WD-40 - Arthritis Prevention?

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?

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.

Besides, finding an arthritic mechanic would be like finding a blind airline pilot.

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.

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!


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.”

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

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.


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.

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.