E6000 Glue Respirator Question

We get questions from users about the use of safety equipment in real world situations all the time. One of the things I’d like to do from time to time is share some of the answers for those of you in similar circumstances. Also, please note that we encourage this type of inquiry. Just so you know, names or details about you will never be used in a blog post. Here is the question…

I would like to buy a mask that can protect me from the fumes of E6000 glue which I believe is highly toxic. Unfortunately, it works great and is the only glue i have found to do the job i need it to do. Which is a good mask for this purpose? I will be gluing on crystals on ice skating costumes and sometimes work for a number of hours. thanks

Respirator Cartridges for Glue Fumes

And here is the answer that I gave, expanded slightly to illuminate some aspects for users unfamiliar with the subject…

Hi, the E6000 glue contains Perchloroethylene, also known as Tetrachloroethylene. This is a pretty nasty solvent. The most common use for it is in the Dry Cleaning industry, where it is often referred to as PERC. As you can see, it is also used as a component in some adhesives. I found a brief explanation about this solvent on the epa.gov website. You might want to take a look: EPA Chemical FAQs

3M recommends using organic vapor cartridges attached to a full face respirator. They say to use a full face mask since the solvent will attack mucous membranes as found in the nose and eyes. This is a particular problem at high concentrations, which are unlikely to occur in your particular application.

With proper ventilation (exhaust fan?), you should be able to get away with a half mask, which costs less money, but don’t ignore this aspect of the problem. And you do so at your own risk (have to say that).

The 3M organic vapor cartridges are…
3M 6001 Organic Vapor Cartridges

The 3M full face mask respirator is…
3M Full Face Respirator

The 3M half mask respirator is…
3M Half-Face Respirator

The 3M 6001 cartridge will fit on either mask. Choose a size, and look for a comfortable fit. When you put on the mask, with cartridges attached, you should not smell or taste the solvent. When you start to smell it, then it is time to change the cartridges. There is no set limit on this time. Less solvents mean the carbon (activated charcoal) lasts longer. More solvent concentration means less time.

When you aren’t using the glue and mask, keep them separated, since the carbon will absorb solvent vapors out of the air. And the mask may pick up the scent. A zip lock bag works well to hold the mask.

Oh, and one other thing. It is a good idea to wear gloves when handling the glue. Disposable nitrile gloves are a good choice to maintain the dexterity you need for the fine work, but still have some chemical resistance.

Thank you,
Rick Pedley
PK Safety Supply

The customer got back to me with a further clarification…

thanks so much for the information. My only concern for the full mask is that I wear glasses. If the half mask covers the nose, then it is the eye membranes that are susceptible. By exhaust fan, do you mean a regular fan or is this something different? If I were to do this outside in full ventilation do you think a 1/2 mask would solve the problem of protecting my lungs and nose from this stuff? I would buy the full mask but I am concerned about spending almost $200 on a mask and eye piece since I don’t know if I am going to be doing this a lot.  Any information you have will be appreciated. Thanks so much.

My reply…

Glasses can be a problem. They make an eyeglass insert for the full-face respirator mask that allows you to have a prescription lens inside the mask.
3M Full-Face Mask Spectacle Kit

But if you can get ventilation, then using the half mask is likely ok. What I mean by using an exhaust fan is that there is air movement either out of the space or into the space. Not just circulating. Outdoors is good of course.

Thank you,

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18 comments on “E6000 Glue Respirator Question
  1. Sunny California says:

    I work on skating costumes too. I recommend using GemTac glue instead of E6000. Using this toxic glue for hours on children’s costumes with children in my house is not an option for me. Keep skating and stay healthy!

  2. Mandy says:

    I have used e-6000 and I love it, but I think I got sick off the fumes one night stoning a pageant dress. Since then I have not used it, but miss it!! It is really the only one that bonds well, and does not slide around like GemTac. I think I might start stoning outside and keep using the E-6000. If you let the garment dry the full day, the fumes are almost completely gone, and I don’t see why it would not be safe for wear. But the previous article was very helpful! Thanks!

    • Administrator says:

      The E-6000 adhesive is good stuff for certain applications. I’ve never stoned a pageant dress (really!), but I did check the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for E-6000 and it is known to be an irritant to skin, eyes and lungs. In the future, try to keep your room ventilated as you work. Put a fan next to the window to draw in fresh air. And by all means, wear one of the respirators we mention in the post.

