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PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2005 11:04 am 
Anyone know if there are any negative effects from long term exposure to magnesium carbonate(chalk)?


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2005 11:04 am 
Dry, cracked skin? - Unless you're eating it :)


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2005 11:04 am 
Think less, climb more mate!


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2005 11:05 am 
Just wondering. Sometimes get mouthfulls.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2005 11:05 am 
Ingesting chalk (a fair amount) makes you run to the toilet (a fair amount) I was once told... any medical persons to confirm??


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2005 11:05 am 
I have also heard that MgCO3 acts as a laxative. Breathing it in however aint to good for the lungs I would imagine.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2005 10:35 pm 
I'd like to know more... I run a bouldering gym in San Jose, and must be inahaling milligrams of this crap every day... MSDS say OSHA allows 15 mg/m3 airborne...? Anyone know any more - alan@touchstoneclimbing.com


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2005 11:45 am 
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Location: South Africa
http://www.drugs.com/cons/Magnesium_Car ... onate.html

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2005 12:51 pm 
\"Anyone know if there are any negative effects from long term exposure to magnesium carbonate(chalk)??\" Is that why I don’t have any friends? And I thought it was because I smelt funny! :shock:


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2005 4:59 pm 
I read an article on the net a few months ago that continued inhaltion can lead to lung cancer. This was due to the build up on the lungs and the lungs having to work double time. It was the carbon(ate) in the chalk that caused all the damage.

I cant remember what site it was on but I will have a look and post the site on.

in the mean time stop snorting the stuff......... :


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2005 5:00 pm 
I read an article on the net a few months ago that continued inhaltion can lead to lung cancer. This was due to the build up on the lungs and the lungs having to work double time. It was the carbon(ate) in the chalk that caused all the damage.

I cant remember what site it was on but I will have a look and post the site on.

in the mean time stop snorting the stuff......... :


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2006 10:54 am 
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Location: South Africa
I found out some disturbing news from my father the other day. My grandfather worked in a magnesium carbonate processing plant in northern Italy, Angera. He died from lung cancer at the age of 47 over fifty years ago.

Now I do not know if the magnesium carbonate was a direct cause or just an aggravating factor. What is known is that many of the people that worked in that plant suffered various lung conditions. How much of the stuff does it take to cause a problem? I am sure they would have been inhaling much more in a day than we manage in a week of climbing.

But there is good news, we have an alternative!
Beal released a new product a while back, LIQUID CHALK! That stuff is bomber and fantastic for bouldering. It does wear off after a bit of cranking, so it may not be ideal for routes. Give it a bash, but take the good old powder with you just in case.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2006 4:32 pm 
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Are you serious?? :?

I'm pretty sure that anyone who works in a chalk factory would inhale more chalk dust in a day than we as climbers would in a life time, unless (as suggetsed above) we're snorting the stuff!
You're going to get more lung damage driving to the crag, from exhaust fumes, than you're going to get from chalking up.

Unless you wear your chalk bag as a nose bag, I'm really sure there's nothing to worry about.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2006 9:07 am 
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Location: Pretoria / Johannesburg
Real Name: Andrew Blanche
Damn! Good thing life is terminal, one less thing to worry about! :D


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2006 12:58 pm 
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Location: Le Cap
Long term exposure leads to stunted growth, grumpiness and delusions of grandeur. Typically climbing gym owners are most at risk...


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2006 4:39 pm 
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DISCLAIMER: This might get a little scientific, so be warned!

First of all: Chalk is not chalk! By definition the chalk is the name for CALCIUM carbonate. That is the stuff limestone mainly consists of. What we climbers call chalk is MAGNESIUM carbonate [Mg(CO3)2].

The good news is, that it is not toxic as such (at least not more than salt or sugar - you can die of both if you eat to much!). Therefore it is used to make pills, i.e. some of little white thingies you swallow consist of 99.9% of Mg(CO3)2 and just a little bit of \"real\" medicine.

What makes you most probably \"run\", is that we do not use straight Mg(CO3)2, but BASIC one. This neutralises the acid in your stomach and I presume thats upsets your organism, so that it wants to get rid of it.

So, no harm done? WRONG!!!

What makes it cancerogenous is the fact, that it forms very fine dust. And any fine dust gets very deep in the lungs and causes cancer if your body cannot get rid of it. For example asbestos is chemically the same as sand, but since it forms very fine dust it is very bad for your health. You can eat it, but never inhale it!!!

Same with our \"chalk\"? Not exactly - forunately! Read the last paragraph \"if your body cannot get rid of it\". Many cancerogenous dusts are not watersoluble, i.e. once inhaled, they will stay there forever and enhance the risk. Mg(CO3)2 is slightly (though not good) soluble and I guess we can deal with a small dose, although I am not sure. This is, because very small particles are dissolved more difficult, but this is physics and I am a chemist.

To sum up, I would say, that you might take a risk hanging around the boulderingroom in a gym but none at all climbing on one of the fabulous crags. And at the end of the day, this is nothing compared to the risk you take while smoking...

That's it,
the nerd


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 Post subject: Chalk makes you mad!
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2006 4:58 pm 
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Doubtless using chalk affects a climbers mental stability, whether ingested or absorbed through the pores. Any cross section of the climbing community can only support this, as one will find the majority to be of the slightly unhinged, unusual type...whether you can relate this back to the quantity of chalk used is debatable, as some of these types weren't that stable or sane to start with.

Personally I never (or hardly ever use the stuff) but some individuals who frequent this forum may even be snorting it. Quirky-climber & his not so evil twin brother use way to much of this stuff & even at their young ages it shows.

I propose that you all try & cut back -particularly those sport climbers out there- & conquer your sweaty palmed fears with good clean psychology. :wink:

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