The Metal on/in your Pole ***ALLERGY and other info***

 
black sheep

So I wanted to share some info with you all today. I am a little more knowledgeable than your average girl on metal, and working with it. So when I saw that the new X-Poles contained Lead, I  was a little confused.... (says so right on the box!)

I am sure you all know by now, lead is toxic. It can make you very sick by ingestion or absorption. Under normal circumstances skin contact with lead is not too big a deal, but when you sweat your pores open and your skin becomes moist, which makes it more likely to be susceptible to leeching into the skin.

I then looked into Chrome, as I knew it was an electrified finish, much like titanium gold, which means the metal is soaked in a solution and electrified to create the finish.  I remember those guys in the bike shops making chromed parts ALWAYS wear heavy duty gloves, and some people also wear them to install the parts. So I decided to do a little research on chrome, and this is what I found. 

 

How Hexavalent Chromium Affects the Skin

Some employees can also develop an allergic skin reaction, called allergic contact dermatitis.  This occurs from handling liquids or solids containing hexavalent chromium. Once an employee becomes allergic, brief skin contact causes swelling and a red, itchy rash that becomes crusty and thickened with prolonged exposure.  Allergic contact dermatitis is long-lasting and more severe with repeated skin contact.

Direct skin contact with hexavalent chromium can cause a non-allergic skin irritation.  Contact with non-intact skin can also lead to chrome ulcers.  These are small crusted skin sores with a rounded border.  They heal slowly and leave scars.

Some major industrial sources of hexavalent chromium include:



Chromate pigments in dyes, paints, inks, and plastics.



Chromates added as anti-corrosive agents to paints, primers and other surface coatings.



Chrome plating by depositing chromium metal onto an item’s surface using a solution of chromic acid.



Particles released during smelting of ferrochromium ore.



Fume from welding stainless steel or nonferrous chromium alloys.



 

So as we can see, Chrome causes SKIN ULCERS from contact dermatitis, and with repeated exposure will become worse and worse. 

This makes me think why would a company not research the potential hazards of these finishes on skin contact. I know titanium is ok, as it is a process used in body mod jewelry to make it colored stainless steel, however chrome is different.  

Stainless steel is less likely to cause a reaction, as the properties of the chromium mixed with iron and nickel changes the composition. Stainless steel does contain nickel to various degrees based on the type and strength of the Stainless Alloy. 

If you have skin sensitivity brass may be your best option in poles. You cannot guarantee what is in metal made in china or its safety, as we always hear about recalls due to health hazards, as our country has health guidelines products must meet. In china they do it the cheapest way they can unless they are being monitored.

 
Jun 29, 2011
Dancing Paws

Okay now I'm freaked. I have anickle allergy. Does anyone else with a nickle allergy use chrome?
Jun 29, 2011
Dancing Paws

Just called x pole. They said the chrome DOES have nickle, so I cancelled my oredre due to me being pretty badly allergic to nickle. I get big ass wenty/ scaley rashes from nickle.
Jun 29, 2011
dustbunny

As another "metal" head girl (haha not music, I used to be a machinist) I will add that Chrome Plating is safe for skin contact under normal circumstances.  Some people however do have allergies or sensitivities that can cause rashes, swelling, or other symptoms.  If you notice any unusual symptoms from using a Chrome pole, discontinue using it and talk to your doctor. 

The chemical process that is Chrome Plating, is not friendly but the finished product is usually fine.  The main reason that some people wear gloves to install Chrome plated parts has more to do with fingerprints, and smudges then from any safety concern for the installer.  That being said, if your chrome plating chips or starts to come off for any reason, don't continue to use the pole.  Chrome is very, very, hard.  It will have sharp edges and will cut your skin if you scratch yourself on it.  You can also have particles enter your body this way, which can cause chromium poisoning. 

I definitely don't want to scare anyone, but if you're really worried about what's in your pole, maybe you should look at what's in your food first.  There are far worse things in the foods we eat everyday.  Example:  check the ingredients list on your salad dressing...propylene glycol is automotive coolant, mechanics are taught not to get it on their skin but it's in most salad dressings...not only gross, but scary!

My concensus is that unless you have an allergy/sensitivity your Chrome pole will be safer for you than dinner.  :)
Jun 29, 2011
ATXpolerina

Nickle jewlry irritates me but I never experience anything like that using my Chrome X-Pole.
Jun 29, 2011
chemgoddess1 Paid Member

Hexavalent Chromium DOES NOT equal chrome.  Hexavalent chromium is a state of chromium that signifies that is is in the +6 oxidation state.  It does not exist by itself but as a salt, which makes it water soluble and able to be used in electroplating.  The METAL that is electroplated onto your pole is CHROMIUM, it has no oxidation state.

 

As for the lead, pretty much all steel contains lead.  Simple fact.  Since XPole is based in California and California has its own set of laws it abides by they HAVE to list lead on any product that contains it.  Lead has an extremely low skin absorption rate and the major risk is from organic forms of it.

