Fiberglass Itch Remedy

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PlusOneShaper's picture
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Fiberglass Itch Remedy

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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

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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

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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.

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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!

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baby powder on my arms and neck before sanding.

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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

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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.  

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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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artz wrote:

 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.

I like this idea a lot - I'm gonna have to try to find this stuff on Maui

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I'm into the cactus fruit also.  Pick them with long BBQ tongs, burn off the spines (propane torch) and toss in the bottom of the cooler with the melting ice.  My turtle/tortise loves 'em too, and the spines don't matter to him. Maybe if I keep washing with the scotchbrite I'll get some scales like him.

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fresh out of high school I got Kimo Hollinger's job at Hobie in Honolulu, he had gotten silicosis from glass fiber and no mask, Dick Metz sent me right off to the hardware store for a real respirator. At the end of each day I had glass dust packed to the level of the hair on my arms, I'd walk to the bus stop with out touching anything, get home and walk into the shower clothed, carefully undress and blast away.

It was few weeks until I learned the turn the sander to throw the dust away from me, but at the end of the summer I had more money than any of my friends, 1964 making 60 bucks a day, a few months later on the east coast, 60 bucks a week, 6 days @ 1.25 $ hour

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jimthegenius wrote:

fresh out of high school I got Kimo Hollinger's job at Hobie in Honolulu, he had gotten silicosis from glass fiber and no mask, Dick Metz sent me right off to the hardware store for a real respirator. At the end of each day I had glass dust packed to the level of the hair on my arms, I'd walk to the bus stop with out touching anything, get home and walk into the shower clothed, carefully undress and blast away.

It was few weeks until I learned the turn the sander to throw the dust away from me, but at the end of the summer I had more money than any of my friends, 1964 making 60 bucks a day, a few months later on the east coast, 60 bucks a week, 6 days @ 1.25 $ hour

Even knowing Kimo Hollinger, makes you a legend Jim.  He set the bar for what it meant to be a big wave rider back in the day.  I wonder if Dick Metz will be around for the Del Mar, Scotty Bass whatever there calling it this weekend.  I like Brawner's Metz stories from the old Hobie days, but those will never make it to print, and what vision Metz, had with the "Surfing Heritage Museum," makes him legendary in his own right.

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Plus one,  Sticky tack rags great idea, thanks.  Masking tape wrapped around hands sticky side out to rub down badly affected itch areas, works ok.  Cactus tuna fruit eaters, be sure to inform the newbies to peel away the outer skin and pulp layer to discard the fuzzy spines and expose the inner pulp fruit. Cooled down the tunas are similar to watermelon for this kid.

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Sounds great G, too bad I'm hundreds of miles away. A cookout would be a blast. How about some Chilaquiles con Nopales too. Breakfast of champions, (along with some cold ones). Wish we had the cool Tecate bottles with the twist off opener in the bottom. Are they still around?


  As you may well know, our buddy G.K. always has a stash of smoked fish in the cooler for when the cronies stop by. The older I get, the more fun it is to sit around and talk story. Hardly get to his place these days it seems. Been over a year I think.


  Onya G. Hoist a few for me with PeteC.

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Glenn Kennedy is one of the coolest shaper-surfers alive!  Nothing but respect for that guy and his talent!  His brother in law Tom up in Carpinteria is as cool as they come too.

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Yeah Man, Tom and John Perry are good guys. They grew up down the road from me on a cool little ranchito that was later developed into condos. The family always had the Carp. place too. John was a real talent and a standout at Malibu and breaks to the north. He'd have been a real contending pro if he hadn't taken that blow to his ear. Tom still has his business here in town but it's been awhile since I've run into him. Great guys, Great surfers. And Glen still rips.

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Tom told me all kinds of stories about the Valley during the sixties, and where the Manson criminals used to hang out and how he used to see them around.  Tom Perry is a classy guy, and deserves recognition for being a great all-around man.

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Hah! The Manson scum used to panhandle for money at the local Hughes Market and at Ralph's. We grew up on the other side of the resevoir from Spahn ranch. The chicks were always dirty and wearing what looked like bed sheets for clothing. I distinctly remember Squeaky Fromme. She was really skinny, creepy, and scary all at the same time.


Good Riddance!


Sorry for the short highjack Plusone.

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  Asian with oily skin.


  Very allergic to sanding dust from laps or fins.


  Masking tape was always around.


  Better yet, sanded over 80 boards at OceanBeach, SanFrancisco, and just ran down and dived in for a 5 minute freezing rinse cycle action, washing away all the glass shards imbedded into my wrists.

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I've used a sticky lint roller before. Works okay, but I think a brand new tack cloth might be the answer. They're cheap, too.