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Thread: Smelly Chinese Plastics

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    Independent principality of Sinquefieldia (formerly Missouri in the USA)
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    24,413

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    Quote Originally Posted by CCWKen
    Drying is what causes the handles to stink. I wipe mine down with lacquer thinner to melt off the top layer of plastic. You loose the blue or red highlights but they stop smelling for a couple of years.
    it's 'sort of" drying.....

    I suspect that your solution is removing the plasticiser that has separated out, and possibly some of the top layer of plastic.
    The plasticiser is added to make the material literally "plastic", i.e. moldable, malleable, flexible.

    Without it, the "plastic" becomes brittle, and the leaking plasticiser may smell bad. The plastic may also break down to a smelly product.

    if you wipe off the plasticiser, and remove the top layer of degraded plastic, the smell is reduced or eliminated. The same result can be obtained by scraping off the surface, which I have done.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
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    Grand Blanc Michigan
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    4,107

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    Quote Originally Posted by chrsbrbnk
    I've always thought that the Plano tackle and tool boxes smell horrible inside. I suspect most of the plastic odors are not real good for you, When I worked as a mold maker in a relay plant we were right by the mold room and I used to get nose bleeds all the time got a different job and they went away.
    I've noticed the smell of *some* of the Plano boxes as well. Always attributed it to residual mold release. Don't know for sure, though.
    Weston Bye - Author, The Mechatronist column, Digital Machinist magazine
    ~Practitioner of the Electromechanical Arts~

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    Ontario
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    In January a couple of friends of mine and my Dad went to the Detroit Auto Show.

    I actually thought it was a pretty good show. Anyway, we were walking by the Chinese cars and we stopped to take a look. There was one company, I can't remember the name, that was basically a rip off of KIA, I think it was BYD, and the cars actually didn't look that bad. I would never buy one, just like I'd never buy a KIA, but it was something that actually resembled a car.

    So we all opened the doors and took a look inside. There was a very distinct smell. Then we all looked at each other and smiled and started laughing.

    The car smelled just like the Princess Auto store (or Harbor Freight) in our area, nothing like the distinct odor of Chinese plastics. I can pick them out a mile away.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Vancouver's Island
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    41,980

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    I am not so sure that distinctive smell is from the plastics. It is likely to be the aroma of the preservative anti rusting spray that is applied to cars and tools shipped over salt water. Have a close sniff of an all metal item such as a small bench roll or brake to see what I mean.
    Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    139

    Default Plastic Smell

    Craftsman screwdriver handles do stink. The old ones anyway. a They also get a white residue on them. I have been able to scrub it off. Have swapped them out also.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Phoenix, AZ
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    The worst I ever noticed was with some of the 5" CI hub casters. I've used them quite successfully on numerous light projects with loading of no more than about 100 lbs per tire or less. Anyway, I had a new project, went down to HF, bought 4. I noticed the smell when picking them up, but figured it was just mold release or rust preventative and that it was still so strong because they had just been dumped from their shipping container. Went home and tossed on a shelf awaiting project time. Life happened, and when I went back to shop a few days later it was almost unbearable, the whole shop stank! I recognized the smell immediately, correlated with the only changes being the new HF junk, so out it went with doors open and fans running.

    Took a week or more to completely leave the shop. Casters sat in the sun for over a month, still had a mild smell, but not that would be noticeable in use or fumigate my shop. I should have taken them back, but at that time HF was on the other side of town, and I was rarely anywhere near there. Never seen it that bad before or since, but also haven't used those casters for any projects since then.
    Russ
    Master Floor Sweeper

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Texas Hill Country
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    106

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    Not just plastic, either. My daughter gave me a nice ($) robe for Christmas, made in China.

    Smelled too bad to wear, or even have in the house. Washed it numerous times, and tried airing it by hanging in the house. No go, still smelled bad. Dark blue, so I couldn't use bleach. Enclosed it in a leaf bag with a box of soda for several days, no help either. I thought I might have to send it back (mail order).

    Hung it in the garage for a few days, but smelled it on the way through. So, I hung it on the back porch for a week, then over the driveway in the sun. This process took nearly a month, but it's OK now.

    It would have a LOT easier, and no more objectionable, to find a second-hand one. Had it been used to comfort a dying badger, it couldn't have been harder to rehabilitate.

    Mark

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Calgary, AB
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    870

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    I have noticed this smell on toys bought by the old lady at the dollar store for our daughter. I always throw them out.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    262

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    Quote Originally Posted by barts
    Actually, those handles are made of cellulose butyrate; it releases butyric acid as it ages.... same smell as rancid butter, btw.

    Xcelite screwdriver handles do this a lot.

    - Bart
    My last employer carried a bunch of those in inventory, and that whole corner of the cage stunk. You could tell when they got a new batch in too, then it really really stunk for a few weeks. Otherwise good screwdrivers, though.

  10. #30
    gnm109 Guest

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    Chinese Rubber Products = The gift that keeps on giving. Something extra this way comes. LOL.


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