The MSDS for table salt shown here  Apparently after any contact/ingestion whatsoever, one should seek medical attention.  Salt should also not be handled without adequate ventilation, and contact with clothing should also be avoided.

I'd say if people in your shop are experiencing health problems due to tri-flow, then stop using it.  None of our mechanics have complained about bruises/dizziness/etc.  Just wanted to point out that MSDS sheets might not be the most realistic thing to base opinions off of.
Ryan Peterson
Director of Finances and Management
The New Orleans Community Bike Project
On 12/3/2012 6:11 PM, Andrew Shooner wrote:
Hi all, first post. 

Actually, looking at the MSDS on the tri-flow site (, it does mention neurological side effects:

No ingredient in this product is an IARC, NTP or OSHA listed carcinogen.
Reports have associated repeated and prolonged overexposure to solvents with permanent brain and nervous system damage.

- Andy S

On Mon, Dec 3, 2012 at 6:50 PM, Leslie Peteya <> wrote:
I googled it and came up with this MSDS sheet. Here are the side effects below.

I am reporting observations from some of our mechanics, who experienced shortness of breath, numbness, feeling dizzy, and increased bruising on their skin from getting it on their hands and inhaling it.  We've encouraged nitrile gloves and increased ventilation when using all petroleum-based lubes since then, and also switched to a lubricant like ChainJ that seems to cause few if any side effects.

The MSDS states the long term effects of overexposure below, which are in line with side effects of other
chemicals like pesticides:

SKIN                                        CAN CAUSE DEFATTING OF THE SKIN,
                                            WHICH MAY RESULT IN SKIN
                                            IRRITATION AND DERMATITIS
INHALATION                                  CAN CAUSE NASAL AND RESPIRATORY
                                            IRRITATION, DIZZINESS, WEAKNESS,
                                            FATIGUE, NAUSEA HEADACHE, NERVOUS
                                            IRRITABILITY, POSSIBLE
                                            UNCONSCIOUSNESS AND ASPHYXIATION
EYES                                        CAN CAUSE INJURY, SEVERE
                                            IRRITATION, REDNESS, TEARING OR
                                            BLURRED VISION
INGESTION                                   ASPIRATION OF LIQUID INTO THE LUNG
                                            CAN CAUSE CHEMICAL PNEUMONITIS
                                            WHICH CAN BE FATAL CAN CAUSE
                                            GASTROINTESTINAL IRRITATION,
                                            NAUSEA, VOMITING AND DIARRHEA


On Mon, Dec 3, 2012 at 2:05 PM, david bosch <> wrote:
Before everybody gets all bent out of shape about Tri-Flow being a "systemic neurotoxin", can anyone site scientific literature that backs up this claim?
I just did a check on Google Scholar any came up with nothing...Or does Google cause cancer as well and therefore is in on this conspiracy?

From: "" <> Sent: Monday, December 3, 2012 1:34 PM

Subject: Re: [TheThinkTank] Is your shop OSHA Compliant?

Triflow is also a systemic neurotoxin that wrecks both nervous system and brain. Really bad stuff

Christopher Wallace
Holistic Cycles
140 Harrison St
Oak Park, IL. 60304

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: [TheThinkTank] Is your shop OSHA Compliant?
From: Leslie Peteya <>
Date: Mon, November 05, 2012 5:58 pm
To: The Think Tank <>

1) Chemical-soaked rags are stored in metal fireproof containers
2) Chemicals are kept at least 4 feet high away from children
3) No smoking within 10 feet of the shop
4) Fluorescent lights and radiant heaters are caged to prevent them from being struck by bikes or random
flying parts (our back room is only 7 feet high)
5) Welding is done strictly outside the shop, no youth allowed.
6) We have a fire extinguisher in the shop, and try to minimize clutter.
7) I keep a well stocked first aid box because people are always stabbing themselves with cable ends, chainrings,
tools, and the like.
8) Encourage volunteers to get tetanus vaccinations and boosters.
9) Keep the shop stocked with nitrile gloves to prevent lubricants and penetrants from making skin contact-
TriFlow is particularly absorbent, and will cause capillaries to break in the hands. We switched to ChainJ for this reason.
10) Water cooler and electrolyte mix, working inside or in the shade, and shorter shop hours during the summer
to prevent heatstroke and dehydration.
11) Possibly making our core volunteers take Basic First Aid and CPR, although we have enough first response people floating around the shop (on-duty cops, nurses, PAs, etc.) to be sufficient.
12) All electrical and water lines are marked- electrical lines are run down from the ceiling to prevent trip hazards.
13) Encourage closed toe shoes, goggles and masks if filing, sanding or otherwise running power tools.

That's about all I can think of for now.
Durham Bike Co-op (NC)

On Mon, Nov 5, 2012 at 6:52 PM, Rich Points <> wrote:
Hey All,
I just went to a day long seminar on Human Resources where they spent some time talking about OSHA.  From what they said at the seminar OSHA can come in at any time and audit your shop.  Apparently if they find violations they can fine the shit out of you.  Here are some things I learned and remember this was 20mins of a day long seminar, there are week long classes on this stuff.  This is a very short list.
  • All chemicals and solvents should have warning labels on them clearly stating what's in them in multiple languages
  • You should not keep aspirin, ibuprofen, neosporin or any other pharmaceuticals that someone could potentially have a reaction to in your medicine cabinet
  • Exit signs should be on all doors.
  • There should be no trip hazards.
  • Your staff needs to go through trainings on such things as how to use a ladder.
This list is nowhere close to comprehensive but I'm going to be looking into this more in the coming weeks and months.  We've been around for almost seven years now never had a serious accident and I want to keep it that way. 

What are you guys doing to keep your shops safe and maybe even OSHA compliant?

Ride On!

Rich Points
Executive Director

Community Cycles is Boulder's only bike shop dedicated to bike commuting.
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