Re: Guitar-attacking solvents in cigarette smoke

That applies to your styrene Mccafferri too.

Have you ever put one of those wiggly plastic fishing worms on Styrene (like
a styrene hook box). They will eat their way right through.

Dave Hajicek.

"Ken Cashion" <kcashion@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote in message
On Sun, 21 May 2006 13:29:01 -0500, "David Hajicek"
<hajicek@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:


Some of those chemicals listed act as plasticizers (makes plastic soft vs.
rigid). So without something like that, your PCV (Vinyl) garden hose
be like a pipe (sort of like when you try to roll it up at the start of
winter because you forgot to put it away). These chemicals can attack any
kind of finish to some degree*. Nitro (and shellac) is particularly
susceptible as you say. *Don't let something like Vinyl contact you nitro
finish or it will transfer plascizer from the vinyl to the guitar.

Aren't there occasions of the vinyl on the backs of some of the cloth
guitar straps softening the guitar finish? I read that somewhere. I
know there are some deodorants that will...and there are some sun tan
lotions and Deep Woods Off will.


But even fully polymerized finishes could have some lesser effect just
because the molecules can eventually get in there given enough time.

Have you seen this effect on polymerized finishes?

Dave Hajicek

"Kevin Hall" <timberline@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote in message
Wade; There is no doubt about the negative effects cigarette smoke
on nitro instrument finishes. I may not have the scientific explanation
of why or how, but have had to deal with enough damaged finishes to be
quite certain about the practical effects.

After a couple of years or so of steady exposure to smoky environments
finish starts to cloud and loses it's glossy appearance. At this stage
is still possible to buff the cigarette tar residue off using 12"
wheels and medium followed by fine compounds. Of course you can only
that so many times before you wear through the finish, which on Martins
tends to be about .007" overall thickness when new.

If the instrument is subjected to such exposure over a period of say 10
years or so, it may be softened to the point where it is impossible to
buff out or to successfully blend in new finish for touch-up work. By
that time of course the stench of stale smoke has permeated the wood of
the instrument and the overall value of the piece has been irretrievably

Having been asthmatic since the age of 18 months, I may be more than
normally sensitive to the smell of stale tobacco smoke but when I open
case of an instrument used in bars for 20 years or more the stink may be
bad enough to stop me working on the guitar.

It doesn't take a lot of imagination to picture the state of the lungs
the musicians who have been playing in the rooms where their guitars
picked up their bouquet.

<WadeInChugiak@xxxxxxx> wrote in message
Thank you Scott, thank you Bob and Ken.

Bob, the list of toxins and solvents in tobacco smoke is so long it's
scary. And it wasn't me making the claim so much as it was me passing
along the information from my repairman at the time, Robert Howard. If
I recall correctly, the luthier and repairman (and RMMGA regular) Kevin
Hall has agreed with that assessment.

Here's another list of a few of the nasties in the air we breathe
whenever we step into a smoke-filled room:

<< Some of the Chemicals in Cigarette Smoke

There are over 4,000 chemicals incigarette smoke. More than 50 of them
are known to be carcinogens (to cause cancer). Many of the chemicals in
cigarette smoke are also found in the workplace and regulated by OSHA.
Some are found in common household products. This is a small sample of
the toxic chemicals in cigarette smoke.

Acetaldehyde: Used in glues and resins;suspected carcinogen; may
increase the absorption of other hazardous chemicals into the bronchial

Acetone: Used in solvents; irritating to the throat, nose, and eyes;
long-term exposure can cause liver and kidney damage.

Acrolein: Used in polyester resins andherbicides; an ingredient in tear
gas andother chemical warfare agents; extremely toxic; intensely
irritating to the upper respiratory tract and eyes.

Acrylonitrile: Used in synthetic resins,plastics and rubber, and as a
fumigant;also known as vinyl cyanide; suspected human carcinogen.

1-aminonaphthalene: Used in weed control; causes cancer.

2-aminonaphthalene: Banned in industrial uses; causes bladder cancer.

Ammonia: Used in cleaners; causes asthma and elevated blood pressure.

Benzene: Used in solvents, pesticides and gasoline; causes leukemia and

Benzo[a]pyrene: Found in coal tar pitch, creosote, and some asphalts;
causes skin cancer, lung cancer and reduction in reproductive capacity.

