CA finish and respiratory symptoms

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Forum topic by Sawdust2012 posted 11-17-2013 02:19 PM 1037 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Sawdust2012's profile


144 posts in 1884 days

11-17-2013 02:19 PM

The last few times I have turned projects I have used CA glue as a finish. I wear a Dust Bee Gone mask, but am ending up with moderate to severe nasal congestion. I dont know if it is the CA or dust from the wood. I have used Hickory and a Honduran Rosewood, as well as Olivewood. Has anyone else had this issue with CA glue? I am trying to differentially rule out the possibilities to find the culprit.

7 replies so far

View WhoMe's profile


1564 posts in 3415 days

#1 posted 11-17-2013 02:34 PM

I don’t turn yet but a couple of guys at work turn and finish with ca. I haven’t noticed them complain about nasal issues but one of them gets affected by, and complains about the fumes in his eyes.

-- I'm not clumsy.. It's just the floor hates me, the tables and chairs are bullies, the wall gets in the way AAANNNDDD table saws BITE my fingers!!!.. - Mike -

View PaulDoug's profile


1613 posts in 1875 days

#2 posted 11-17-2013 02:58 PM

CA can irritate individuals and get increasingly worse over time. You need good ventilation when using it, a dust mask is for dust, not fumes. You can get masks for that but that will not help the eye irritation. Need a appropriate full face shield for that. Maybe set a fan near by that blows the fumes away.

I am affected by rose woods. Congestion mostly when turning and sanding it. Some people get a real serious reaction to it. And, it can build up over time. Good dust protection is very important. Just the dust getting on the skin can affect some people.

-- “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2684 posts in 3094 days

#3 posted 11-17-2013 03:16 PM

When I worked in a hobby shop we sold a lot of CA. Lots of folks are intolerant of it’s fumes. We sold them some that was orderless. You might look for it on line or at your local hobby shop.

-- No PHD just a DD214 Website>

View Mr. E's profile

Mr. E

108 posts in 1839 days

#4 posted 11-17-2013 03:44 PM

I would look more into the woods you are using. I have never heard of people having problems with the CA glue, but I have with Rosewood. I the shop I work in we used a lot of rosewood this last year. Several people got bad rashes right way and others had trouble breathing. Some people didn’t get a rash or have breathing problems, and others it tools weeks to set in. So the glue might not be the culprit here.


View lumberjoe's profile


2899 posts in 2420 days

#5 posted 11-17-2013 06:29 PM

I have major problems with CA. It gets worse with every exposure like PaulDoug said aslo, so limiting your exposure is a good idea. A proper respirator with organic vapor cartridges works. A dust mask my actually make it worse as essentially you will be huffing the fumes.

My symptoms are extreme though. I get instantly light headed (like I am going to pass out) and my throat, sinuses and eyes burn. This only happens when I am applying a lot of CA (like to fill knots or stabilize spalted wood), or when getting it really hot – like reaming out pen blanks with a mill that are covered in CA.

What you are experiencing sounds more like dust irritation than CA. The CA symptoms are instant and severe – you want to run outside for fresh air immediately. It’s not mildly annoying or congestion.


View Dark_Lightning's profile


3284 posts in 3281 days

#6 posted 11-18-2013 01:33 AM

Your symptoms sound like what I get from certain woods, like alder and pine. CA doesn’t do that to me, but YMMV. It is also a sensitizer, so if it turns out to be the problem, it may get worse.

Try turning the project without applying the finish and wait to see if you have a reaction, which may be delayed (as long as a day). That will decouple the finish from the wood working.

-- Random Orbital Nailer

View Whiskers's profile


389 posts in 2199 days

#7 posted 11-19-2013 08:12 AM

CA Glue for finish? never heard of this, but Ive worked with CA glue a lot working with models. The stuff is deadly poison no matter how you wrap it and I have never seen it do anything to finish wood. Always had a fan blowing across work area and out the window or whatever when I worked with it. We are talking about super glue here right? or is this some woodworker slang for something I’m not familiar with?

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