fruit from the plant.  Enjoy!

tblank's picture
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HOT WATER WORKS FOR ME.


Hey G, your alternate moniker could be Tunarat. There is a spot in the Los Padres nearby here that is Loaded with Tunas y Tunitas. You'd be in heaven. Usually, only the birds get to them.

ghettorat's picture
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Mr. T.,

Tunarat, well not really sure about that maybe Tuna-packed since I loaded my freezer with yellow, and bluefin, with some help from my friend.  Wish you were a bit closer, for some grilling, because I got loads of live oak,  the right stuff to marinade with, and probably cooked at least a ton of it in my lifetime.  Nothing better that I can think of; how about a grilled cactus pad salad, kind of like a greek salad, and seared ahi over real wood coals; we'll get petec to come along too; wash it down with a couple of cold ones, and we could talk about the good old days.

artz's picture
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 Best way to stop the itch is to not get coated with fiberglass in the first place.  I have some barrier cream i use to coat my hands and arms before i start painting with oil paints. works great at preventing the paint from penetrating my skin. Oil paint has a lot of compounds that are harmful and toxic.  One day i used some to coat my arms and hand when working with fiberglass on my boat. Worked great. No itch. When sanding Fiberglass I use Barrier Cream on all exposed skin. What I use now is Winsor Newton Artguard. look in art supply stores or on line. Lot's of different brands might even be something for industrial use like glassing.

According to Mikki Dora Malibu went to the Dogs in 1964. The Chumash Indians will tell you it was 1664.

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