Those who work with cement, mortar or do any type of masonry on a regular basis expose themselves to toxins entering their body. The danger specifically arises when the cement is wet because it is abrasive, caustic, and absorbs moisture. This article will outline where the toxin is found, what problems can arise from the toxin, and what you can use to protect yourself and those around you.
Who and What are at Risk
The materials that pose this toxic danger include concrete, mortar, grout, stucco, plaster, and terrazzo.
Trace amounts of naturally occurring and potentially harmful chemicals might be detected during chemical analysis. Portland cement can contain up to 0.75% insoluble residue. Traces found can include calcium oxide (also known as free lime or quick lime), free magnesium oxide, potassium and sodium sulfate compounds, free crystalline silica, chromium compounds, and nickel compounds. Since these toxins exists in such a wide variety of materials, there are huge amounts of potential workers who are at risk of exposure.
Exposure to this wet cement can cause severe skin reactions including caustic burns. These cement burns can lead to blisters, black or green skin, hardened or dead skin and in extreme cases disability or disfiguring scars. In other cases exposure to wet cement can cause dermatitis, or skin irritation, inflammation, itching, or scaling.
All of these skin conditions ranging from mild to severe can be avoided by using proper protection on your hands.
Use glove protection properly
When choosing an appropriate glove for concrete handling, you should be sure to choose gloves that are well fitted because loose gloves can allow cement to enter the glove.
An excellent glove option for this application is the (Panther Guard 800F). This glove is a industrial grade nitrile that is flock lined. The flock lining allows you to don the gloves easily, even when your skin is slightly wet. The 8-mil thickness offers great durability and protection.
These disposable gloves are tough enough to stand up to the materials used in masonry and mortar work and are puncture resistant to add extra security. These gloves also have an 11” rolled cuff, which adds even extra protection to your hands and forearms when handling cement.
Although the PantherGuard is an outstanding disposable glove for masonry work, one must observe for tears and wear in the glove to remain protected. With any glove you are using for protection, always make sure your glove is sound and not compromised before continuing your work. If you suspect your glove is compromised, always put on a fresh pair.