Having to deal with Prop 65 warnings fairly often in my work, the above part about the message being watered by it's overuse and generalization is spot on.
Most likely, the warning is because of lead soldering used in the cord or inside the gun itself. New joysticks have the same one.
The problem with the way Prop 65 is structured is that a manufacturer isn't allowed to explain on the packaging how the Prop 65 tagged material can harm you, or how much is in the product you just bought. THe law states that if it's there is a known carcinagin in the product you have to label it as such.
By not being able to tell the consumer the amount of the harmful material, and how it can harm the user, such as skin absorption or fumes, etc.., you don't know how to protect yourself, or if the amount is so insignificant to your use of the product, that the well-meaning message is diluted. Just how many diet sodas did they feed those poor lab rats?
Do you not buy a new car when you see the Prop 65 label? Of course not. You realize there is lead in your battery and the wiring and move on with your life. You may question it, but most people won't call the manufacturer and be able to get a clear answer to why the label is on their new device. And it doesn't even have to be something you actually sell in California. If there is any possible way that product may make it's way to the Golden State, you as the manufacturer are liable.
Which concludes this session of why Lawyers are killing this country. :-)
Are all heatguns safe to be used as roasting devices? If not, which ones are and which ones arent? Besides warning labels stamped on the sides of the ones sold in California, is there an easy way to tell which one is which?
Rick - All reasonable questions but I doubt if answers are available. Roasting coffee beans with a heat gun probably qualifies as an 'unintended' use by the manufacturer. So they're pretty much off the hook on liability.
The good news is that Prop. 65 was passed to protect unborn babies from birth defects and exposure to carcinogens and mutagens. Most healthy adults can tolerate exposure to Prop. 65 chemicals better than a fetus. BUT that's not to say it's okay or a good idea.
The fact is we are exposed to a great variety of environmental risks without ever realizing it. It's just a fact of modern society.
With regard to the potential teratogenic effects of heat gun use during pregnancy- use an air popper for 9 months. It doesn't matter if youre using the gun to strip paint, or roast beans, the implied danger is simply in the use of the product. Liability protection in a sue-happy country, end of story. Keep in mind that even the use of aspirin during pregnancy has been linked to birth defects, and since we're on the subject, so has the use of caffeine.
I'd say, as a general rule, don't use a gun that predates 1980, as this is the date that the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) was enacted. Lots of big changes in environmental regulation happened in association with this act, or during the same general time period (1978-1981), such as banning the use of lead based paint, and asbestos. Heat guns made prior to 1980 will likely contain an asbestos sleeve in the barrel. I'm still not convinced that it would matter much, unless the sleeve was damaged and the asbestos became friable.
Based on what I know of the potential health hazards of exposure to environmental factors while using something like a heat gun, the primary risk is the inhalation of the particles or chemicals, not the ingestion of them. I really doubt that making coffee from beans roasted with a heat gun would have much of a negative effect on health, even in lab rats...
Disclaimer: I'm not a doctor, I just play one at CG. Any opinion expressed is just that and should not be construed as medical advice, or as a a guarantee that a given product is safe for use other than that which it was intended for by the manufacturer.
"If it wasn't for coffee, I'd have no discernible personality at all."
Personally, I think people get too bent out of shape over lead and asbestos. While people will shrink in horror from asbestos, many of those same people have something equally bad in their medicine cabinet. Talcum powder has the exact same effect on your lungs as asbestos. It's the same little barbed silicates yet I haven't heard of any municipalities banning baby powder.
wang Senior Member Joined: 27 Nov 2004 Posts: 42 Location: Dublin, Ireland Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: Rancilio Nancy Grinder: Rocky, Maestro Drip: Bodum Columbia Roaster: Black & Decker Heatgun
Posted Sun Nov 28, 2004, 3:05pm Subject: Re: Interesting Heatgun warning label
Bah. Here's my debut post and I'm geeking it up like any student. Talcum powder's a polymeric form of abestos, it looks very similar from a physical and empirical chemical formula point of view, but it does not affect us in the same way as abestos would. It's more the fact that the mining of talcum and abestos goes hand and that they need to be seperated and purified which is the problem as opposed to the chemical itself. I suppose you're right anyway.
Speaking of heatguns and roasting - how about roasting with a hair dryer? They put out some serious CFMs!
It's certainly hard to get real precise with something like a warning label, at least after the job is turned over to the initiative process because elected legislators are too timid to draft good tough laws. But labels can alert us to potential for harm. Is it hard to get further info? You bet. But I'm surprised at how quicky some folks jump on their old "big intrusive government" rant. Too little info and weak, irrational regulations are largely the result of the self-interest of business and industry; it's they who don't want info accessible. These are the same regulation-kills-business folks who fought auto seat belts, no-smoking airlines regulations, and a whole lot of protections we take for granted.
Which concludes this session of why Lawyers are killing this country.
Now, I can be as glib as the next guy (see above) but surely you don't believe that it's the lawyers who are doing the killing. Sure, some lawyers are worthy of our hatred, many do damage, and like any "industry," they need some reasonable regulation. But think "Vioxx," "Bhopaul," "Johns Mansville," "Phillip Morris." Lawyers helped slow the damage they would have happily continued.
Which brings a temporary halt to my rant. #:o) Martin
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