Is ArtResin biodegradable? (9 problems caused by epoxies)

This article will explain the biodegradability status of ArtResin. Other covered aspects would include:

  • What is the biodegradability status of ArtResin?
  • Is ArtResin safe to use?
  • What is the degradation time of ArtResin?
  • Can ArtResin be recycled?
  • FAQs

Is ArtResin biodegradable?

ArtResins are made from synthetic epoxy resins and hence are regarded as non-biodegradable. There are two types of resins. One is a type of plastic made from petroleum products. An example of such resin is ArtResins. When ArtResins cures, it becomes a plastic-like material. 

The other is a natural resin made from plant-based materials. Since plants naturally secrete resins as a part of their metabolism. 

Furthermore, it is not possible to recycle ArtResins when it is cured. However, the natural resin can be recycled. 

Conventional epoxy resins may include VOCs and fumes that may stem medical complications including skin allergies, respiratory issues and even cancers. 

The producers of ArtResins claim that the product is safe from VOCs and therefore, there are no such effects on health and life. 

What is the biodegradability status of ArtResin?

Let us commence with the primary question which is an assessment of the biodegradability status of art resin. 

Biodegradability can be introduced as the breakdown of waste into simpler substances. This breakdown happens because the waste needs to get back to the system so that it may be utilised. Otherwise, it will cause degradative impacts on the environment. 

There are various drivers of biodegradability. The most important driver of biodegradability is microbes. These include bacteria, fungi, algae, protozoa et cetera. 

Biodegradability is regarded as an extremely important process because it negates the presence and accumulation of waste. This saves our planet from a number of detrimental impacts that may be caused by non-biodegradable waste. 

Regarding biodegradability, it is usually thought that products made from natural materials are biodegradable and products made from synthetic materials usually are not biodegradable. 

Therefore, it seems imperative that to know if art resins are biodegradable or not, one must know what ArtResins are made of.

ArtResins are mostly made of epoxy resins which are combined with various colours and pigments so that the creative capacities of the mixture can be explored. 

Now, since epoxy is a non-natural material, it is plausible to assume that art resins are not biodegradable. The main reason is that epoxy resin is a form of plastic that is made from products of fossil fuels. However, the story does not end here. 

With the rising awareness and vigilance towards sustainability and eco-friendliness, there are many green endeavours that are in line with the environmental interests while the commercial aspects are also not ignored that bluntly. 

A great example of this can be bioplastics. Conventionally plastics are made from non-natural, fossil-based materials that make plastics highly non-biodegradable. However, bioplastics are an exception to normality. 

Bioplastics are made from natural materials rather than non-natural materials. These materials include plant-based substances such as corn starch, mushrooms, sugarcane et cetera. Therefore, bioplastics are biodegradable. 

Just like bioplastics, not all art resins are non-biodegradable. There have been recent endeavours where resins are made from natural materials. Examples include eco-resin, and silicone resin (combined with natural pigments). These art resins are indeed biodegradable. 

However, there is a fervent need to increase the frequency and prevalence of such steps. As of now, most consumer art resins are made from non-biodegradable resins and synthetic pigments. 

Is ArtResin safe to use? (9 problems caused by epoxies) 

One very important question that needs to be addressed is whether ArtResins are safe to use or not. When using ArtResins there will be direct contact of the human body with the components of ArtResins, it is crucial to know if this contact is safe. 

If we consider the case of normal art resins, there is a risk of production of VOCs. VOCs expand to Volatile Organic Compounds. These compounds are quite unsafe for human health and may give rise to the following complications: 

  • Irritation
  • Skin allergy 
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Redness of skin
  • Respiratory issues
  • Dermatitis 
  • Asthma
  • Cancer 

These complications arise mainly because conventional or typical art resins make use of cheap and low quality materials. This gives them economical advantages but at the same time, the health impacts are increased. 

However, fortunately, this is not the case for ArtResin. It is directed by the producers and manufacturers of ArtResins that there are no cheap and low-quality products used in the making of ArtResins. 

As a result, there are no VOCs and harmful fumes. The nature of ArtResin is extremely non-toxic. However, it is cautioned that this will only happen when the given directions and precautions are complied with. 

If that does not happen, for example, if one engulfs ArtResins, then there may be severe medical complications that may arise. Hence, in that case, one must not wait and rush to the nearest health facility. 

Also, if a person has a severe allergy to any type of resin or epoxy resin, he must also be careful with the use of ArtResins. In this case, even though ArtResins claim to be free of VOCs and fumes, there will be allergic complications which may worsen if ignored and kept untreated.

