The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > General Questions

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 07-28-1999, 10:12 AM
Guest
 
A friend just told me about something he read recently. It seems some MDs studying arthritis of the hand found out that auto mechanics seldom suffer from this affliction. They did some poking around and found that mechanics who worked barehanded 9and used lots of WD-40) NEVER got arthritis in their finger joints.They attributed the lubricating/penetrating properties of that great old lubricant to this unexpected bonus! Has anyone ever heard of this? I was brought up to believ that you should never get this stuff on your skin (it will dissove natural latex gloves!). If it truly is non-toxic and keeps that nasty arthritis away-should I go out and buy a case of it?
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 07-28-1999, 11:09 AM
Guest
 
This has urban legend written all over it. First off, arthritis isn't caused by a lack of natural lubricant, so supplimenting it/replacing it with an artificial one isn't going to cure arthritis.

Second, WD-40 would be toxic in large doses.

Third, you're body doesn't absorb that much through the skin.

Fourthly, I doubt that mechanics are any more or less subceptible to arthritis than any other labor categories. What about sheep shearers? They absorb a lot of lanolin from sheep skin; surely they'd be lubricated.

No, I don't have any proof that it DOESN'T work. However, I don't have to prove a negative. I'd reather see proof that it DOES work.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 07-28-1999, 11:40 AM
Guest
 
Besides, finding an arthritic mechanic would be like finding a blind airline pilot.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 07-28-1999, 11:58 AM
Guest
 
Papa, are you saying legally blind people can't fly planes??? Surely you jest.

Why there is even a deaf pilots association. Frankly, betwixt the two I would prefer to have a blind pilot.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 07-28-1999, 06:26 PM
Guest
 
My wife, a chemist, worked with the chemical in WD-40 (she's away now, so I can't give the name of it, that would impress everyone!). The problem is, it will penetrate the skin easily, but will carry with it what ever may be with it on the skin (Did someone just sneeze before you spritz on the WD-40?) Whatever one may have on ones skin will be carried into ones skin along with the WD-40 Should one decide to try it, be sure to scrub very well before appling! Best DON"T!

------------------
Zymurgist
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 07-28-1999, 06:37 PM
Guest
 
Is that dimethyl sulfoxide, better known as DMSO? It was promoted, IIRC, as a sort of cure-all delivery method for a wide variety of drugs, because it's a good solvent and penetrates skin pretty well, carrying along whatever's dissolved in it. Not long after, it lost its popularity because of the nasty carcinogenic impurities it usually came with.

------------------
Bob the Random Expert
"If we don't have the answer, we'll make one up."
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 07-29-1999, 11:30 AM
Guest
 
In my work I have to deal with many different types of chemicals. According to the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) WD-40 contains a chemical called Benzine. Benzine has been known to cause birth defects and is a target organ chemical. It will attack an organ in your body and eventually cause it to fail. Combined with the dimethyl sulfoxide you have a deadly combination. I wouldn't recommend applying it to your skin and if you have accidental exposure wash throughly with soap and water.

------------------
The american people are very generous people and will forgive almost any weakness, with the possible exception of stupidity.---Will Rogers
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 07-29-1999, 11:50 AM
Guest
 
For those of you who are interested, the MSDS for WD40 can be downloaded from their website http://www.wd40.com . It contains neither DMSO nor benzene, but rather petroleum distillates (hydrocarbons). It cannot be absorbed through the skin, but can cause some damage if inhaled too deeply.

FYI, DMSO is very readily absorbed through the skin and was once prescribed for relief of arthritis pain, but is no longer recommended for that purpose.

TheDude
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 07-29-1999, 04:58 PM
Guest
 
DMSO is sometimes used as a horse linament. Don't get it on your skin though -- it absorbs immediately and makes your mouth taste as though you've eaten a mouse. ick.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 07-29-1999, 07:24 PM
Guest
 
Just curious, how do you know what a mouse Ick tastes like ?
No, never mind I don't really want to know....

------------------
Take Good Care, Scott E.
Reply With Quote
Reply



Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:57 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.