what is dry preservitive?

Submitted by bobby joe on 7/30/01. ( taxibabe.com/net )

what is the chemical make up of this powder i,m dealing with-is there a health risk after inhaling it for 8 yrs?I need to know/my wife wants to know and so would my doc. help in montucky!

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This response submitted by George on 7/30/01. ( georoof@aol.com )

Primary ingredients in DP are borax and usually alum. Years ago, it was common practice to dab DP in small cuts to stop the bleeding. The alum acted as a styptic and I suppose the borax kept the flies away. Some contain moth crystals and cayenne and such to enhance advertising.

There definitely IS a health hazard to continuous DP usage without proper safety precautions. It IS NOT POISONOUS, but the dust can enter your bronchai and do the same thing to your lungs as it does to dead animals. Some are especiallly refined (Van Dykes) while others are a little courser(Touchstone). Continued use without rubber gloves can lead to severe dermititus. NEVER do that as it will quickly "pickle" your skin as well as the animals. Simply by always using rubber gloves and wearing a simple dusk mask can greatly enhance the safe use of the product. Always use a well ventilated (to the outdoors) area.

And remember, MANY products we use (not just in taxidermy) can lead to natural selection in the hands of nitwits. Lacquer thinner, acetone, MEK, and Xylol permeate the skin and effect body organs. But Draino is lye and a drop or two of Chlorox will gas everyone in the house. A gallon of gasoline in just the right environment can be more powerful than a pound of dynamite. Any time you have doubts, read the label and take the precautions it suggests.

Thanks for the safety reminder George!

This response submitted by Mark on 7/30/01. ( archer@cbc.cc.tx.us )

In my opinion, the most important lesson to be learned in tanning and taxidermy is safety, safety, safety! By all means take the time to follow the safety precautions provided with the products you use. I have a friend who suffers from severe dermatitis due to prolonged exposure to liquid preservatives and he really regrets that he didn't take a few seconds to put on a pair of gloves once in a while. He spends far more money on medication than he ever would have spent on gloves. Call the company that sold you the product and request a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS). The MSDS is a comprehensive listing of the identity, characteristics, hazards, and precautions associated with all chemicals sold for commercial, industrial, and private use. The Hazardous Communications Act gives you the right to access such information, so call your supplier and request an MSDS if it wasn't provided with the product you purchased. When USED AS INTENDED, the vast majority of modern chemicals used in taxidermy are relatively safe. But, solvents and preservatives can damage human tissues when proper precautions are not followed. Please take the time to protect yourself.

Take Marks advice!

This response submitted by Bruce Rittel on 7/31/01. ( rittel@ici.net )

Mark and George are both right! Ask for an MSDS sheet on the DP product you're using. Every Supplier MUST supply one and list any hazardous ingredients in the product, as well as health hazards to avoid. Always be aware of what you're using, and the implications of any hazards. Most suppliers will willingly furnish an MSDS - but it must be specifically requested.

Bruce Rittel
Rittels Tanning Supplies

Dry/instant preserve

This response submitted by Dave at VanDyke's Supply Co. on 7/31/01. ( dave.belanger@cabelas.com )

VanDyke's consists of Boric Acid,Sodium Sufate,Talc and Aluminum Sulfate.....just in case you needed this info.

Have a great day,


This response submitted by Dave at VanDyke's on 7/31/01. ( dave.belanger@cabelas.com )

I apologise, I wrote Aluminum Sulfate. The product is Aluminun Chloride.
Have a great day,

Covered Before..Worth Mentioning Again...

This response submitted by Old Fart on 7/31/01. ( )

..for those of you who are unfamiliar with the archives.

About 15 years ago a friend of mine in the supply business mentioned that he was thinking of making and selling his own DP. He had comissioned an analysis of the DP's then on the market, when he showed this analysis to me I was amazed. The MAIN ingrediant in ALL of them was TALC. Baby Powder without the perfume! Lots of other ingrediants that you would expect, borax, salt, alum, and that sort of thing. Then there were the special things like naptha flakes, pepper, both red and black, and tobacco just to mention a few. By this time I had already had my share of problems with DP so the ingrediants did not surprise me. I don't use it except for birds and I make my own. There are lots out there that swear by it and that is great, I believe that your local climate is a large factor in the effectiveness of DP and that has been covered in the archives also.

There is a great article in the new Breakthrough on Nicotine' that is worth reading, and explains the tobacco in some DP.

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