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Poison ivy or Shimano Mineral Oil Brake Fluid??

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Poison ivy or Shimano Mineral Oil Brake Fluid??

Old 08-22-19, 05:20 AM
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jpescatore
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Poison ivy or Shimano Mineral Oil Brake Fluid??

This past Saturday I went hiking with friends here in Maryland and with all the heat and rain we are having I showered when I got home and did my anti-poison ivy scrubbing routine.

Later that day I worked on my road bike, cleaning the front pistons on the disc brake to get rid of some rubbing that occurred after braking - one piston was slow to retract. This is my first bike with disc brakes, did the usual You Tube video watching and Park Tools and a few others showed how to carefully push the pistons out a bit, swab them clean with some brake fluid (mine are Shimano, so used Shimano mineral oil brake fluid), clean up with isopropyl alcohol, etc.

Did that, problem solved. Did a few other bike maintenance chores and some other garage cleanup, etc - went in and washed my hands since had the usual bike grease and dirt on my hands.

That night I woke up in the middle of the night with my hands itching like crazy. The next morning I did a 47 mile ride in the heat and when I took my gloves off my hands under the gloves were red and covered with poison ivy like welts.

To shorten the story, after treating it like poison ivy from the hike I happened to notice a Shimano warning about contact with their brake fluid could cause inflammation and reaction! I'm now thinking that was the issue - has anyone seen that happen?

I've worked on car brakes with DOT type brake fluid, never had any such reaction but I think I will wear those mechanics gloves any time I'm working on my bike disc brakes from now on!
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Old 08-22-19, 06:29 AM
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I get minor itching from mineral oil and will generally wash it off as soon as I'm able. I've never had a reaction such as you describe with welts and redness -- just minor itching while the fluid is actually in contact w/my skin. I do usually wear thin gloves -- the medical variety -- when doing brake work, and those avoid the problem entirely.
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Old 08-22-19, 09:26 AM
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Most likely poison ivy pollen was on the bike and you got it on your hands while working on the brakes.
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Old 08-22-19, 04:25 PM
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Poison ivy irritation is caused by an oily substance called urushiol; I agree with trailangel that this was the likely cause of your reaction, possibly from something like your shoes or clothes since you were hiking earlier. Mineral oil is pretty benign.
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Old 08-22-19, 04:55 PM
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Wear gloves with the DOT fluid though - that stuff's carcinogenic.
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Old 08-22-19, 08:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Kimmo View Post
Wear gloves with the DOT fluid though - that stuff's carcinogenic.
Hardly. It may have some nasty characteristics but being a carcinogen isn't one of them.


https://sds.valvoline.com/valvoline-...tResults.faces if you want to check if for yourself.
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Old 08-23-19, 12:27 AM
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Huh. Well that's nice.
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