 

As a side note, have any of you ever seen sodium metal?  In the metallic state  (which does not naturally exist) is is violently reactive with water (pretty much explodes), tey how much sodium do we eat and it is not harmful to us (with the exception of bloating and high blood pressure).
Jun 29, 2011
senrysa

ok, I am absolutely freaked out now...reason number one because of medical problems I have with my immune system (I heal very slowly with any cuts, ect) but also because the symptoms you guys are talking about may be what I am experiencing..I know that I get these little blisters, that itch and it takes a while for them to heal. (Not like blisters you get from wearing new shoes or even praticing on a pole)The thing is they could never tell what cause them. They said it could have been my Rhuematoid arthritis during a flare where my body's immune system fights itself and thus the blistering of the skin.  However the day after being on the pole I woke up and realized the dreaded itching blister had arrived yet again. Didn't think about a metal causing it but now I'm wondering. Neither I nor the doctors have been able figure out what causes them. I wonder if it could actually be a metal I'm coming in contact with. (Not neccesarily my pole)? But maybe something that I don't handle all the time. I have had the problem for years but never had anyone suggested allergy to metals. You would think with all the tests and hospitalizations somebody would have thought about it.

Then I realized if it was an allergy it wouldn't show up as a metal poisoning. Crazy. I only get them on my hands or feet...basically where I would walk (barefoot for me 75% of my life) or my hands where I would hold things. I don't wear any jewelry really. Glad you posted this. While I doubt it is my pole it did give me an idea to start checking and maybe use a diary to see if I can figure it out.
Jun 29, 2011
Dancing Paws

I get little blisters on the sides of my hands and fingers. I think it is type of eczema. They itch for me when they are healing. They randomly break out too (I'll go years without them, then all of a sudden I get them frequently.)
Jun 29, 2011
VanillaryPuff

hi guys,

i recently react allergic to x-poles. the first time i reacted allergic was when i trained on a  very used tg pole, and i thought it might be just because it is so worn off. but yesterday  i trained on a pretty new brass pole,  and had the same reactions. i loved it, because i had a wonderful good grip on it, but then i saw my thighs and elbow turning red and in some places, my skin had like very flat bumps ... it was all red and hot and a little bit itchy.

then i turned to floor work, and afterwards i noticed even more little bumps, glowing white from the red parts,on the back of my shoulder. that wasn't a point of contact with the pole, but with the floor (i did a lot of shoulderrolls/-stands) ... so i thought, maybe it was the stuff they used for cleaning at the studio. but the owner told me, the poles were only cleaned with vodka, not with the stuff used for the floors. and i guess it's almost impossible that my shoulder reacted to grip-powder or stuff that's used on the pole ... because, how should that be on the floor!

i will have an allergy-test done soon, but still ... i'm worried. i've never reacted to nickle, and i have a lot of cheap earrings. why would i react to a new brass pole the same way as i did to a worn-off tg or chrome-pole? any ideas? i mean, i will most probably have to tell the guys at the allergy-centre what they ought to be looking for...
Jan 9, 2012
chemgoddess1 Paid Member

At this point I would definitely think it was a reaction to a cleaner or grip or something over a reaction to metal.  Grip stuff can very easily get on the floor.  Have you had a reaction on all metals?  Titanium is typically the most non-allergenic of all of the materials.  It is the same metal that is used for surgical implants (although I am not sure of the grade that X uses for their poles), so I am suprised that you ahd a reaction to it.  This is why I am thinking it may be a combination of products.  What kinds of soaps/lotions are you using?  It could be a combination.  Has it been all poles you ahve had issues with or only ones at this studio?  Are there other students when you take class that may be wearing something that you are allergic to?  When they clean the poles with vodka what kinds of towels are they using?  Are they cloth ones that are getting washed or paper towels?  There are so many possibilities.
Jan 9, 2012
Dancing Paws

Difinitely make a list of all the cleaners you are using on your pole and bring all your grip aides to the doctor. 
Jan 9, 2012
moonflower

I have never had skin reaction to chrome, but my skin does not like the X pole brass at all. Not only with lack of stick, but if I use the x pole brass for several days in a row, I get a red bumpy rash  on contact points (except palms). I want to clarify that I CAN dance on it once in a while with no issues, it's not immediate. I only have a problem if I'm on it for several days in a row.

As for the TG, I have no problems with it at all. And again, chrome does not cause any problems for me and is one of my favourite metals to dance on.

 
Jan 9, 2012
PixiLouBell
i dont kno exactly what is under the powdecoat of my lil mynx probly stainless but ive never had an issue with mine, maybe checking into a LM cud b an option for those of u having reactions
Jan 9, 2012
Dancing Paws

If you do get an allergy test done, contact the pole companies and find out exactly what is in all their metals. We all can look up and find out that brass is copper and zinc, but platinum stages recently told me that there is iron in their brass as well, which I would not have known, so it would be in your best interest to find out so you can put 2 and 2 together if you do come back positive to a metal allergy.
Jan 9, 2012
VanillaryPuff

thank you, ladies. i'll just have to let them check ... everything, i guess.

i loved the brass one so much, because i had such a fantastic grip on it, better than on chrome (don't talk of tg, that one sucks for me,  and stainless is not my favourite either ^^). i'd hate it if i could not use it because i was allergic to its coating. BUT if it actually has something to do with grip-stuff, then i'll probably be able to do something about it. can't try a brass one anywhere else than at the studio,though.
Jan 9, 2012
 
Pretty Pixie
StudioVeena is an amazing place to learn, her instruction is the BEST, the progression of the lessons is essential to building the strength and confidence needed and with new lessons posted regularly, I'm never bored!
more testimonials