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Health hazards of chain lube

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Health hazards of chain lube

Old 06-03-19, 08:09 PM
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willibrord
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Health hazards of chain lube

Was in my local lbs today and asked for a popular brand of chain lube that I had been using. Was told they no longer carried it because of health hazard, It gets into your blood through your skin and causes problems. I didn't find anything on line, so I am curious about this. I'm not going to name the brand because I don't want to be sued, but does anybody else know of this problem?

I think there are organic not pteroleum based lubes, (no, not olive oil) that are being marketed specifically for bicycle lube purposes.
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Old 06-03-19, 08:21 PM
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Please, which chain lube are you asking about? Don't leave us in suspense. Vague references to unknown products that may or may not be hazardous are not useful information
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Old 06-03-19, 08:24 PM
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A different kind of chain lube thread.
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Old 06-03-19, 09:14 PM
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No matter the outcome of this discussion, I just want to give a shout out to California Prop 65.
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Old 06-03-19, 09:16 PM
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Use paraffin.

All hydrocarbons are organic, ipso facto. That includes all of the carcinogenic ones.
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Old 06-03-19, 09:31 PM
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Meh, We grew up cleaning stuff with carbon tet and playing in a superfund river.

https://cumulis.epa.gov/supercpad/Si...05024#bkground
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Old 06-03-19, 09:34 PM
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So much for my "Which Chain Lube Makes the Most Effective Suntan Lotion?" thread.
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Old 06-03-19, 09:39 PM
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Way back when I worked at a real service station, we practically took a bath in solvent. I'd find it ironic if it was chain lube that killed me.
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Old 06-03-19, 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Fahrenheit531 View Post
So much for my "Which Chain Lube Makes the Most Effective Suntan Lotion?" thread.
Actually I am just the opposite, I use SPF 70 or higher for chain lube. Smells much better than WD40 or olive oil.

Last edited by Dr.Lou; 06-12-19 at 11:41 PM.
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Old 06-03-19, 09:44 PM
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Originally Posted by JanMM View Post
A different kind of chain lube thread.
Yeah well I thought of that. Maybe we should think about which chain lube is the least harmful to your health.
After all our health is more important than a smooth, quiet chain.
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Old 06-03-19, 09:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Fahrenheit531 View Post
So much for my "Which Chain Lube Makes the Most Effective Suntan Lotion?" thread.
On the flip side, I wonder if baby oil might make a good chain lube?
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Old 06-03-19, 10:01 PM
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Extra Virgin Olive Oil has anti-bacterial properties and is good for diverticulitis and chain lube,

Who knew?

All my best info comes from bikeforums.net.
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Old 06-03-19, 10:05 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
On the flip side, I wonder if baby oil might make a good chain lube?
Baby oil is light mineral oil with some fragrance in it. When testers are doing chain testing for wear, elongation, etc, the chain lube of choice? Mineral oil.

Out in the real world, baby oil or mineral oil don't work well because it's not chain lube. No friction modifiers, etc. It won't last. But it will work. Vaseline would work too.
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Old 06-03-19, 10:06 PM
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Seems like a typical "get everyone paranoid" story published on the net.
Yes, there are toxic lubes, but if everyone who came into contact with them got cancer, then any body and everybody would be dropping like flies.
For a dry lube I use paraffin, but for water, I have to use oil based
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Old 06-03-19, 10:30 PM
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I usta' use MEK to clean gun stocks until Commiefornia out-lawed it 10 or so years ago. I ain't dain brammaged yet.
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Old 06-03-19, 10:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Jon T View Post
I usta' use MEK to clean gun stocks until Commiefornia out-lawed it 10 or so years ago. I ain't dain brammaged yet.
Jon
That is a very cogent and compelling argument.
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Old 06-03-19, 10:40 PM
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Originally Posted by willibrord View Post
Yeah well I thought of that. Maybe we should think about which chain lube is the least harmful to your health.
After all our health is more important than a smooth, quiet chain.
https://www.walgreens.com/store/c/as...486196-product
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Old 06-03-19, 11:30 PM
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I was thinking more like this
https://store.ecosheep.com
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Old 06-03-19, 11:42 PM
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Originally Posted by willibrord View Post
Yeah well I thought of that. Maybe we should think about which chain lube is the least harmful to your health.
After all our health is more important than a smooth, quiet chain.
I'm sorry but no. I'm not going to select chain lube based on its relative impact on my health any more than I'm going to select a flavor of ice cream based on its relative impact on my climbing.
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Old 06-04-19, 12:05 AM
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Oh well, that wonderful American legal system has just ordered a weedkiller production company to pay out billions to a couple who claim to have contracted cancer from the product's use. Of course, the product is used world-wide and if the people use it properly with due respect for safety, the risk in minimal to zero.

