Minimising monomer smell?

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Bexta140790

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I’m wondering if anyone has any tips on minimising the smell from Acrylic monomer? I am currently working from home and always have the windows open, all doors closed, don’t wipe my brush often, keep the lid on the dappen dish when not using and use a metal bin which I empty into the outside bin as soon as I’m finished but the smell is so strong and my kids are constantly complaining about it as my whole house stinks, even upstairs. Even if I’ve not used any monomer for a day or two I can still smell it when coming back into the house. It’s literally as soon as I open the bottle as well that the children will start to complain they can smell it from upstairs. I’m currently using the Glitterbels Violet monomer, I know you can get odourless liquid but I’m happy with the product otherwise.
Thanks
 
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Ambermist

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Hi, Take a look at Ravair Ltd, they have several machines for different size rooms that will remove the smell of monomer and also Virus.
 

TheDuchess

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Hi I have a Ravair device. I don’t do acrylic but I do know the smell.

I bought my device because I have basement rooms and needed additional protections from Covid. Since then the latest U.K. guidelines (released 8th April) have validated the technology used in my Ravair device so I’m feeling smug and relieved in equal amounts with my purchasing decision.

In my basement rooms we have a real problem with damp. I became paranoid about Covid safety and felt we had to have additional measures. I now have amazingly “fresh” air, no damp smells, no loo smells, and if I use white spirit or surgical spirit to clean up, the smell is whisked away.

I’ve recently installed improved new ventilation in a new site I’m setting up. Reading all the technical specs made me realise again just how good the Ravair spec is. Honestly some of the other, sexier, machines on the market are not a patch on the technical specification in spite of all the glowing recommendations. I’ve not purchased other machines so I can’t compare experiences I’ve just undertaken a very thorough desk survey.
 

tuna816

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It's important that when you work from home, that you take the steps to make a home, a home and not a job site.

When the smell is bad enough to where your kids are complaining, this will put stress onto them. They will not enjoy being at home, and they will eventually hold a grudge against you for this.

I will provide the fix to this problem. What you need is a small machine that sucks up the vapor and odor from the monomer. Monomers turns into a vapor, which is different from odor. If you keep breathing this vapor, it can be bad for your health in the long run. This machine has a bed of activated charcoal that stores the vapor and odor. This bed of charcoal needs to replaced depending on use because it stops working whenever it soaks up too much vapor and odor.

Do a google search and find one that is made for nails.

Another machine that you will need is a dust machine for the acrylic. This machine sucks up the dust generated whenever you file acrylics. Remember, whenever you file, you will generate very small dust particles that you will breath in. Over time, this will damage your lungs. Wearing mask will not help because the dust is very small.

So, its worth it to invest in these machines if you do well as a nail technician.
 

BrenG

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Hi I have a Ravair device. I don’t do acrylic but I do know the smell.

I bought my device because I have basement rooms and needed additional protections from Covid. Since then the latest U.K. guidelines (released 8th April) have validated the technology used in my Ravair device so I’m feeling smug and relieved in equal amounts with my purchasing decision.

In my basement rooms we have a real problem with damp. I became paranoid about Covid safety and felt we had to have additional measures. I now have amazingly “fresh” air, no damp smells, no loo smells, and if I use white spirit or surgical spirit to clean up, the smell is whisked away.

I’ve recently installed improved new ventilation in a new site I’m setting up. Reading all the technical specs made me realise again just how good the Ravair spec is. Honestly some of the other, sexier, machines on the market are not a patch on the technical specification in spite of all the glowing recommendations. I’ve not purchased other machines so I can’t compare experiences I’ve just undertaken a very thorough desk survey.
Hi TheDuchess,

Where is your new site going to be? Exciting times.
 

