Alergic to framing

Susan May

PFG, Picture Framing God
Forum Donor
May 28, 2000
moved to Clermont, Florida
This is a real post. Notice it is not on Warped Moulding.

I had to do a framing job last week, and used Acrylic glazing. So, I ordered OP-3 RC. (You know, uv-filtering, Reflection control, acrylic.) Well, I got the stuff in, cut all my supplies (Large job), and started putting everything together. I was very carefull taking the release paper off the acrylic, and followed Lois' advice to bring it all to the center. It came of very easily. Got it on the artwork, and started to take it off the outside of the glazing, when I noticed that both my hands were getting red. Guess what!?!?!?

I am ALERGIC to the release adheasive! Both my hands were red and inflamed for a few hours. EVEN with using Benadrill cream. Talk about itchy palms! I went back a few days later, and touched the release paper, just to make sure that it was what I had the reaction to. INSTANT reaction!

So, if you have any alergies to Adheasives, stay away from the OP-3. (I had no problem with the thin white release plastic on the regular Acrylic from Cyro.)
Sue, if you're not allergic to latex, powder-free latex gloves would be a solution. When you finish your project, wiggle your hands out to where the gloves come off inside out - eliminates any contact with the irritant. They are sold in bulk, and are cheap enough to use once and throw out.

Hope this helps.
Perhaps Latex is the culprit to begin with. The masking adhesive may well contain Latex.
Sue, if you do decide to use gloves, I would reccomend a Nitrile Glove. It is like latex but safe for those who are alergic to latex.

In my past life I sold medical supplies to hospitals and nursing homes and ran into latex allergies a lot. Most who had reactions to gloves were allergic to the latex and not the powder. Many adhesives do have latex in them as well .

Play it safe and go with the Nitrile Gloves, they are a little more expensive but well worth it if you do have a latex allergy.
I second the opinion for Nitrile. Actually, Nitrile is the glove anyone should be using in a frame shop.

If you use Unseal, Naptha, or any petroleum based waxes or finishes, they will dissolve latex, but not Nitrile.
Have you ever tried to take of release paper with gloves on? It don't work! LOL

I don't think it's the latex. I don't have problems with gloves and the like. But I have had reactions to bandaids before. The plastic bandaids are worse than the fabric ones, but they all bother me. Good thing I'm not in an industry where people get hurt. LOL Just kidding.

Luckily I don't hurt myself often.
Susan, I just went and did it. The adhesive didn't stick to the nitril. But! I was a bear getting it started and I resorted to a razor tip the pry up the corner.........

But, I also pull up one end untill I can get it somewhat over a tube and roll the stuff off. I'm just not as strong as I used to be.
Sue, with that kind of reaction, I'd suggest you find out what that adhesive is, so you can avoid it in the future. Chances are it is used for other applications, too.

If you figure out what's in it that caused your reaction, please let us know.
Jim, if I can figure out what caused the reaction, I'll switch to the medical field! LOL But it is worth making a few calls.
What exactly is what you call Latex that you are referring to?
Just an update. I have been on the phone with both LJ, and TruVue today. Both are trying to get the information about the adheasive, and have told me that they will get back to me.

Of course, you know... as we age, allergies can change. So, just because I have never had a reaction to Latex, dosen't mean I'm not alergic now. But I am glad to know that they are more than willing to find out the cause of the reaction.

Thank you Larson Juhl, and TruVue. You really are showing me that you care about the health of the common framer.
Well, it seems that I am now alergic to LAYTEX! New one for me.

I still have no problems with laytex gloves, so it must be a little diferent in an adheasive.
Try wearing the gloves with cotton glass gloves over them to get the release paper off, and as usual, use an art tube to roll it off =)
Sue - I have heard that many medical professionals and even hairdressers who have to wear gloves all of the time often develop allergies to latex over time - some allergies seem to have perhaps a cumulative effect over the years.

Folks who work in animal labs often develop allergic reactions to rodents - this happened to my partner Kim when we had our pet rats at the shop - one day she was fine, next day she had little red spots, next day she couldn't breathe!

Allergies are funny things. I know my dentist wears cotton gloves under his latex ones. Be sure to keep a close eye on your reaction to latex gloves - the situation can change suddenly.

Good luck!

Cotton gloves under latex may be a temporary fix but it may not work as well. As i stated before use Nitrile Gloves.

Many people who have "Latex Allergies" are not actually allergic o the laytex but the protiens used to clean and shape the latex. If you can't find Nitrile then a medical grade vinyl glove should work, they will not be as form fitting but for what you may be using them for, they will work.

Now if it is latex allergy then you need to be aware of other things that you may use. Band-aids have latex in the adhesive of the actual band aid as well as the paper wrapper. Anything with elastic (socks, undergarments, pants, shirts, ect) usually has latex. Even some toothbrushes have latex in the bristles.

I would gues that if you are now finding out about your allergy then it is not a major one where you have to be very very careful (some have died from complications), the one area that i would say to be careful about is adhesives. Since the latex is in small amounts it is sometimes not cleaned as well as latex that is used in gloves ect.

Good luck and if you have a hard time finding Nitrile Gloves, let me know and I can get you in touch with my old employer, they have a warehouse in Scranton PA that can ship to you.
Susan, you have become "sensitized". It's like an allergy, only it's when something becomes a problem after repeated exposures. Latex "allergy" can be life threatening - can cause respiratory arrest. If you ever are receiving medical care, (including dental), be sure to tell them you are allergic to latex. Most everything in the medical field, stethescopes, etc. contain latex, so there is special equip. they will use which does not.

You don't even have to touch the latex directly. In the case of latex gloves, sometimes the biggest problem is when the gloves are removed. Correct procedure is to remove them inside out, however, as that happens, tiny particles become airborne, particularly when there is powder. Try not to let them "snap" as you take them off - this increases the amount and distance disbersed. They will land on nearby surfaces and you can also inhale them. Thus a systemic (breathing) reaction in addition to a local (red, irritated skin) reaction.

Your reactions may become more severe over time.

Nitrile is the way to go for gloves. Any Safety Supply co. will carry them. I'm sure a google search will come up with many near you. A couple I know of are Conney Safey Products and Lab Safety Supply. Nitrile's run approx. $14-16/box of 100. They are more resistant to tearing than regular latex. I love using them when I handle glass.

Obviously, I'm not a doc, so will offer the usual disclaimer. But I would strongly recommend you talk to your doc and get all the information you can get your hands on as to what other common latex-based products can cause problems for you.