I wonder what will happen when the same legal proceedings happen with a bicycle chain lubricant.
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Old 06-04-19, 01:02 AM
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A little perspective - I used to build fiberglass sailboats. I was a very good laminator. Built a couple of boats for a world champion. (Both winners.) And I paid for it. After 5 years I had fiberglass itch all the time all week, not from the dust particles but from sensitivity to acetone. I'd wake up Monday morning feeling itch free for the first time since that hour the week before. Walk into work and the acetone in the air set off that itch for the next week. Made year six my last in the business. For the next 30 years I had sensitivities to cigarettes, diesel fumes, animals, many perfumes and scents, wool, some people and most people when they were excited or upset. (Pheromones?) I was the guy who could tell you there was an open container of solvent long before anyone, including me, could smell it. (At work, I became known as the canary. But they didn't laugh because I always found the source. (It was that or go home. I couldn't work.)

This thread is about chain lube. 6 ounce containers. I was working with 2 others and we were going through 55 gallon drums of acetone every couple on months. I spent a year working barehanded. Even with gloves, the forced handwash in not-so-clean tool acetone happened a lot. (Put a small hole in a glove while doing a large layup and you have to rip it off when you start to feel the catalyst burn, rush to the acetone, clean up, and get back to work fast (probably bare handed. No time to get a new glove that you will have to fight to get on. Catalyzed fiberglass resin doesn't wait and the faster you work, the higher the quality of the final job. (I did say I was good.)

Reasonable care with little tubes of chain lube and not a lot of other toxic stuff in your life - probably never an issue. Big time exposure to acetone or worse - a lot us had real, life changing consequences. I got lucky. Year 33 after I quit boatbuilding, I went for a physical with my GP, a nurse with a lot of initials after her name. She also had experience with alternative medicines. At the end of the session she said she noticed I had mentioned the common knowledge around fiberglass boatbuilders that acetone carried the fiberglass resin through the skin to the liver; that I was seeing what I had heard others going through when I was still building. She asked me if I was willing to go through a liver cleansing that would basically be a mini-chemothereapy. I said yes. It was just that. The middle month and a half of the 90 day program was not fun. But it was life-changing. Those "allergies" (some of which cannot be allergies like the ones to people) are near gone. I can wear the Pendleton shirts my dad gave me decades ago. I can go to bed without a shower and actually sleep instead of putting myself through hell for the next 24 hours.

More perspective - my journey was with just acetone, that inocent stuff women have been using with nail polish forever. I made a point while I was building todo almost no work with MEK and the other powerful solvents, toluene and the like, IMRON paint and its solvents and epoxy. I helped build one epoxy boat. Two days work. As both an engineer and sailor I love the stuff and have used it a lot at home to make furniture, to repair anything, etc. but I knew that building boats with it would be a huge overload with really bad stuff. And that acetone - I go to Supercuts to get haircuts. The last two women who have cut my hair used to make more money working in salons but no longer can because like me, they became sensitized.

Ben
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Old 06-04-19, 02:33 AM
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It ain't the acetone that's the problem, acetone is one of the safest solvents around. It is produced in small quantities by the human body and is used in various metabolic functions, and has been studied extensively for neurotoxicity, with none being found. As you mentioned though, other nasty compounds which have been dissolved into the acetone are readily absorbed by the body through the skin.
Gotta be careful with what you're working with, especially if you do it for hours every day.
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Old 06-04-19, 02:35 AM
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My guess would be it isn't the actual lubricant portion which is harmful but a solvent carrier which is mixed in with it.
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Old 06-04-19, 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
Oh well, that wonderful American legal system has just ordered a weedkiller production company to pay out billions to a couple who claim to have contracted cancer from the product's use. Of course, the product is used world-wide and if the people use it properly with due respect for safety, the risk in minimal to zero.

I wonder what will happen when the same legal proceedings happen with a bicycle chain lubricant.
I wish we had you to decide unilaterally the merit of such cases, so we wouldn't have to rely upon the outmoded and inefficient jury system.

Besides, the O.P. hasn't even provided the name of the alleged lubricant, nor has the O.P. claimed that anyone has banned its sale (apart from the LBS). The thread is looking a lot more like an advertisement for sheep oil.
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Old 06-04-19, 07:28 AM
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You can buy boxes of Nitrile gloves from Harbor Freight for virtually nothing. They are so inexpensive that I use them all the time now. Throw a pair on, problem pretty much solved.
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