AlexTheKing

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I’m wondering if anyone has any tips on minimising the smell from Acrylic monomer? I am currently working from home and always have the windows open, all doors closed, don’t wipe my brush often, keep the lid on the dappen dish when not using and use a metal bin which I empty into the outside bin as soon as I’m finished but the smell is so strong and my kids are constantly complaining about it as my whole house stinks, even upstairs. Even if I’ve not used any monomer for a day or two I can still smell it when coming back into the house. It’s literally as soon as I open the bottle as well that the children will start to complain they can smell it from upstairs. I’m currently using the Glitterbels Violet monomer, I know you can get odourless liquid but I’m happy with the product otherwise.
Thanks
One more option that hasn't been mentioned would be a combined "dust + vapours + fumes" extractor that comes as one device. One good example of such a device might be Vodex SalonAir 1001. It's more expensive than other options, you just need to decide if you are happy with "at source" extraction or you would rather prefer a separate device filtering out everything in the room.
 

tuna816

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One more option that hasn't been mentioned would be a combined "dust + vapours + fumes" extractor that comes as one device. One good example of such a device might be Vodex SalonAir 1001. It's more expensive than other options, you just need to decide if you are happy with "at source" extraction or you would rather prefer a separate device filtering out everything in the room.
I don't think an all in one machine works. The reason being is that the bed of activtated charcoal has to be clear from dust in order to absorb monomer vapors and odors.
 

AlexTheKing

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@tuna816 you are right, and if you checked the machine you would find it has 3 layers of filtration, activated carbon coming the last. By the way, unlike Ravair it comes with 2 kg of this granulated carbon only, the filter is around 10 cm thick and rather heavy.
 

tuna816

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@tuna816 you are right, and if you checked the machine you would find it has 3 layers of filtration, activated carbon coming the last. By the way, unlike Ravair it comes with 2 kg of this granulated carbon only, the filter is around 10 cm thick and rather heavy.
If the dust filters comes in first, it will block vapor and odors from reaching the charcoal bed, thus minimizing the absorption, thus negating the charcoal bed.
 

TheDuchess

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I don’t wish to frighten you but it really isn’t healthy to fill your home with VOCs. That’s what the smell is, it’s air pollution and your children shouldn’t be breathing it. It’s also an HSE legal requirement

The chemicals you and your clients and your children are breathing in are explained here


The vodex system looks very sexy and has thrilled reviews from customers who’ve not had their unit for very long. However, it’s really rather worrying to read reviews from nail techs who have been working without any dust protection and who have desks without a built in system and seem to think that their vodex will handle everything their workplace chucks at it. The vodex clearly states that it is not intended to handle e file dusts. You need to have a separate dust extraction system as well. The vodex filters are £££, and I couldn’t find any advice about how to maintain your filters or how often you’d need to change them. Of course that will be in the manual - I’d like to know before I bought one though.

Alex says the vodex carbon filters are 2kg. Ravair sells a selection of different units with carbon filters up to 3.5kg. Deeper and heavier is better. Filters need replacing and Ravair filters are a fraction of the price of Vodex which is worth bearing in mind.

Dust is incredibly harmful, especially nail dusts because they are basically ground up acrylics and nail polish, so they are nasty chemicals in solid form. Nail chemicals are carcinogenic and dusts collect in the lungs permanently. There are all sorts of fatal industrial diseases caused by dust inhalation. I learned about these from my old job in commercial insurance. It doesn’t take a lifetime of exposure to knacker your lungs. The damage doesn’t show up for 40 years but only a small exposure is thought to be very serious. My father-in-law died horribly of a dust inhalation related disease. Apart from his apprenticeship he chose not to work in industry because he didn’t like the dirty environment- so his only dust exposure was from his teens. Just a few years of exposure as a young man were enough to kill him 40 years later. Poor chap, he’d never smoked, didn’t drink, wasn’t overweight and ate healthily. Usually insurance companies can wriggle off the hook because there are other lifestyle factors they can blame but not in my father-in-law’s case - they accepted liability and paid up.

So you need 2 systems, one to handle airborne fumes vapours and light dust and one for nail dust, otherwise you’ll clog your vapour filters with nail dust. You need to invest to protect your family’s health.. It’s important to buy the right sized unit, why not email Ravair for advice. They were very responsive to my questions and concerns.
 