What is the degradation time of ArtResins?

Another fundamental question that needs to be worked on is the degradation time required by the ArtResins. This will give us an idea of the extent of non-biodegradability that is present in ArtResins. 

The assessment of the degradation time is very important because it is the factor that discerns biodegradable material from non-biodegradable material. 

While biodegradable material may degrade readily, non-biodegradable material may require as much as a thousand years to degrade. 

As we have discussed that ArtResins are rather non-biodegradable, it is plausible and logical to assume that the degradation time of cloth rags will be significant. However, there may be certain conditions that may render the degradation time of ArtResins varied. 

These external conditions include aeration, temperature, pressure, and the presence or absence of oxygen (aerobic or anaerobic). 

As a general rule of thumb, just like other non-biodegradable materials, ArtResins may require several years. 

However, as said, this is not the case entirely. There are green, plant-based resins as well. These may degrade in just a week. However, in our case of ArtResins, there are synthetic resins used which make it non-biodegradable.

Can ArtResins be recycled?

Recycling is a process in which waste is modified to be reused. It is an effective approach to dealing with many environmental issues. 

For example, when a material is recycled, there will be a decreased amount of raw materials used. This will de-burden both natural and non-natural sources. 

In the case of natural sources, there will be less trees cut and less plants damaged. Since plants and trees are primary producers, the results would not be reciprocated on other levels of food chains as well. 

Further, the applications and advantages of plants and trees will also remain intact. It is known that plants and trees are a vital source of oxygen and the removal of carbon dioxide. When there are more plants, there will be less carbon dioxide. 

This means that our environment will be saved from environmental anomalies such as global warming and the greenhouse effect. 

Further, when materials are recycled from non-natural sources (as may be our case), there will be decreased use of fossil fuel derivatives. 

This will lead to lesser GHG emissions. This can reduce the prevalence of natural anomalies such as global warming, unprecedented weather patterns, floods et cetera. 

Another advantage that is offered by recycling is that there is a decreased use of energy. This is because when products are recycled, they are not made from scratch. This saves energy. 

Given these benefits, a case has been built on why the recycling of ArtResins is important. However, since ArtResins are made from synthetic resins, it is not possible to recycle ArtResins.

It is therefore imperative that ArtResins must be thrown away carefully and responsibly to ensure that there are no harmful side effects on humans and the environment. 

However, a natural resin made from plant-based, natural materials can be recycled. This also builds the case that there is a burgeoning need for the use of natural sources to make ArtResins because the latter is neither biodegradable nor recyclable. 

Conclusion

It is concluded that ArtResins are made from synthetic epoxy resins and hence are regarded as non-biodegradable. 

There are two types of resins. One is a type of plastic made from petroleum products. An example of such resin is ArtResins. When ArtResins cures, it becomes a plastic-like material. 

The other is a natural resin made from plant-based materials. Since plants naturally secrete resins as a part of their metabolism. 

Furthermore, it is not possible to recycle ArtResins when it is cured. However, the natural resin can be recycled. 

Conventional epoxy resins may include VOCs and fumes that may stem medical complications including skin allergies, respiratory issues and even cancers. 

The producers of ArtResins claim that the product is safe from VOCs and therefore, there are no such effects on health and life. 

Frequently Asked Questions: Is ArtResin biodegradable?

Can you drain epoxy resin in the toilet?

It is not advised to drain epoxy resin in the toilet because it can contaminate water and pollute drainage systems. 

How can ArtResin be disposed of?

ArtResin is claimed to be non-toxic to the environment. You can dispose of ArtResin with normal trash after making sure that it has properly cured. Uncured ArtResin may cause problems. 

References

  • Saba, N., Jawaid, M., Alothman, O. Y., Paridah, M. T., & Hassan, A. (2016). Recent advances in epoxy resin, natural fibre-reinforced epoxy composites and their applications. Journal of Reinforced Plastics and Composites, 35(6), 447-470.
  • Wagner, P. A., Little, B. J., Hart, K. R., & Ray, R. I. (1996). Biodegradation of composite materials. International biodeterioration & biodegradation, 38(2), 125-132.
  • Kadam, A., Pawar, M., Yemul, O., Thamke, V., & Kodam, K. (2015). Biodegradable biobased epoxy resin from karanja oil. Polymer, 72, 82-92.
  • Eliaz, N., Ron, E. Z., Gozin, M., Younger, S., Biran, D., & Tal, N. (2018). Microbial degradation of epoxy. Materials, 11(11), 2123.

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