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I broke my favourite mug recently and I'm still getting over it. It broke at the side of the mug and a good chunk got broken. I got this from S America and it looks like it's made of clay and then painted over on the outside. Anyway in my haste, I decided to try and glue it back together using Araldite and it does seem to have worked as in, the broken piece is solidly in place and hardened in that area.

So my question is is it safe now (from a purely health point of view) to drink tea/coffee or anything else from it? I know Araldite is non-toxic but is it possible maybe some can get into contact with the hot liquid? Does this combination make the liquid dangerous to drink?

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Per an email from Araldite customer service:

None of our Araldite® products carry food safety certifications (although there are several that would likely be safe for food contact).

Best regards

Lee

On a request for a follow-up on specific formulations that might be safe in contact with hot water, they replied:

You could probably use Araldite® 2014, for example, but we don't have any certifications for it.

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  • Oh, that's interesting: our answers seem to contradict each other, as the document I linked mentions several Araldite products that do conform to the FDA CFR 175, that states that it should be food-safe. – Joachim Jun 20 '19 at 20:18
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    @Joachim it looks like they "conform" without being fully certified; the document you linked appears to be based on ingredient/manufacturing data that suggests that everything should be safe, but a certification is a third party testing that says "this is safe." – Allison C Jun 20 '19 at 20:31
  • I interpreted it to be a bit more than that: "When correctly formulated and cured for food contact applications, the following products will comply with the U.S. Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act as amended under the Food Additive Regulation", as well as that "the final responsibility for product selection rests with the user", as the application lies with the consumer. But I'm certainly no expert when it comes to health regulations.. – Joachim Jun 21 '19 at 9:02
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Wikipedia has the following to say about that specific brand of adhesives:

After curing, the joint is claimed to be impervious to boiling water and all common organic solvents.


Assuming yours is an epoxy-based adhesive, this forum offers a lot more information on the food-safety of (general) epoxies:

You can use epoxy - once fully cured, it is pretty inert stuff (generally takes a week to two weeks). Separately, the hardener and resin are not. But once its undergone full cure, it is. I spoke to the tech guys 20 years ago from one of the more popular marine epoxies, as I was hoping to coat the insides of a few bins that were to hold food. I was asking about using their epoxy. He could not technically say "yes" as it doesn't have a certification for food contact. Off the record he said as long as you let the epoxy cure fully, it won't be an issue.

But, following that post, and verbalizing my thoughts at this point (somewhat ironically maybe):

Andrew's answer sounds right to me, but really important issues merit more research than reading answers on an Internet forum.

One of the users contacted another company that produces adhesives, about the safety of using it on kitchenware:

I used some of the Bob Smith epoxy, so I emailed them and asked. The word I got back was: the slow-cure is food safe as long as it is not heated above 180 degrees Fahrenheit.

Most interestingly of all of these, however, is the last post: it mentions that most epoxies conform to the FDA CFR 175.105 specification, which basically means, although emphatically not guaranteed to be food-safe, it can be when applied properly. Meaning that, once again, the epoxy has to be completely cured:

Epoxy reaches it full cure in 7+ days. It will cure to within ~80% in the first 24 hours, but the full cure takes time.

In short, leave your mug drying for at least a week, after which make sure it has completely hardened and is odourless.

In addition, you might want to check out this document: it lists several of Araldite's epoxies (or components) that meet the FDA CFR 175.105 or the (stricter) FDA CFR 175.300 specification. Maybe the specific Araldite adhesive you used is mentioned there as well, giving you even more peace of mind.

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    Also make sure the resin is actually hard after curing. If you mix resin and hardener in incorrect ratios, the product will not cure completely and therefore it won't be food safe. It should be hard as glass or ceramic glaze. If you can deform the epoxy even a tiny bit, it's not cured completely. – Elmy Jun 20 '19 at 7:00
  • Good point, Elmy: any deviation from the standard ratio and drying conditions can have detrimental percussions on the curing process. – Joachim Jun 20 '19 at 8:34

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