1,3-Butadiene: Used in rubber, latex, and neoprene products; suspected

Butyraldehyde: Used in solvents and resins; powerful inhalation
irritant; affectsthe lining of nose and lungs.

Cadmium: Used in non-corrosive metal coatings, bearings, pigments and
storage batteries; causes cancer; damages kidneys, liver and brain.

Carbon Monoxide: Produced by burning (in gasoline engines, welding,
gas-powered tools, etc.); decreases heart and muscle function; causes
fatigue, dizziness, weakness;especially toxic for the unborn, infants
and people with lung or heart disease.

Catechol: Used as an antioxidant in dyes, inks and oils; causes high
blood pressure, upper respiratory tract irritation and dermatitis.

Chromium: Used in metal plating and alloys, wood treatment and
preservatives, and pigments; causes lung cancer. Stainless steel
welding involves the greatest exposure.

Cresol: Used in solvents, disinfectants,and wood preservatives; highly
irritatingto the skin; acute inhalation levels cause upper respiratory,
nasal and throat irritation.

Crotonaldehyde: Used as a warning agent in fuel gases; causes
chromosome aberrations; reported to interfere with immune function.

Formaldehyde: Part of resin used in particleboard, fiberboard, and
plywood, also used in foam insulation. Causes nasal cancer; can damage
lungs, skin and digestive system.

Hydrogen Cyanide: Used in the production of resins and acrylic
plasticsand as a fumigant; released in metal treatment operations and
metal ore processing; used for executions in somestates gas chambers;
weakens lungs; causes nausea, headaches, and fatigue.

Hydroquinone: Used in paints, varnishesand motor fuel; causes eye
injuries, skin irritation and central nervous system effects.Isoprene:
Used in rubber; similar to 1,3-butadiene; causes irritation to the
skin,eyes and mucous membranes.

Lead: Used in paint and metal alloys (solder, brass, bronze); damages
brain, nerves, kidneys and reproductive system; causes anemia and
stomach problems; may cause cancer; particularly toxic to children.

Methyl Ethyl Ketone(MEK): Used in solvents; irritating to nose, throat,
and eyes; depresses the central nervous system.

Nickel: Used in stainless steel, other metal alloys and alkaline
batteries; causes upper respiratory irritation, bronchial asthma and

Nicotine: Used as a highly controlled insecticide; exposure can result
in seizures, vomiting, depression of the central nervous system, growth
retardation, developmental toxicity in fetuses; mild nicotine poisoning
results in diarrhea,
increase in heart rate and blood pressure, headache, dizziness and
neurological stimulation.

Nitric Oxide: Created by combustion of gasoline; major contributor to
smog and acid rain; linked to Huntingtons disease, Alzheimers
disease, Parkinsons disease and asthma.

NNN, NNK, and NAT: These compounds are found only in tobacco, NNN
causes cancer and may cause reproductive damage; NNK is a powerful lung
carcinogen; NAT is a possible carcinogen.

Phenol: Used in resins in plywood and other construction materials and
in epoxy resins; highly toxic; affects the liver, kidney, respiratory,
cardiovascular and central nervous system.

Propionaldehyde: Used as a disinfectant; causes irritation of the skin,
eyes and respiratory system.

Pyridine: Used in solvents; causes eye and upper respiratory tract
irritation; causes nausea, headaches and nervousness; may cause liver

Quinoline: Used as a corrosion inhibitor and as a solvent for resins;
causes genetic mutations; possible human carcinogen; severe eye
irritant; linked to liver damage.

Resorcinol: Used in laminates, resins and adhesives; irritating to skin
and eyes.

Styrene: Used in insulation, fiberglass,pipes and plastic; possible
human carcinogen; may cause leukemia; causes headaches, eye irritation,
slowed reaction time, fatigue and dizziness.

Toluene: Used in solvents, oils and resins; highly toxic; causes
fatigue, confusion, weakness, memory loss, nausea, loss of appetite and
drunken-type actions; linked to permanent brain damage. >>

Quite frankly, Bob, just the benzene and the toluene alone are enough
to attack and soften the lacquer and to scare the crap out of any
thinking person, but the whole cocktail gets worse and worse the longer
you look at it.

Wade Hampton Miller
Chugiak, Alaska