Make hypertufa safely!
Protect your skin
When working with fresh concrete, care should be taken to avoid skin irritation or chemical burns. Prolonged contact between fresh concrete and skin surfaces, eyes, and clothing may result in burns that are quite severe, including third-degree burns. If irritation persists consult a physician. For deep burns or large affected skin areas, seek medical attention immediately.
One of the ingredients for hypertufa is Portland cement. Portland cement is alkaline in nature. This means it is strongly basic (pH of 12 to 13). Strong bases, like strong acids, are harmful and caustic to your skin. When Portland cement dries it absorbs water. (It’s hygroscopic.) This means that it will draw water from anything it contacts. This includes your skin!
When mixing, applying and finishing your hypertufa you need to wear clothing worn as protection from fresh concrete. Use waterproof gloves, a long-sleeved shirt, and long pants. The best way to avoid skin irritation is to wash frequently with pH neutral soap and clean water. Also put on clean clothing before you start to work and take a good shower after you have finished.
Protect your airways
Firstly, when mixing Portland cement make sure you wear a fine-particle dust mask. Exposure to cement or concrete dust can cause nose and throat irritation. Long term exposure to concrete dust containing crystalline silica can lead to a disabling lung disease called silicosis. Secondly, follow all safe work practices and procedures. Work in ways that minimize the release of cement dust. Stay out of dusty areas, when possible. Mix dry cement in well-ventilated areas. Wet down the work to keep dust out of the air and use wet cut rather than dry cut masonry products.