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Old 04-11-2006, 08:16 AM   #181
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Hi Carl,

I am very please with the response and attention this is getting within this forum and also by ROAR. I have been in touch with ROAR and they are going to review this amongst the executive committee. I don't have any timing information as to when they are going to get together. Perhaps ROAR could apply some pressure to the manufactures to disclose the chemical components of their product to ROAR only, and have roar approve them just like they do with other products in our hobby. The approval could be based on things like the HMIS chemical toxicity rating scale that Tracktac introduced us to. This approach has a number of hurdles/considerations such as liability to ROAR, specifications to be met for approval etc, but it is certainly something that could and should be considered by ROAR in my opinion. I think the liability issue can be resolved through appropriate warnings and disclaimers. And I think the HMIS rating is a good starting point for a benchmark of approving these chemicals.

Another option outlined in an email I received from Dawn Sanchez (VP at ROAR) is to consider changing the wording in the ROAR rules to essentially ban any chemicals that are labelled as hazardous and/or emit any odours. I think the biggest challenge to this strategy is that not all harmful chemicals are required to be labelled on the product, only the ones that cause cancer is my understanding. For this reason I don't think this option will actually work, but it is good to see that Dawn Sanchez is thinking about how ROAR can help with this issue.

Here is the original email Dawn Sent me...

Martin,
>>
>> Thank you for your email as you bring forward a very relevant topic that
>> needs to be discussed.
>>
>> Currently, the ROAR rule book reads:
>>
>> 12.4.5 Tire traction chemicals or other chemicals that emit odors that
> could
>> be offensive or are
>> labeled as hazardous should not be permitted at indoor events or in pits
>> that are indoors.
>> Use of traction compounds at any ROAR event is at the discretion of the
> Race
>> Director
>> and any/all bans or special requirements must be disclosed in advertising
>> and on race
>> entry forms.
>>
>> I believe we do need to investigate futher your concern and discuss
> changing
>> the wording from "should not be permitted" to "will not be permitted".
>>
>> Dawn Sanchez
>> ROAR Vice President

and then a subsequent email...

Martin,
>
> Well, the next step is exactly what you are doing. I am going to forward
> your response to me to the rest of the excomm and so there will be
> informed
> dialog on this issue. You have given me some wonderful information to
> read
> and I am hoping to stay in contact with you as this conversation
> progresses
> among the Excomm.
>
> Stay in touch!
> Dawn
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Old 04-11-2006, 08:37 AM   #182
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I will push Dawn and the executive commitee on this subject.
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Old 04-11-2006, 08:53 AM   #183
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Thanks Carl! With people like yourself and Dawn helping move this forward, I think we will see some postive changes.
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Old 04-11-2006, 09:18 AM   #184
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Crisp
Thanks Carl! With people like yourself and Dawn helping move this forward, I think we will see some postive changes.
Be careful Martin. I would hate to LOSE my hobby all together because of over legislation. For example....have you looked at the MSDS for Nitromethane........

Playing Devil's Advocate here as you know where I stand on this.
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Old 04-11-2006, 09:28 AM   #185
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Crisp
Thanks Carl! With people like yourself and Dawn helping move this forward, I think we will see some positive changes.

Martin,

If this moves forward I am willing to help if you need it. I am also willing to divulge the full formulation of any or all of our product to a single person on your governing board, as long as a non-disclosure agreement is in place. Even though we current are applying for patent on our products and a provisional patent has been issued, we still have items we feel are "trade secrets" or proprietary.

One thing you and I did talk about, that hasn't been addressed, is the time issue when treating a tire. Although it is not an absolute, the slower acting products tend to be the safer products and more durable to the tire.

More durability means less used and less used, ultimately means less exposure.

Hope this helps

Randy
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Old 04-11-2006, 09:38 AM   #186
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I'm still waiting on factual evidence that these traction additives are the root of your issues. I think you are skipping a step in the process... first you have to make sure that the stuff you are trying to eliminate is indeed the root of the problems. Someone must do air quality testing to determine the doses of harmful chemicals we are exposed to, and then determine if those doses are dangerous, short or long term.

I think the "odors" issues is silly as well. If you are going to ban odorous substances then I know a few guys that will be banned from racing.

I was at the Finale at the Gate in Cleveland this past weekend. Friday Saturday and Sunday in this "paragon cloud" and I never once heard a complaint. Nor did I experience, any of my buddies experience, or did I see any of the other racers (120 entries) experience ill effects from the Paragon and Niftech being used.

