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Dr-Fix-It! Notebook Archive:
Hand Cleaner.
Perspectives on Health Regulation.

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Hand Cleaner . . .

John was leaning over the side of his truck picking through a box full of spray cans when Andy pulled up beside him. "John, did you get that pump running?"

John selected a spray can from the box and singled out the cleanest shop rag laying in the bed of his truck, sprayed his hands and began wiping black gunk off his palms. "Yah, It was just the contactor. And as long as I was there, I greased the pump motor bearings too . . ."

Andy strained to read the label on the spray can. "What did you just use on your hands?"

"Just some degreasing solvent I had on the truck"

Andy shook his head, "Don't use that on your hands."

John nodded, "It really dries out the skin . . ."

Andy frowned, "It could be bad for you. It probably is. It probably contains at least one chemical known to cause cancer in the state of California. Anyway, it is not an approved chemical for use on the skin."

John grinned, "Aw Andy, everything is known to cause cancer in the state of California. Every store, every gas station, every PLACE I go has a sign warning about all the chemicals in use that are known to cause cancer in the state of California. Even the gate at my apartment complex has a sign warning me that I might get cancer just living there because they use chlorine in the pool and I might get a wiff of some other tenant's barbecue smoke."

Andy shrugged, "I know this has all gotten a little crazy. But, I can't chose the laws I have to follow. Washing your hands with degreasing solvent is a violation of Cal-OSHA. If we need Go-Jo, just go buy some."

John smiled, "Well degreasing solvent was just a stop-gap solution anyway, Andy. Ordinarily I would never use it. Do you know how to get your hands really clean?"

Andy Started his truck and put it into gear. "I'm afraid to hear this . . ."

John ran alongside the accelerating truck, "Loosen the dirt with a little gasoline then scrub with liquid TIDE."

Andy rolled up the truck window repeating, "I don't want to hear it . . . I don't want to hear it . . . I don't want to hear it . . ."


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