Carbon fibers are composed of thousands of thin, single filaments, whose diameter ranges from 5 to 7 microns each. During processing, these single filaments can be easily damaged, creating dust and individual filament fragments, which can cause potential hazards such as skin irritation and dermatitis, respiratory problems or electrical hazards (carbon fibers are electrically conductive).

The following safety and handling guidelines should be followed at all times to protect workers and electrical equipment:

Read the appropriate Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) concerning health and safety aspects prior to handling any carbon fiber material.
Personnel should wear goggles, facemasks, gloves and protective clothing wherever dust or broken filament generation is significant.
Personal cleanliness and careful work habits are positive preventative actions.
Rotating bars and rollers should be used to guide fiber tows, rather than stationary eyelets, pins or bars.
The use of ventilation devices will further reduce the potential for fiber inhalation and equipment damage.
Electrical equipment should be appropriately protected from stray carbon fiber filaments in order to prevent short circuiting. Computing equipment should be encased and supplied with purge air under pressure in order to protect electronic components.
Routine air testing of particle concentration is recommended.
Waste carbon fibers and derived products should not be incinerated and should be properly disposed as industrial wastes.
Additional safety and handling information is printed on cardboard case packages.
For further questions regarding heath and safety concerns with the handling and use of carbon fibers, contact Toray Carbon Fibers America, Inc. at (256) 260-1010.

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