Originally Posted by coppertop
The senior design project (mechanical engineering) I worked on involved a lot of hand lay-up fiberglassing. We used epoxy resin at one stage as we were building a plug on shaped polystyrene foam blocks and the regular polyester resin would melt the polystyrene. Warnings in the epoxy literature were about not using a solvent of any kind to get the stuff off your skin, lest the dissolved epoxy components invade your interior and sensitize you to the stuff.
When we got to the point where we were using the polyester resin, my wife made me change my clothes in the garage so I wouldn't bring the stink into the house. A machinist for the facility loaned us a book on fiberglass kayak building. It had a safety chapter wherein the authors described the contamination they found in the rabbits they kept adjacent to their fiberglassing shop. Makes me think pretty hard before I commit to making something out of fiberglass.
You can buy a hand creme called "Barrier Creme" that prevents resins and toxins from being absorbed through your skin. You put it on under gloves. All the boat builders that work with poly or epoxy resins I know use it.