I have no problem with logically harmful stuff being banned, but please be sure to do the homework first, and as always please keep it in reasonable perspective.
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Old 04-11-2006, 09:40 AM   #187
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Time does become an issue when you are at a "Handout" tire event. You would only have 2 days to prep your tires before the first round of qualifying providing you picked up your tires on the first day of open practice. If the tire treatment takes longer than that to be effective they probably won't be used......
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Old 04-11-2006, 09:57 AM   #188
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Hey Advil,

This is certainly a topic that needs a balanced approach; so that we don't hurt the hobby but in-fact improve it.

I assume you are referring to the fuel we use in our nitro cars. No I have not looked at the MSDS sheet, but I infer from your comments that it is not good news. I assume you are concerned about changes to rules for traction compound might filter into other materials we use and cause "over-legislation". I understand and appreciate this concern.

I am in no way suggesting that we ban all chemicals used in our hobby. I am only focused on the traction compound because for myself and believe for others, these chemicals are causing the most harm to the health of racers. I also believe that this hobby would not let anything but a balanced approach be executed, as there are always pros and cons to any changes we make and people like yourself that have a different, but perfectly valid opinion than I do.

Having said that, nitro is typically used outdoors where ventilation is clearly much better than indoors, reducing the vapour exposure, which reduces the harm it can cause...does it not? Yes some do race indoor nitro...I tried it once and will never do it again as the air quality was many times worse than racing outside. Yes this stuff does irritate my skin, if I donít wear gloves when putting fuel into the car. The big difference to me is the fact that racing outdoors means the vapours are not nearly as concentrated as traction compound vapours at an indoor track.
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Old 04-11-2006, 10:06 AM   #189
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I Think that banning paragon would not cause racers to lose their hobby, that is a extreme overstatement. Probably you and the others attending do not have allergies to paragon or equivalent. so of course not complaints, people with simpton usually will not attend or will attend and not complain.

Just for your information I was racing before there was paragon, we had very competitive races. Futhermore, the orignal Tamiya tcs races did not allow paragon nor did they spray the track. Martin may have attended some of these earlier races. The competition was still top notch. there are other things that are not toxic that can be used for the tires and the track. copertone 15 for one and sugar water or soda to spray the tracks.

We were on the clock in the non paragon days and still were able to timely get our tires ready for the heats. If you ever raced in any of the earlier NORRCA Races directed by JR, then you know what it meant to stay on the clock. JR. keeped at tight schedule and directed with a very firm hand. we made time and race without paragon.

I may be ignorant about what the ingredients of Paragon but there must be something very toxic in paragon other than wintergreen, which i do believe is non-toxic.
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Old 04-11-2006, 10:30 AM   #190
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Hey JKA (Keith Allen),

I agree with you and certainly think we should do our best to get as many facts together to help us make the best possible decisions. To that end, we do know that these chemicals upon large exposure will cause the issues I currently have, based on the MSDS sheets. It could be argued that we canít conclusively state that my health issues are only caused by these products. Can we state that for a given smoker who suffers from lung cancer, actually got it from smoking?

My point is that we already know this stuff causes serious health issues with large exposuresÖthis is a fact documented on these MSDS sheets. With indoor racing we get a very high exposure. I personally think it is reasonable to conclude from this that it is a serious health risk for all racers. Others may disagree with me on this, which is perfectly valid.

Having said that I like the idea of doing air quality checks to see what levels of exposure we experience at races like Cleveland and the Gate indoor track. Perhaps Randy from TrackTac, you could comment on how this might be done. This certainly would not test the exposure we get by absorbing through our skin, but it would be one more piece of data. I donít think we will every have enough data to be 100% certain about the effects of these chemicals so we need to at some point make a decision based on available data.

Just so you know one of our local racers was at last weekends Finale race at the Gate you mentioned and he said he would never go back because of the air quality. He was dizzy and ill from attending this race. I also went to the gate for just one evening the day before the Cleveland race started last year and I was immediately extremely sick to the point I could not get any sleep. This is an example of how these chemicals harm the growth of our hobby, because drivers will decide not to attend races. Parents may not let their kids race in facilities with air quality like that. I believe that if we can make these products healthier, be more aware of safety precautions we can all take, this can only help the growth of our hobby.
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Last edited by Martin Crisp; 04-11-2006 at 10:41 AM.
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Old 04-11-2006, 10:36 AM   #191
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Advil
Time does become an issue when you are at a "Handout" tire event. You would only have 2 days to prep your tires before the first round of qualifying providing you picked up your tires on the first day of open practice. If the tire treatment takes longer than that to be effective they probably won't be used......
This is a very good point for races with handout tires. From my conversation with Randy about this very point it is my understanding that some of his products work better the longer they have to soak in but will still work to some degree with the time pressures we have at our handout tire races. The question is will they be good enough to provide decent traction. I will let you know what I find after testing Randy's products over the next few weeks.
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Old 04-11-2006, 10:45 AM   #192
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Randy,

Thanks for your offer to help and disclose the chemicals used in your compounds to one person within our governing body with appropriate non-disclosures. I have forwarded your comments on to ROAR.
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Old 04-11-2006, 11:12 AM   #193
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A couple of pages back the fumes from solder were mentioned. Lead won't vaporize (smoke) at the temperatures that we use it. The vapor/smoke that you see and smell is the flux. It's probably not good for you but it's not lead. If we were all inhaleing lead each time we were soldering packs we would have lead poisoning by now.