AlexTheKing

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I don’t wish to frighten you but it really isn’t healthy to fill your home with VOCs. That’s what the smell is, it’s air pollution and your children shouldn’t be breathing it. It’s also an HSE legal requirement
It's really super-important, I couldn't agree more. I think safety is the first thing that all training courses should focus on and keep coming back all the time. Beauty industry is like a chemical industry in fact, and you need all the possible and impossible protection to stay safe.

If the dust filters comes in first, it will block vapor and odors from reaching the charcoal bed, thus minimizing the absorption, thus negating the charcoal bed.
So you need 2 systems, one to handle airborne fumes vapours and light dust and one for nail dust, otherwise you’ll clog your vapour filters with nail dust.
Is this a critical flaw in the design of this machine, that renders it considerably less efficient compared to others? And how much the air quality is affected by that provided that regular cleaning of the pre-filters is done? Afaik vapours are not particles, they are essentially molecules, so unless pre-filters are severely clogged they can penetrate easily through them due its molecule-level size. When pre-filters are clogged, they keep letting the air in anyway, it's just that the air pressure and speed drops. I don't have any calculations or other facts to prove this approach is better or worse, and to be honest I didn't expect this whole discussion to turn so technical. However I'm a big fan of facts and informed decisions, and never rely on my own "pure logical" thinking.

The vodex clearly states that it is not intended to handle e file dusts.
Perhaps you checked some other product, because this is exactly what they say (I can share the link if you need it):
The VODEX SalonAIR® 1001 (SA1001) has been specially designed as an extraction system for the beauty and cosmetic industry to extract and remove potentially harmful fumes and airborne dust generated within the salon environment. The SA1001 is an ideal extractor for nail dust.

The vodex filters are £££, and I couldn’t find any advice about how to maintain your filters or how often you’d need to change them. Of course that will be in the manual - I’d like to know before I bought one though.
You can find that all on their website.

Ravair sells a selection of different units with carbon filters up to 3.5kg. Deeper and heavier is better. Filters need replacing and Ravair filters are a fraction of the price of Vodex which is worth bearing in mind.
This is where Ravair looks more attractive. The filtering device itself is comparable in price with the one of Vodex and it only filters air (no dust capture), however the carbon filter are roughly 3x times cheaper. However, it's not like for like comparison, because the intended usage is different.

The idea of having two separate systems, each one doing one job and doing it right is very appealing to me. Personally, I find it hard to decide which approach is an objective "winner" here. I would say "it depends", but doing either of the two is way way way better than having nothing in place!
 

Ambermist

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Hi, All of you are correct in saying two different units for two different applications. Nail dust can range from very large pieces shaved with a ceramic e-file to microscopic microns. The only way to remove these microscopic particles from your breathing space is to capture them before they can get into the air, once in the breathing space it is too late, As Coshh SR13 states on the first page "Masks are not enough".
At Ravair the train of thought is that dual purpose units, no matter how they look, can ever do the job properly. You need real suction to capture the dust particles but a relatively slow airflow through a bed of activated carbon that will allow the carbon to adsorb the molecules of vapours and render them harmless. ( the vapour molecules literally stick to the molecules in the activated carbon on the massive surface area and can never escape back into the air). It makes sense then to keep the activated carbon as free from dust etc as possible because if it is covered in dust it cannot adsorb the vapours and they would just flow through the carbon and back out into the room. Pre-filters and the like do not stop dust molecules.
It therefore makes no sense at all to actively try to pull dust from the air and down onto your activated carbon in your machine! (it would be like pouring paint on it!)
Ravair have designed a new machine that will be on the website from Thursday this week that will suck all the vapour and fumes from your workspace and down through Glass Hepa Filters, (to stop dust) and a bed of activated carbon, so clean air is released back into the room. It will also come with an optional powerful dust extractor with its own filters that will capture all nail dust before it can escape into the room. It does not come with disclaimers regarding size of dust particles, as other makes do, and incredibly it will come with both units for less money that one of the units previously mentioned. Replacement filters are also very reasonably priced.
The new Ravair Unit will also come with Flexzorb, Anti Viral Filters, with impregnated silver that kills virus, free of charge. Any further info required either email or call Ravair Ltd.
 

