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Health risks when working with polystyrene

Started by Peter_T1958, January 24, 2024, 08:32:15 AM

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I do not want to waist anybody's pleasure with his beloved hobby, and I can't conduct a discussion because of my limited language skills in English. But I wanted to point to a thread I read this morning in the missing-lynx military forum concerning health risks when working with polystyrene.
After many, many years of working with polystyrene and resin parts (casting, sanding, etc. most of the early years even without mask), I was diagnosed about ten years ago with polyneuropathy, cause unknown. Who knows...

Here the link:

"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication" -Leonardo Da Vinci-



Never good to hear colleagues are suffering.

As someone who has worked in chemical labs and other hazardous environments (like my modelling room), it's always a worry that activities are causing long term harm.

My personal conclusion and approach is:

1. Try not to be stupid.  If you can easily avoid inhaling, absorbing or ingesting unknowns then do so. Plenty of examples of things once considered benign, that proved not to be.
2. Bear in mind that cabbage and coffee are full of potentially hazardous chemicals but the dosage is low and the body is pretty good at dealing with them.  ie be cautious but don't panic.
3. Some stuff is unequivocally hazardous, so masks, gloves, glasses etc are obvious when using them.
4. It's a risk scenario, and many of those risks are unquantified. Certainly causative links are typically tenuous. Effects reported in medical literature under experimental conditions do not necessarily translate to real world concerns for most of us.

My mum had (probable) Lewey body dementia and I imagine never sanded polystyrene in her life. That's not to say polystyrene dust is benign, but the FDA considers PS to be food safe.

So, be well and keep making models (cautiously).


Lawrence in NZ