View Full Version : Rubber stamp dust

Pete Andrew
01-04-2009, 10:14 AM
Does anyone know if there are any potential risks to one's health with the dust and fumes that come off the rubber that is used for rubber stamps. The stuff I use is a grey "pretend" rubber that is supposed to be vanilla scented (trust me - you would not want to use this to flavour your custard). Although I have an extraction system, my workshop still smells for days after I've done some rubber stamps, and there is a very slight residual dusting all over the place. And when cleaning the inside of the laser, there is quite a lot of this grey dust that is really fine, gets everywhere and stinks.

I'm sure this will prompt all kinds of recommendations for turbo powered extraction systems, all of which will be unavailable or too expensive in the UK. My query is really about the health issues surrounding the dust.

Frank Corker
01-04-2009, 10:49 AM
Hi Pete, I use the same as you, I try to hoover the machine as soon as I have finished making the stamp and that is about all I could recommend that you do. I have to be honest, the dangers of the dust I have no idea on, but I'm sure if you google the question something will show up.

Andy Wingfield
01-04-2009, 11:11 AM
Hi Peter,

I have sent an email to a couple of folks with Trotec USA about the health risk of ingesting excess Rubber stamp dust.

If you goggle Trotec or Trodat Austria you should get allot of input from extremely bright folks.

I am also sending an email to a member of the forum in Canada Jon Colley.

He works for both Trotec and Trodat in Canada and is a excellent source for this type of thing.


Andy Wingfield
Trotec Laser
Rayjet Laser

Bill Cunningham
01-04-2009, 9:26 PM
I try to live by the following: If it smells bad, try not to breath it.. On rubber, my exhaust blows it outside for my neighbors to enjoy:D Then I carefully pick up the rubber piece, being careful not to disturb the dust layer, and take it to the sink, and run it under cold water.. I try not to do 'rubber' unless I really have to.. I generally use polymer, and even that stinks, but at least theres no dust..

Dean Carpenter
01-05-2009, 2:05 PM
Fumes that smell the most are not always the most harmful and definitely DO NOT laser engrave polymer. Actual contaminants will vary depending on manufacturers formula. the only way to know is to ask the supplier for the material MDS (material data sheet - they will have to have this available to you by law - in the EU). Once you have the MDS look under the section where data relates to burning.

Use Trodat rubber as in my experience it's by far the best in every respect (all bar price!).

But, you are right in your earlier comment: best advice is to get an adequate exhaust. It's a false economy to filter the stuff using your lungs!

Pete Andrew
01-26-2009, 10:14 AM
Well, by way of an update, I received a MSD Sheet from the distributor, and it seems that when used as you'd expect, there is nothing overly worrying about the rubber. But they do suggest use of gloves when in contact with the dust. And they do say that one of the conditions to be avoided is a fast increase in temperature:eek:, when toxic gases and steams are emitted. And that skin irritations can occur in sensible people (so I should be frivolous when handling the stuff?). And they also say the material is black when it is grey:confused:. So I'm not sure I am really that much nearer an answer.

I'd be happy to pass on the sheet to those that want, by the way.

Jon Colley
01-26-2009, 11:54 AM
It's worth mentioning here that there are several variations on laser rubber on the market so it is probably best to get the MSDS for the one you intend to use.

We sell red, grey, blue and red odorless rubber here that all have different compositions. These are all safe when processed in the recommended fashion with appropriate exhaust flow.

Aside from the health effects, there is also the matter of environmental protection laws which may prevent you from exhausting the unfiltered dust from your shop. You should look into these laws in your area to determine your position.

There is also a material called pre-ink foam rubber or salt leached foam that is used for making pre-inked stamps. Our product is PVC-free but there are others on the market from Asia and Europe that contain PVC. These products are not safe to engrave at all. The fumes will have negative effects on the operator and will not be filtered by a standard laser fume filtration system. In addition, the chlorine gas that is produced when lasering PVC will combine with the humidity in the air to make hydrochloric acid which will cause corrosion (rust) in your laser.

If you have any further questions you can PM me.


Rodne Gold
01-26-2009, 12:01 PM
We ran a small suction pipe right near the beam rather than air assist , when we had to cut huge qtys of Styrene stencils (the styrene gives off vast amts of white dust) and it worked pretty well. Wont get rid of odours but that combined with the exhaust system should keep things under control.