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 Post subject: Powder inside cables
PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 7:27 pm 

Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2015 9:07 pm
Posts: 105
Any one know for sure what exactly is inside cables which is a white powder. Not internet rumors. Usually inside cables like vacuum cords but even those flat cables from tvs.

Is this 'bad' stuff for skin n lungs?

 Post subject: Re: Powder inside cables
PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2018 10:26 am 

Joined: Sat Sep 02, 2017 11:31 pm
Posts: 108
No, not bad for skin, as for the lungs, I wouldn't think so, but then again, I wouldn't make a habit of snorting it!

I've come across this a lot over the years, it more often than not does not get airborne too readily. It usually sticks to the paper twine, cotton twine and rubber components inside the cable after you've opened it.

It serves two purposes as I understand it. One, to help lubricate the individually insulated wires inside the jacket to allow for better overall flexibility of the cable. The other, to act as a water blocker. To prevent water from migrating up the cable. Something akin to talc and/or beeswax is found inside the cables among other components.

Again, I've worked for hours with this on my hands when stripping cable, with no ill effects to my skin. If it bothers you, you could wear latex or nitrile gloves.


 Post subject: Re: Powder inside cables
PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2018 3:30 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2015 6:57 pm
Posts: 5317
Location: Low DOS
Rusty is correct on that it’s a lubricant to allow sleeved wires to move around a bit inside the cover.
Asbestos is where most of the internet rumours come from. It was never really common and was faded out by 1972 in most countries. It generally disappeared by 1975 and wasn’t commonly seen before then.
But: you’ve got a better chance of winning the lottery in a crashing airplane being struck by lightning during a solar eclipse; than finding it in a cable.

Since the dawn of electricity silica was used in cables.
And that’s what you’ll come across most of the time?
Toxic? No one is truly in agreement. It’s dangerous if ignored though.
You’d need to eat a few dozen of those little moisture packets before showing any effect. From wires your biggest concern is inhalation leading to dry lungs.
It’s relatively common in scrap and hospitals and even urgent care centres in industrial areas are well versed in quick quality treatment.
O2 inhalation and a saline drip for about 30 minutes eliminates most issues. Getting it on your skin will lead to dry skin. So when you feel dry go was your hands, dry them well, and continue working. :)

Basically, don’t eat or inhale anything that comes out of a cable.

-- my grades are my own and do not represent an offer from boardsort, nor are they guaranteed. Please keep that in mind.

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