Look into any competitive cyclist/triathlete’s garage and it could be confused with a bike shop. Many of us have bikes for every season, terrain and riding style. We have road bikes and time-trial bikes for racing, cyclocross for inclement weather and winter racing, a retired bike for the indoor trainer, mountain bikes for some downhill fun, a single speed for cruising to the cafe, and then the old bmx from childhood we’re hoping will become a collectors item.
My point is, you have bikes for specific purposes. Is your chain lube fit for purpose too? Or do you just swing for the good old WD40 because it was in the garage anyway? It keeps my doors from squeaking and does the same trick for my chain. But did you know this ubiquitous garage item can be hazardous to our health? WD40 contains chemicals that can be hazardous to our lungs, eyes and skin.
WD40 contains the chemicals Naphtha, Trimethylbenzene and Xylene. All three of these chemicals can cause respiratory and skin irritation. And Trimethylbenzene can also cause serious eye irritation.
So, consider how many times you ride a week, and how often you clean and lubricate your chain. Isn’t it worth keeping your lungs healthy by switching to purpose made non-aerosol, bike specific chain lube?
If you MUST use WD40 make sure you use in a well ventilated area. Preferably outside or at least in a garage with the door open all the way. It’s flammable too so keep the can away from heat and sunlight. WD40 can be fatal if swallowed so keep out of reach of kids and pets .
- WD40 Company Australia Pty Ltd. (2014). Safety Data Sheet WD40. Retrieved 2015, from http://www.wd40.com.au/wp-content/downloads/sds-tds/WD-40_Bulk_Liquid_NZ-GHS_SDS.pdf
- Total Petrochemicals and Refining USA, Inc. (2015). Material Safety Data Sheet Xylene. Retrieved 2015, from http://www.totalrefiningchemicals.com/SiteCollectionDocuments/Safety%20Datasheet%20Documents/sds_us_mixed_xylenes.pdf
- NOVA Chemicals. (2013). Material Safety Data Sheet Naphtha. Retrieved 2015, from http://www.novachem.com/Product%20Documents/Naphtha_MSDS_AMER_EN.pdf
- Acros Organics. (2015). Material Safety Data Sheet Trimethylbenzene. Retrieved 2015, from https://www.fishersci.ca/viewmsds.do?catNo=AC140090010