AlexTheKing

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With all respect, it seems you are distorting the facts about the Vodex machine. Of course, they do have a pre-filter AND a HEPA filter, which together never let the carbon one bask in the dust, and all three filters can be independently replaced.

he only way to remove these microscopic particles from your breathing space is to capture them before they can get into the air
This is exactly what "at source" capture in Vodex does - you have a hose that points directly at the place where all the dust (and likely vapours) is emitted from.

Ravair can be indeed better in certain aspects, but please let's stay objective and rely on facts.
 

Ambermist

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Hi, again with all respect, I am not distorting facts. I am merely stating that the logic of having two units for two different applications is better than having one dual purpose unit when the different applications need different suction speeds. The machine you refer to "compromises" airflow by only having 100m/h downdraft, (on their website) This is ok for vapour removal but nowhere near the required downdraft for dust, min 1m/s. So the unit will clean the air of vapour and fumes but not be effective for nail dust, hence the disclaimer. Once you put two "arms" on the unit it reduces the airflow by at least 50% to each desk. I certainly do stay objective and rely on facts and independent LEV tests and one is supplied with every Ravair Unit. That is not the same for all companies.
 

TheDuchess

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It's really super-important, I couldn't agree more. I think safety is the first thing that all training courses should focus on and keep coming back all the time. Beauty industry is like a chemical industry in fact, and you need all the possible and impossible protection to stay safe.




Is this a critical flaw in the design of this machine, that renders it considerably less efficient compared to others? And how much the air quality is affected by that provided that regular cleaning of the pre-filters is done? Afaik vapours are not particles, they are essentially molecules, so unless pre-filters are severely clogged they can penetrate easily through them due its molecule-level size. When pre-filters are clogged, they keep letting the air in anyway, it's just that the air pressure and speed drops. I don't have any calculations or other facts to prove this approach is better or worse, and to be honest I didn't expect this whole discussion to turn so technical. However I'm a big fan of facts and informed decisions, and never rely on my own "pure logical" thinking.


Perhaps you checked some other product, because this is exactly what they say (I can share the link if you need it):
The VODEX SalonAIR® 1001 (SA1001) has been specially designed as an extraction system for the beauty and cosmetic industry to extract and remove potentially harmful fumes and airborne dust generated within the salon environment. The SA1001 is an ideal extractor for nail dust.


You can find that all on their website.


This is where Ravair looks more attractive. The filtering device itself is comparable in price with the one of Vodex and it only filters air (no dust capture), however the carbon filter are roughly 3x times cheaper. However, it's not like for like comparison, because the intended usage is different.

The idea of having two separate systems, each one doing one job and doing it right is very appealing to me. Personally, I find it hard to decide which approach is an objective "winner" here. I would say "it depends", but doing either of the two is way way way better than having nothing in place!
Hi Alex. On the webpage for theVODEX SalonAIR® 1001 (SA1001), right at the bottom, it has a disclaimer. Please see attached photo. I read the reviews which also refer to heavy dust being left behind. The vodex is not intended as a stand alone system for every nail tech. It depends how much filing you do.

8CA32244-A807-49B6-940D-02443B67C52F.png
 

AlexTheKing

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The vodex is not intended as a stand alone system for every nail tech. It depends how much filing you do.
Yes, there's a disclaimer about heavier and larger non-airborne particles that may not be captured, as well as a note saying that these do no represent health risks since they can't be inhaled because of their size. Depending on how much and how "aggressive" your filing technique is you may find this as an inconvenience. I wonder if as a nail tech you should wear some eye protection when using an e-file just in case?

Hi, again with all respect, I am not distorting facts.
When I said that, I was referring specifically to this phrase of yours, and not other facts you shared:

Pre-filters and the like do not stop dust molecules. It therefore makes no sense at all to actively try to pull dust from the air and down onto your activated carbon in your machine! (it would be like pouring paint on it!)

The pre-filter and the HEPA filter are doing great job at not letting the dust into the carbon, and this is what Vodex engineers no doubt have thought of.

I am merely stating that the logic of having two units for two different applications is better than having one dual purpose unit when the different applications need different suction speeds.
And I full agree with that.

The machine you refer to "compromises" airflow by only having 100m/h downdraft, (on their website)
Their "systemic flow" value according to the tech spec that comes with the device is 300 cubic meters per hour.

