How solvents in glue are fizzing your brain permanently (and what to do about it)
When you apply glue, have you noticed a headache, felt dizzy or uncoordinated?
That’s from the solvent in the glue.
Solvent is put in glue for one reason: to keep the rubber liquid until it’s applied. Then it evaporates, leaving the hard rubber behind.
These solvents are a mean type – volatile solvents. They are nasty chemical compounds concocted by crazy scientists.
We were suspicious solvents are bad for you. But what we learned from a Harvard study on the matter blew our minds:
Solvent exposure doesn’t only affect you short term, but years after your career is over.
Yes, you read that right. The headaches, dizziness and spotty vision could all be paving the way for some serious cognitive issues later in life.
2,143 predominantly solvent-exposed retirees (averaging 66 years old) completed 8 cognitive function tests. This is what they showed:
• 59% had difficulty with 3 of the tests
• 23% had difficulty with 4+ tests, and
• 18% had no difficulty.
The research found that solvent exposed persons were more likely to contract memory loss and thinking disorders. This includes conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
You can get the full details of the study here.
So how can you be rid of this?
Because you’ve already been exposed to solvents, there’s no way of guaranteeing you will or won’t be affected long term.
But there are a few things you can do to try and minimise the impact from here on out.
1. Use low solvent and fast acting solvent adhesives.
Some glues will have high rubber (otherwise called solids) content, which means there is less solvent to begin with.
Fast acting solvents mean that as soon as your adhesive hits the surface, the solvent is evaporated.
TensorGrip is one such option, with both of the above characteristics.
2. Use water-based adhesives.
Water acts as a solvent for some glues. It is obviously much healthier from a solvent point of view.
The only issue is they tend to be temperamental, hard to maintain and have health issues of their own.
3. Never use glue again.
You could go cold-turkey on glue, but that may not be practical. By using low solvent fast acting adhesives and a mask, you minimise your health risks in the future.