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Waxroom safety/health questions

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

I've used Purl Wax for years (using different Purl waxes for different conditions). Purl wax is supposedly among the safest "organic" ski waxes, where "safest" connotes no PFC emissions during application, and thus no PFCs entering the lungs. I've applied Purl inside the house without concern for extra ventilation or the use of a respirator.

 

I'm considering switching to Swix CH4 for improved performance. No doubt many of you are familiar with this product (a hydrocarbon wax) and its virtues (often as a base layer covered over by a top layer specifically for racing).  

 

Ignoring issues of base preparation, iron temperature and so on, I have three specific questions concerning CH4.

 

1. Is a hydrocarbon wax safer than a fluorocarbon wax re. PFC emissions. I've read what I can find in this forum, and the consensus seems to be that the "wise man" uses a respirator while applying fluorocarbon waxes. Online sources that discuss the issue, such as http://www.skiwax.ca/tp/waxroom1.php and http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/ehs/news/ski-wax-chemicals, have caught my..."attention." But hydrocarbon wax may be a different case.

 

2. Can CH4/hydrocarbon wax be safely applied inside the house without additional ventilation?

 

3. Can CH4/hydrocarbon wax be safely applied without use of a respirator?

 

Additional information: My interest in Swix CH4 is not as a base layer, but in its durability for recreational purposes (i.e., less frequent waxing).

 

Thanks.

 

 

 

 

post #2 of 17


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by OlderThanDirt View Post


 

1. Is a hydrocarbon wax safer than a fluorocarbon wax re. PFC emissions. Yes, CH waxes contain no fluorine.

 

2. Can CH4/hydrocarbon wax be safely applied inside the house without additional ventilation? No

 

3. Can CH4/hydrocarbon wax be safely applied without use of a respirator? No, the CH vapors themselves can cause decreases in lung function.

 

 

 

 



 

post #3 of 17

There was an excellent thread (started by VS) on this topic with a lot of information from Thanos K, the owner of Dominator wax, earlier this year:

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/109608/cera-f-turbo-overlays-good-to-go-each-run-back-to-back

 

 

post #4 of 17

CH4 is a VERY cold wax, not really great as an all-round wax.  You may want to rethink and go with  CH6-8.  Or look at Holmenkol Beta., one of the most useful all round waxes

post #5 of 17

I agree that CH 4 makes no sense as an everyday wax. +1 on Beta mix it covers 90 % of the normal non race range. I think that the extra work in scraping the ch 4 would offset any durability on an effort/output analysis. It would be cheap but not great performance. Dominator also makes some broad temperature range waxes in their zoom series that have a low melting point and therefore more air quality (I would guess). The issue with CH 4 is that the iron and wax have to get very hot to melt it and the higher the temps the greater the fumes.

post #6 of 17

Purl wax is a hydrocarbon wax.  The source (I assume) is natural rather than synthetic.  Whatever precautions you feel comfortable with should not change because of the source of the wax.  Wood is natural and made of cellulose; I wouldn't breath smoke from either.

post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 

Many informative replies above.... Thanks! I perused the "Overlays...." thread as well. An interesting thread, for sure. Post #13 is helpful. 

 

Once again I've confirmed "old too soon; smart too late." rolleyes.gif

 

I revisited the Purl Wax online pages.  FWIW, the Purl Wax homepage states: "Since Purl Wax opened its doors in Colorado, we have been dedicated to making incredibly fast and durable ski and snowboard wax without the use of toxic PFCs. Over a decade later we continue to focus on performance and the environment."

 

Purl makes both petroleum based and petroleum free waxes (the so-called "Ice 9" line). Quoting: "All of the ingredients in our environmentally friendly ICE 9 ski wax are from natural and renewable resources. This product is 100% biodegradable, petroleum free, and PFC free. Even our dyes are eco-friendly." Petroleum-free wax, presumably, is free of "nasty" vapors.

 

Much to ponder. Thanks again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by OlderThanDirt View Post

 Petroleum-free wax, presumably, is free of "nasty" vapors.

 

 

 

That doesn't seem logical.     Free of PFCs perhaps, but that's only one factor that might affect lungs or be absorbed into the body.   

 

The best bang for your health-wise buck is not changing waxes, but using breathing protection and ventilation with all of them, both during ironing and during brushing. 

post #9 of 17

Yeah, Olderthandirt, cantumamunch is right; the wax vapors themselves are harmul to the lungs, and they can condense in the lung, coalesce, and form an impenetrable film that compromised oxygen transport.

post #10 of 17

geez, what a bunch of wimps

 

 

Don't get it so hot that it smokes

Don't wax skis 12 hours a day

don't worry so much.  Frying bacon is just as dangerous.  God forbid you ever get caught behind a diesel truck.

post #11 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by newfydog View Post

geez, what a bunch of wimps

 

 

Don't get it so hot that it smokes

Don't wax skis 12 hours a day

don't worry so much.  Frying bacon is just as dangerous.  God forbid you ever get caught behind a diesel truck.

 

Actually frying bacon doesn't reduce lung function 25%.  If it did, there would have been a class-action against Perkins years ago.

 

 

What you don't know can still mess you up.
 

 

post #12 of 17

If you feel you need to wear a mask when melting waxes then keep the mask on when you burn candles for your kid's birthday cake because whatever you fear in soften wax has to be far worse in burned/vaporized wax that you take a deep breath into before you blow the candles.  Also don't forget to get two gas masks for those romantic candlelight dinners.

 

Unless you're smoking the wax, the mask is overkill.  If you are waxing at the prescribed temperatures an extremely small percentage of the wax would make the vapor phase and then unless you're gulping the air over the ski you are only breathing a small percentage of the available air.  I doubt that anything significant makes it to your lungs. If it's going to condense it will do so in your nasal passages long before it hits your lungs.

 

Do whatever makes you feel comfortable - nothing wrong with that - but don't think wax from natural sources is any less harmful because it's not from a petroleum source.  The selling point of green wax is that it breaks down in the environment faster than synthetic waxes.  Burn and sniff either of them and you have the same hazard.

post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by newfydog View Post
 God forbid you ever get caught behind a diesel truck.


 

What ever happened to particulate emissions standards for those?     20 mins on a bike and a diesel truck smells worse than a forest fire.   Crossing I-95 is like drinking third-world firewater only without the /good/ buzz.

post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post


 

What ever happened to particulate emissions standards for those?     20 mins on a bike and a diesel truck smells worse than a forest fire.   Crossing I-95 is like drinking third-world firewater only without the /good/ buzz.



Two words - "Trucker's Lobby"

...and sleeping with Jimmy Hoffa.

 

 

post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by OlderThanDirt View Post

 

 

Purl makes both petroleum based and petroleum free waxes (the so-called "Ice 9" line). Quoting: "All of the ingredients in our environmentally friendly ICE 9 ski wax are from natural and renewable resources. This product is 100% biodegradable, petroleum free, and PFC free. Even our dyes are eco-friendly." Petroleum-free wax, presumably, is free of "nasty" vapors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tobacco is  natural, renewable, 100% biodegradable, petroleum and pfc free. 

post #16 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgoat View Post

 

Tobacco is  natural, renewable, 100% biodegradable, petroleum and pfc free. 


Thanks for that info, oldgoat.  I feel much better about cigars now ;)

 

On another note, syphilis is 100% natural.  Maybe those cigars really aren't good for you.

post #17 of 17
Winter season is really far away mad.gif
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