      Oddly enough, the best solutions for working with E-6000 adhesive also have the number 6000 in them. The 3M 6000 Series Half-face Mask with the 6001 Organic Vapor Cartridges will provide a pageant dress stoning lung protection solution for around $20.

      Good luck. Thanks for commenting.

  3. Ashly says:

    Do you know if E6000 is still toxic after the glue has dried/cured?? I am very scared of the fact that it is a know carcinogen. I can’t find any information specifying if it is still a risk to health after it’s dried. If so then anything you’ve used the glue on is a hazard to have around the house, rendering the glue pretty darned useless. I’ve never used it before, but I just bought some and now I’m thinking I should return it…

    • Administrator says:

      Hi Ashly,

      E6000 gives off toxic vapors while it’s being applied. You’ll definitely smell it if you’re not wearing a respirator. But once it’s dried, it will no longer be releasing those vapors. And it is an effective product for many craft projects. If you are going to use it without a respirator, make sure you are in a very well ventilated area.

      Good luck!

      PK Safety Supply

      • Rhona Maclean says:

        I am a little concerned about the dried e6000 bringing contact with skin. Ie I used it to adhere earrings onto backs, do you have any comment on this ? I planned to give as a gift , and I can’t be sure a little glue may be present and In contact with the ear lobe.

        • Justin McCarter says:

          Hi Rhona,

          We’re not really experts in E6000 glue, but it should be inert once it hardens. While it’s liquid, it is giving off organic vapors that can damage your lungs and eyes so you need to be careful there. I’d refer to the manufacturer website for this question: http://www.eclecticproducts.com/

          Hope this helps.

          PK Safety

  4. Cj says:

    I recently used e6000 on glass canning jars to attach a “stem”. After 4 days the smell is still strong. My intent is to give them as a gift but now I’m concerned as to why the odor still remains. Are they safe to use?

    • Administrator says:

      Full cure on e6000 can take from 24-72 hours at 70 degrees. I suspect you may have used a bit too much, and it’s still curing. Or the weather may be slowing it down.

      Hope this helps!

      PK Safety

  5. Nella says:

    I am afraid I might get poisoned or it might affect me in the future when I start having children. I wear the respirator and do my projects with the windows wide open but sometimes still smell the glue … will I be okay?

    • Administrator says:

      If you smell the glue your respirator is not working. It may be that your respirator doesn’t fit your face correctly. Or you may not be wearing the correct protection. You need something that filters organic vapors. We suggest the 6001 cartridges from 3M. They fit on the 6000 series or 7500 series half-face masks.

      Hope this helps!

      PK Safety Supply

  6. OOrtiz says:

    Thank you for this excellent information. It is exactly what I was needing. I’m glad to purchase from a knowledgeable seller anytime.

  7. Tammi Doran says:

    I have been using E6000 for a cole of yrs but I have not used a mask I do my work inside with no good ventilation. I am scared now if it is affecting me because I used it on 9/10/13 for about 4 hrs which is about normal. I woke up this morning not feeling good and feeling dizzy with some other gastrointestinal problems. Should I be concerned?

    • Administrator says:

      I think you’ve answered your own question! You are breathing in toxic vapors. There is no other way to put it. But increasing your ventilation and breathing through a respirator will eliminate or at least greatly reduce those hazards.

      At least you’ve figured out that it’s affecting you and you’re looking for ways to improve your work space. Let me know if you have more questions about the best respirator for you.

      PK Safety

  8. Tammi Doran says:

    Yes I was thinking about a respirator. What would you recommend? I make pictures using jewelry and glue them down.

  9. Gwen says:


    • Justin McCarter says:

      Unless your kitchen is outside, it’s not considered an open space. The vapors from E6000 are very strong. Don’t use it again without opening doors and windows and putting a fan on. Even then, a respirator with cartridges for organic vapor are a must. Hope you’re feeling better!

1 Pings/Trackbacks for "E6000 Glue Respirator Question"
  1. […] Solvents are often used in painting. They are present when you are using turpentine, paint thinner, and lacquer thinner. They are also present, and in quite heavy concentrations, when using adhesives such as rubber cement or the popular E6000 glue. […]

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