I ran a thiuram mix experiment a week ago. I had to finish with the creation of a guest room in my house. The big stuff was done. All I had left was hanging one piece of sheet rock, mudding and painting. I wore vinyl gloves while I worked but not a mask, except while sanding. The project took three days. During the time I worked I got excited because I didn’t have a reaction to anything I was doing. Then, a couple of days later the itching set in. Then about four days after I finished there it was, a rash. I remembered the doctor told me about the exposure to rash time. She said it could take four to ten days for the rash to appear after exposure. She was right. Now I’m back to being extra careful to hopefully aid in the rash receding quickly.

My challenge is that I don’t know what product I used contained the thiuram mix and caused the rash. Or it could be another chemical all together. My tools have the rubber comfort grips, but I had gloves on. The finger tips did rip out a few times, and I needed to take them off while working with the screws. When you hold a screw, and then use a screwdriver to hang the sheet rock, the screw grabs the gloves and twists it around the screw. That in itself is a hazard waiting to happen.

The paint rollers and paint brushes have plastic handles. I was careful not to get any paint or plaster on my skin, but as usual I was not successful. When I notice I’d gotten it on me I immediately washed it off. Or the cause of the rash could have been the caulk I used in some of the cracks. I used gloves when working with that as well.

The mystery continues. I guess I could have done the project more piecemeal to better determine what was safe for me. Only hang the sheet rock and wait five or more days to see if there is a reaction. Then do the mudding and tapping and wait five or more days to see if that’s it. Then the sanding and wait five days. Then primer the walls and wait. Then paint the walls and wait. If I did the project that way it would’ve taken a month to finish rather than the three days. I clearly see now I’ll be making trade offs from now on between rash and the convenience of getting things done.

I am not a patient person by nature so I’m pretty sure I’ll be seeing more rash as I find myself doing things I probably shouldn’t. I figure, as long as this rash remains a nuisance rather than a life threatening issue I have the luxury to be impatient. That said I question two things:

  • Where or what will be the tipping point when my reaction becomes more than a rash?
  • How does my current approach of pushing the limits affect my long term health?

I have a feeling I won’t like the answer to either of those questions.