# How dangerous is superglue? [closed]

A long time ago, when I used to make plastic models with glue, I never wore white gloves when gluing together the pieces, so I often got a lot of superglue on my hands. The superglue, which was very viscous and liquid, dried on my hands and later created small flakes in the process of coming off my skin.

At the time the back of the superglue container were listed instructions that read “in case of contact with skin, rinse with warm water until the glue is completely removed” or something similar.

My questions are

1. Is it okay to have ever had glue on my skin? Will it not create a lasting problem?

2. Is it okay that the flakes could have been spread on the bathroom towel when I wiped my hands, on the bedsheets, my clothes, the surface of the desk, the floor, and in other areas in the home?

I'm worried that the dust could have remained or been absorbed through the mouth, eyes or even nose (inhaled)?

*by glue I mean the type of glue that can be found on this link:

https://www.amazon.com/Tamiya-87038-Extra-Cement-Plastic/dp/B01F1S4N8U

## closed as off-topic by Nilay Ghosh, Karsten Theis, Mithoron, Todd Minehardt, airhuffJun 9 at 1:49

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

• "Personal medical questions are off-topic on Chemistry. We can not safely answer questions for your specific situation and you should always consult a doctor for medical advice." – Nilay Ghosh, Karsten Theis, Mithoron, Todd Minehardt, airhuff
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

• Pretty dangerous if you drink it, or glue shut any of your body orifices. Short of that, not much to worry about. – Ivan Neretin Jun 8 at 9:14
• Plastic models are not usually stuck together with cyanoacrylate superglue but with slower acting, more plastic-specific glues designed to glue polystyrene parts together. They are not very good at gluing body parts together (unlike cyanoacrylate glues) and are considerably safer and easier to use. The glue you link to is not a superglue and shouldn't be confused with one. – matt_black Jun 8 at 16:51

The glue you link to (TAMIYA EXTRA-THIN CEMENT, made by IKEGAMI PAINT INDUSTRY COMPANY), according to a material safety data sheet (MSDS) I was able to retrieve online, appears to be a 1:1 mixture of acetone and butyl acetate. Such a mixture works in a similar way to dihloromethane as a solvent to weld together plastic parts. Quoting the wikipedia,

Acetone is believed to exhibit only slight toxicity in normal use, and there is no strong evidence of chronic health effects if basic precautions are followed.

OSHA classifies acetone under the following health codes ("principal effect(s) of exposure to each substance [...] used in determining if a violation of an air contaminant standard is serious"):

HE16 Irritation-Eyes, Nose, Throat, Skin---Mild

OSHA classifies butyl acetate as follows:

HE8 Nervous System Disturbances---Narcosis

HE15 Irritation-Eyes, Nose, Throat, Skin---Moderate

For completeness, I include a screenshot from the beginning of the MSDS I found for the adhesive. For more on the GHS classification (divisions or categories) you can refer to the method employed in classifying substances.

Note that superglue has also surgery application, so it is not much dangerous.

The precautions are due possibility of local temporary skin/mucous irritation when exposed to cyanoacrylate monomer.

Other aspects are unpredictable effects of impurities of technical glues and undesired glueing of body parts.

Superglue are Cyanoacrylates.They polymerise in presence of slight amounts of moisture that creates bonding between surfaces.Skin contains moisture which sets off polymerisation on contact with superglue$$\ce{^1}$$, giving a flaky appearance on skin.

Without force, however, the glue will spontaneously separate from the skin in time (up to four days). Separation can be accelerated by applying vegetable oil near, on, and around the glue. (Wikipedia)

The methods to remove superglue from skin include$$\ce{^2}$$

• Soaking in warm, soapy water.
• Nail polish remover or acetone.
• Butter and oils, such as coconut or avocado oil, can help separate fingers that are stuck together with super glue.
• Pumice stone
• Lemon juice

References