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So I’ve been a painter for about 3 years, residential and commercial...so I’ve done a lot of puttying base and trim and caulking .. i was taught to putty by balling up the putty in one hand filling holes with the other wiping excess with a rag and taught to caulk with the gun my finger and rag also. All of a sudden today i see on the back on my caulk that it says caution contains ethylene glycol or something like that but it says caution do not get on your skin , so then I’m curious be look at my patch n paint putty it also says do not get on your skin? Wtf lol .. should i not be getting this stuff on my skin? Do you guys putty or caulk without getting this stuff all over your hands? Have you ever heard of some negative health reaction from doing it this way ? Or should i just keep doing it how I’m doing it.
 

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I have never worried or paid much attention to using my finger to smooth out caulk or spackle - hell, it was (is) usually my tool of choice. The only product I took pains to avoid getting on my fingers (if possible) was the Elmer's wood putty. Using nitrile gloves when applying it was a way to avoid it but even then it seems you lose something in wearing one - sort of like using a... well, you know.
 

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If you read a can of bug repellant it will also tell you not to get it on your skin. I mean, I get it. Clothing is best if possible. But I should leave my face, neck and ears for the blood suckers to feast upon? I'm sure if you started reading more labels you'd find all manner of things you're not supposed to get on your skin. Probably including skin creams.
 

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I have never worried or paid much attention to using my finger to smooth out caulk or spackle - hell, it was (is) usually my tool of choice. The only product I took pains to avoid getting on my fingers (if possible) was the Elmer's wood putty. Using nitrile gloves when applying it was a way to avoid it but even then it seems you lose something in wearing one - sort of like using a... well, you know.
Haha yup i thought about wearing gloves to do it and then was thinking ehhh I’d lose the feel .. i never paid attention to it either until i saw the caution on it . It suprised me cause i can’t imagine anyone does it any other way lol... but i get crazy health anxiety so it made me pretty uneasy
 

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I've read on here anecdotally for toxic stuff painters handle caulking could be the number one. Beyond our fingers I don't know how else to really get it looking the way we want to. I personally have a good or bad habit of overusing a rag and sometimes overwatering my caulk as I'm trying to get it the way I want. I tend to keep a bucket handy to try to wash my hands off periodically as I'm caulking, too.
 

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If you read a can of bug repellant it will also tell you not to get it on your skin. I mean, I get it. Clothing is best if possible. But I should leave my face, neck and ears for the blood suckers to feast upon? I'm sure if you started reading more labels you'd find all manner of things you're not supposed to get on your skin. Probably including skin creams.
Much of that is "covering our ass" fine print.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
If you read a can of bug repellant it will also tell you not to get it on your skin. I mean, I get it. Clothing is best if possible. But I should leave my face, neck and ears for the blood suckers to feast upon? I'm sure if you started reading more labels you'd find all manner of things you're not supposed to get on your skin. Probably including skin creams.
Lmao yeah your right. I’m freaking out about nothing probably, I’ve never had anyone tell me not to get on my skin . But on the back it says wear a mask goggles and gloves .. for putty LOL.. i was like what?
 

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Much of that is "covering our ass" fine print.
Yeah, the fine print is largely inspired by lawyers. Of course DEET is actually really nasty stuff (which doesn't keep me from putting it on my skin, but I do stay at the low end of % concentrations). So the real drag about the lawyers writing the stuff is that it becomes nearly impossible to tell which warnings are for real...
 

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I've read on here anecdotally for toxic stuff painters handle caulking could be the number one. Beyond our fingers I don't know how else to really get it looking the way we want to. I personally have a good or bad habit of overusing a rag and sometimes overwatering my caulk as I'm trying to get it the way I want. I tend to keep a bucket handy to try to wash my hands off periodically as I'm caulking, too.
I've read on here anecdotally for toxic stuff painters handle caulking could be the number one. Beyond our fingers I don't know how else to really get it looking the way we want to. I personally have a good or bad habit of overusing a rag and sometimes overwatering my caulk as I'm trying to get it the way I want. I tend to keep a bucket handy to try to wash my hands off periodically as I'm caulking, too.
yeah i always keep a bucket on water and clean the rag and my hands constantly but as far as washing my hands and getting it off my skin that’s it haha never knew it was toxic ... I’m not gonna be able to not thinking about it as i do it now lol
 

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Prolonged skin exposure to high levels of ethylene glycol can kill you a few different ways, but overexposure from the minute amount in putty would be highly unlikely, unless you kept that ball of putty as a pet and never let it go, and often kept it close to your bosom on cold nights, with open sores on areas in constant contact with the putty.

Prolonged exposure via inhalation is an altogether and much more probable fear, so respirators are good.

Even slight exposure via ingestion is the biggie though. That's why I'm thankful that here in Oregon, we are one of maybe 10 states in the nation to add a bittering agent to Antifreeze. My wife will have to come up with something more creative if she wants to get rid of me. Not falling for the "here honey, have some Gatorade" routine.
 

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Your not alone bud! Just finished up a day of caulking int trim.
Holy cow. That's sticky. My water bucket and rag are with me always while caulking. I don't let any of it dry up on me. Constant ragging off and rinsing. The only place I'll end up with it is on the harder to clean areas like the creases between the fingernail and skin.
 

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What
Holy cow. That's sticky. My water bucket and rag are with me always while caulking. I don't let any of it dry up on me. Constant ragging off and rinsing. The only place I'll end up with it is on the harder to clean areas like the creases between the fingernail and skin.
What can i say i like to cake it on! My fingers crack if i wash them all day so i save it up for the end
 

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Your not alone bud! Just finished up a day of caulking int trim.
Not sure how you do it, but I put maybe a capful of paint thinner or mineral spirits in the rinse bucket of water. Helps to reduce the caking effect that can accumulate on fingers.
 

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Holy cow. That's sticky. My water bucket and rag are with me always while caulking. I don't let any of it dry up on me. Constant ragging off and rinsing. The only place I'll end up with it is on the harder to clean areas like the creases between the fingernail and skin.
I had to do some caulking today, and took a wet rag with me per your suggestion.
Good idea, not too much of a hassle. My hands are a lot cleaner than usual, and the caulk tooled smoother as a result of the water and clean hands.
 

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Holland you never used a wet rag/water before to tool caulking?
 

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I found i like an old 4oz water bottle filled up enough where I can dunk my finger/shake the bottle along with rag(s)...
 

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Been doing skim coating on some walls in two of our bathrooms where we had wallpaper and now going back to texture and man drywall compound can sure do a number on your hands. I must have about five of those tiny splits/cracks you get at the end of your fingers and thumbs when you are alternating between skin too wet and then too dry.
 

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I ditched the wet rag for a wet sponge in hand, (mainly just to keep the fingers lubricated) while caulking and never looked back.

I dont see how a pair of disposable gloves would last more than five minutes...
 
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