I have been lashing since 2010 and only in the end of 2015 I noticed a change in my breathing… but for a long time I never thought “Does Eyelash Extensions Adhesive Make Me Sick?”
After a full day of lashing, even after wearing a charcoal filter mask all day, I couldn’t breathe as well and developed a cough that sometimes lasted for days. I was short of breath and had to constantly clear my throat. When I learned lashing back in the day no one ever told me about the potential dangers of the adhesive. So, does Eyelash Extensions Adhesive make me sick?
After years of lashing the cyanoacrylate in the adhesive can really do some damage to your lungs without you noticing it. Some lash artists suffer from lung problems, coughing and wheezing, while others get headaches, stuffy and sore noses and stinging eyes. Does Eyelash Extensions Adhesive Make Me Sick
Being a lash artists requires us to protect ourselves from the fumes of the adhesive. The knowledge about this has changed over the past 2 years. We now know what is can cause and how to protect ourselves.
Unfortunate A single charcoal mask will not protect you from the harmful fumes.
Let me tell you a little bit about cyanoacrylate first:
Cyanoacrylates come in different forms. Ethyl and methyl cyanoacrylates are the most common but there are others. Methyl is faster setting with higher fumes and ethyl has lower fumes.
It’s the main ingredient in lash extensions glue. The shelf life is around 1 year but it really depends how you store it as well. It’s also known as super glue. Does Eyelash Extensions Adhesive Make Me Sick
There is no such thing as hypoallergenic or medical grade adhesive. That’s false marketing. all cyanoacrylate glues have a certain toxicity.
Cyanoacrylates polymerize (cure or harden ) when they come in contact with moisture. The more moist or humid your room when you are lashing, the faster the glue will “set”.
To minimise a reduction in shelf life cyanoacrylate, once opened, can be stored in an airtight container with a package of silica gel desiccant and rice. The polymerisation is also temperature-dependant: storage below the freezing point of water stops it, so keeping it in the freezer is also effective.
In summer I keep my glue in the fridge or freezer. Make sure it’s airtight.
So, now you know a little bit about cyanoacrylate and how to store it.
This comes straight from the experts. Does Eyelash Extensions Adhesive Make Me Sick
The fumes from CA are a vaporized form of the cyanoacrylate monomer that irritate sensitive membranes in the eyes, nose, and throat. They are immediately polymerized by the moisture in the membranes and become inert. These risks can be minimized by using CA in well ventilated areas. About 5% of the population can become sensitized to CA fumes after repeated exposure, resulting in flu-like symptoms. CA may also be a skin irritant, causing an allergic skin reaction. On rare occasions, inhalation may trigger asthma. There is no singular measurement of toxicity for all cyanoacrylate adhesives because of the large number of adhesives that contain various cyanoacrylate formulations.
Now what can we do as artist to protect ourselves from it?
We need to wear a mask that has N95 ( us and Canada ) rating which filters out adhesive fumes. These masks aren’t cheap and need to be replaced after a few days. This differs from manufacturer to manufacturer.
Here is Australia we need the rating/class of GP1. Does Eyelash Extensions Adhesive Make Me Sick
I have previously bought masks from Bunnings with this rating.
Another good website for masks is 3M and Moldex have a great mask as well. Lash Tribe will be selling these soon.
No, a mask alone isn’t enough unfortunately.
I bought an extraction unit with a VOC filter ( Volatile organic compound) which filters out Cyanoacrylate vapours.
Mine has two heads. One goes over your drop of glue and one goes over the client’s eyes. The air sucks the vapours into the machine and filters it out.Does Eyelash Extensions Adhesive Make Me Sick
I recommend you stop using a glue ring if you are using one. And please do not work from the forehead. Those fumes travel up into your airways, nose and mouth and even your eyes super easily because they are in such close proximity.
Have the glue sitting next to you on a tile. Using this fume extractor made my cough disappear . I feel much better now and can lash without fear of my lungs suffering.
Getting an air purifier on top of everything else is also a great idea. You can have a look and full systems here if you are in the USA and Canada. Australia Click Here
Let me tell you about a few countries where a unit for VOC’s is mandatory.
In Finland and Sweden for example you need to actually hold a chemical license (gain a certificate which will allow you to work. This course takes half a day.) Does Eyelash Extensions Adhesive Make Me Sick
No lashing without that certificate!
A extraction unit is also mandatory.
There are also different rules on how they need to be placed and where the fumes need to be lead to, whether they go straight outside through a pipe and air vent or whether the VoC filter that needs to be changed every so and so many thousand hours is enough.
So please make sure you check with your countries regulatory body before lashing!Does Eyelash Extensions Adhesive Make Me Sick
So always remember to protect yourself cause you never know how you could react. It’s all preventative.
Start wearing a mask and if you have issue with your lungs, go get them checked out and get an extraction unit. Yes, they will cost you a couple of thousands BUT your health is the most important.
Now what can we do to protect our clients? I have this in my next blog post which I will link HERE as soon as it’s up.
So there you have it.
Protect yourself & happy lashing!