This is ok for vapour removal but nowhere near the required downdraft for dust, min 1m/s.
I don't know the standard you are referring to, I'm not an expert, however if you saying the downdraft has to be 1 cubic meter per second, it doesn't seem credible. That would make a whooping 3600 cubic meters per hour, which is an overkill for an at home device the OP asked about. Could this number be for a whole salon ventilation system?

So the unit will clean the air of vapour and fumes but not be effective for nail dust, hence the disclaimer.
The suction speed at nozzle is about 5 meters per second and it's enough to suck in the fine dust this device is aimed at as mentioned by @TheDuchess

Once you put two "arms" on the unit it reduces the airflow by at least 50% to each desk.
That's true, I would personally not use it this way.

I certainly do stay objective and rely on facts and independent LEV tests and one is supplied with every Ravair Unit. That is not the same for all companies.
LEV test is great, it's a pity not all companies do them, and clearly it depends on many factors including competition and customer requirements.
 

Ambermist

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Hi Thank you for your detailed reply.

"I don't know the standard you are referring to, I'm not an expert, however if you saying the downdraft has to be 1 cubic meter per second, it doesn't seem credible. That would make a whooping 3600 cubic meters per hour, which is an overkill for an at home device the OP asked about. Could this number be for a whole salon ventilation system?"

The Standard that every Nail Technician and Unit supplier MUST adhere to by law is set out in "HSE DOCUMENT SR13 Nail Bars" you can google it. It States:

"This information will help employers including the self employed or franchisees COMPLY with the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH), as amended,to control exposure and protect workers health." This document is often thought of as only a "guide". It is a guide to help nail technicians and manufacturers comply with the law and is used by EVERY Health and Safety Officer in the UK.

On the front page, quite clearly it states:
"Provide a good standard of ventilation with a through draught. Control Odour. Provide an extractor hood or downdraught table, see illustrations; You need a downdraught around 1 metre per second into the table or you need an inlet air speed around 0.5 metres per second into the extractor hood. The clients nails must be over the downdraught or close to the hood. Filter air for return to the salon or for discharge outside. Caution "dust masks" are not acceptable as a control."

These rates or airflow are minimum standards and the unit you refer to does not have enough downdraught for nail dust collection, even at 300m/h. Also every company should provide an Independent LEV test certificate with the unit by Law and be no more than 14 months since the test regardless of "competition or customers"

The pre-filter and the HEPA filter are doing great job at not letting the dust into the carbon, and this is what Vodex engineers no doubt have thought of.

If you have a downdraught of 100 m/h and put pre-filters and Hepa Filters in to stop or catch dust this will reduce the airflow even more and as it builds up will stop airflow.

I am sure you are happy with your unit but it is not ok to make accusations of "distorting facts" to promote one company over another. The facts speak for themselves!

I, personally, would say that a very high percentage of nail therapists would use an e-file at some point and it should be made much clearer than a small disclaimer at the bottom of the page that it is "not designed to capture heavy/dropout dusts, the messy dust associated with e-file use."


 

AlexTheKing

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Thanks for sharing the exact wording of the standard.

These rates or airflow are minimum standards and the unit you refer to does not have enough downdraught for nail dust collection, even at 300m/h.
I clearly stated in my previous comment that the measurements of downdraught I shared are in cubic meters per hour to avoid any confusions (unfortunately I haven't managed to). Also, I shared another figure of the downdraught in meters per second, let me quote myself:

The suction speed at nozzle is about 5 meters per second
I guess 5 m/s satisfy the requirement of >1m/s. However if in your opinion they don't and you are still convinced the engineers at Vodex did bad job and I do a bad job of promoting bad products then I would like to stop this conversation before it gets too heated.

I, personally, would say that a very high percentage of nail therapists would use an e-file at some point and it should be made much clearer than a small disclaimer at the bottom of the page that it is "not designed to capture heavy/dropout dusts, the messy dust associated with e-file use."
I feel some frustration perhaps even coming from your own negative experience and I agree there should have been more clarity around important aspects like this.
 

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