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Skin blisters from propellant residue?

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dshmel

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For the last couple of years I have been getting a negative skin reaction to what I believe is the residue from BP and APCP propellant. Touching launch rails, shock cords soiled with BP residue, chute protectors, etc. seems to create blisters on my fingers. The skin thickens and blisters similar to poison ivy. There is no itching ro discomfort, other than some pain if and when the skin cracks from being dry. I have attached a photo and circled the blisters.

Wondering if anyone else has experienced this?

Blisters.jpg
 

Bat-mite

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I have not. But I know that exposure to fiberglass and epoxy can cause permanent skin damage. I would talk to a dermatologist if I were you.
 

manixFan

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I have not. But I know that exposure to fiberglass and epoxy can cause permanent skin damage. I would talk to a dermatologist if I were you.
Hmm, I've never heard of permanent damage from epoxy. The west systems guide seems to indicate that it is will resolve once contact with epoxy is avoided:

http://www.westsystem.com/ss/health-effects-from-overexposure-to-epoxy/

This CDC brochure talks about epoxy and fiberglass being temporary irritants:

https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2011-199/pdfs/2011-199.pdf

But since the OPs question has nothing to do with epoxy or fiberglass that's really not the point.

For the OP it seems much more likely to be a form a contact dermatitis:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contact_dermatitis

Which is can be caused by just about anything. Some folks get it from prolonged contact with their own sweat. The best thing is simple avoidance - wear gloves (nitrile are better than latex) when handling your rocket gear. The main residues from BP are potassium salts which are corrosive. It's unlikely it's the APCP residue that is bothering you. AP does not leave a lot of particulate residue behind. For ejection charges you could switch from BP to something like Triple7 which does not use sulfur in it's mix, but you would need to test it with your setup to make sure it works for you.

You can also use a barrier hand cream before you start working with your rocket gear if you don't want to wear gloves. But gloves are the answer to your problem. It's the same thing a dermatologist will tell you.


Tony
 

dshmel

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I have not. But I know that exposure to fiberglass and epoxy can cause permanent skin damage. I would talk to a dermatologist if I were you.
I am pretty religious about wearing nitrile gloves during my builds when using epoxy. The blistering and skin irritation occurs after a launch or after I have handled soiled shock cords and chute protectors. I often get epoxy on my forearms and don't have a reaction.

I am using Betamethasone Dipropionate (topical corticosteroid) which seems to help as long as I apply it consistently.

Just wondering if anyone else has had a similar reaction. I googled "skin reaction to black powder residue" and didn't really find anything. There are discussion on the muzzle loading forums about BP residue being bad if it is not cleaned off, and it is widely accepted that BP residue is "bad" for electronic components and non stainless metal.
 

dshmel

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Hmm, I've never heard of permanent damage from epoxy. The west systems guide seems to indicate that it is will resolve once contact with epoxy is avoided:

http://www.westsystem.com/ss/health-effects-from-overexposure-to-epoxy/

This CDC brochure talks about epoxy and fiberglass being temporary irritants:

https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2011-199/pdfs/2011-199.pdf

But since the OPs question has nothing to do with epoxy or fiberglass that's really not the point.

For the OP it seems much more likely to be a form a contact dermatitis:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contact_dermatitis

Which is can be caused by just about anything. Some folks get it from prolonged contact with their own sweat. The best thing is simple avoidance - wear gloves (nitrile are better than latex) when handling your rocket gear. The main residues from BP are potassium salts which are corrosive. It's unlikely it's the APCP residue that is bothering you. AP does not leave a lot of particulate residue behind. For ejection charges you could switch from BP to something like Triple7 which does not use sulfur in it's mix, but you would need to test it with your setup to make sure it works for you.

You can also use a barrier hand cream before you start working with your rocket gear if you don't want to wear gloves. But gloves are the answer to your problem. It's the same thing a dermatologist will tell you.


Tony
Thanks.
 

markkoelsch

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You might have developed an allergy. A dermatologist might not be a bad idea. Also wearing a long sleeve shirt and gloves.
 

SaturnV

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If BP is black powder -It is disinfectant. One time the soldiers put it in his wounds. Other fuels do not know what it was. But if it is based on perchlorate is poisonous.
P.S.
Even black powder, if not made yourself with potassium nitrate, sulfur and charcoal do not know what else they put in it. Put some junk.
 

mccordmw

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If you've become sensitized to epoxy, I'd suspect you're reacting to the epoxy binders in APCP. Good idea to bring along nitrile gloves.
 

rstaff3

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You need to understand the chemistry of the products in the exhaust/residue. Bob Krech might have some insight here.

However, nothing will speak to the issue like your own blisters. Avoid what you think is causing a problem and let a dermo doc look at it.
 

tmacklin

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Both black powder (BP) and ammonium perchlorate composite propellants (APCP) produce acidic gases during combustion. BP combustion produces sulfur dioxide and possibly sulfur trioxide gases, as well as hydrogen sulfide.

APCP produces hydrogen chloride gas which when mixed with water forms hydrochloric acid.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ammon...e_propellant#Environmental_and_other_concerns (See "environmental and other concerns" in the article.)
 

tab28682

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If BP is black powder -It is disinfectant. One time the soldiers put it in his wounds. Other fuels do not know what it was. But if it is based on perchlorate is poisonous.
P.S.
Even black powder, if not made yourself with potassium nitrate, sulfur and charcoal do not know what else they put in it. Put some junk.
Note that the first poster is talking about his reaction to combustion by-products and not the BP and/or other propellant material before it is burned
 

rstaff3

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I probably had heard that nefore but totally forgotten. I'd say it is likely an allergy vs general acidity. My hand have been blackened many times without any ill effects...other than complaints from my wife.
 

Screaminhelo

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I have been working on aircraft for 20+ years and I have developed a mild sensitivity to hydraulic fluid. If the motor residue did not bother you before, something similar may have happened. You can't be sure without seeing a dermatologist though.
 

Rob702Martinez

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I thought the same thing last week. As of late, lots of epoxies, fiberglass, recovery gear etc...my hands are pretty bad too.
 

SaturnV

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I remembered! My wife was clean stove with a powerful detergent without gloves! And then get some eczema on one hand and it was at least 1 year or more! This is not allergic, it is an eczema on the skin.She must not have wet hand with water for a long time! And brush with a paste! I washed the dishes and it was a nightmare! Immediately dermatologist!
P.S.She's hand was rough as the coarse sandpaper. When have sex and She touched me with that hand like sex with Count Dracula! Well that heal.
 
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tomsteve

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back in the late 90's i remember reading in rocket magazines a woman who was involved in HPR. i think she few at BALLS a few times,too.
iirc, she was allergic to AP.
 
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