I have been using eutectic solder and it smokes and smells the same as lead solder. There is no lead in the solder that I use but it's probably just as harmful as the lead solders.

I would suggest that ROAR try to limit relying on the odor of traction compounds for banning products. Oil of orange for instance stinks and we drink the stuff (tiny bits) in orange juice. The manufacturers should be able to get a non disclosure from Roar and submit the ingredients of their compounds. Roar could then decide (hopefully with some guidance) what chemicals to bann. Perhaps Brand X would need to remove chemical Y from their compound before it could be approved. This could take place confidentially between the manufacturers and Roar.

The point is don't bann the manufacturer, work with them to make an acceptable compound.
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Old 04-11-2006, 01:00 PM   #194
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Crisp
My point is that we already know this stuff causes serious health issues with large exposuresÖthis is a fact documented on these MSDS sheets. With indoor racing we get a very high exposure.
This is my point. You don't have proof that indoor racing has high exposure, you are assuming it based upon odor, which indeed can be very strong. However, regardless of the odor, the harmful chemicals may not be at a level deemed dangerous. We need to have that tested before we jump to conclusions. Perhaps you are just overly sensitive (allergic), much like others are with grass and dust. Schools don't put in astroturf simply because a few kids are allergic to grass. The same analogy applies here.

I'm not saying I oppose your intentions here. I like the idea of having the sanctioning body handle this issue much like Unreg stated above. However when determining danger we must have a way to test exposure as that is a very important piece of the puzzle. High odor is not a sufficient indicator of harmful exposure, and thusfar in this discussion it has been assumed as such.
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Old 04-11-2006, 03:04 PM   #195
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JKA,

I thought I was clear on this, but perhaps I was not. I am referring to vapours, not odour in terms of things that harm us. Perhaps odour is a good indicator of things that might be bad for you but certainly not conclusive. There are certainly vapours that can harm us that you canít smell. So just so we are clear, I am not assuming things based on odour.

You are correct that we don't have statistically valid scientific proof that the exposure levels at our indoor tracks are enough to cause these problems. But we do have numerous people complaining about feeling ill in some capacity, which to me is some level of proof.

And as stated in my posts, I think measuring the air quality is a good idea. If the traction compound manufactures will disclose what they use as chemicals then we can get the air tested looking for those chemicals. If they donít then it is very costly to test the air quality if you donít know what you are looking for. Since we know that Oil of Wintergreen (MeS) is used in Paragon perhaps that is the first chemical we look for in such a test. This approach would also need known metrics defining exposure amounts that are considered to be harmful so that we could compare the air quality measurements with these known metrics. I would assume such metrics are available.

So lets say that we test for MeS in the air quality at the Gate, which uses a lot of paragon, and hypothetically it shows us that the levels are above what is safe. Perhaps they wonít be, but lets assume they are for the purpose of this discussion. Where does that leave us? We would know at that point that paragon is not safe. So then what do we do from there? We could ban paragon, and then start using another product, that may not smell but could still be very toxic. This is why it is critical for the manufactures to disclose the chemicals in their products to a neutral third party such as ROAR or IFMAR, so that a) the third party would be able to determine if the product meets a to be determined safety level such as nothing higher than a toxicity level of 1 on the HMIS scale and b) we could do air quality testing at indoor events to ensure that the levels are not above safe limitsÖ. or perhaps infer from the MeS levels tested that other harmful chemicals would have similar exposure levels and thus be banned if not below a certain toxicity rating according to HMIS.

I have still not heard back from Corally after sending them an email last Wednesday. I would like to open a dialog with them on this and see how open they are to disclosing the chemical contents of their compound to ROAR with appropriate non-disclosure agreements etc. as stated in an earlier post. Not to pick on Corally, all manufactures should respond to this proposal. Sooooo Orion, Corally, Niftech, Trinity, Paragon etc, what do you think about this approach?

Glad you agree with my intensions here. I like your ideas and through discussion like this we will come up with a reasonable approach to improving things.
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