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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-01-2011, 06:51 PM Thread Starter
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Question Skeletools impact shorts - weird chemical smell?

Hey all

Just got a pair of new Skeletools impact shorts in the mail. There's a noxious chemical odor from the foam that actually makes my eyes burn too. My instinct is that it's not healthy, but the company says it's like a new car smell that will go away with time.

Anybody else have this issue and how long did it take to go away? Any clue as to what chemical could be causing that odor? The label on the item only lists materials used to make the spandex short, but not the foam.

That said, the Skeletools look like they can take a serious beating. I haven't had the chance to actually test them riding though.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-01-2011, 06:57 PM
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Never had any smells with mine, sorry can't help you in that category.

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-01-2011, 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Jaa View Post
Hey all

Just got a pair of new Skeletools impact shorts in the mail. There's a noxious chemical odor from the foam that actually makes my eyes burn too. My instinct is that it's not healthy, but the company says it's like a new car smell that will go away with time.

Anybody else have this issue and how long did it take to go away? Any clue as to what chemical could be causing that odor? The label on the item only lists materials used to make the spandex short, but not the foam.

That said, the Skeletools look like they can take a serious beating. I haven't had the chance to actually test them riding though.

Thanks!
If they don't wash out, that shit is worse than moth balls or as harmless?

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-01-2011, 09:23 PM
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I have a pair. Smell went away after few weeks. Of course its bad for you. Happy with protection provided by product. Gonna buy a pair for my son this winter.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-01-2011, 09:37 PM
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What you smell is likely VOCs (volatile organic compounds). These are the chemicals responsible for that new car smell. I can't say for sure but if there are any paints, adhesives, plastics etc. VOCs coming off these could be the cause of the smell. It's also possible the smell is coming from a fabric treatment such as an antimicrobial or stain repellant. It should eventually go away or at least be greatly reduced. I'd wash and dry them according to the instructions and hang them up some where that gets good air flow.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-01-2011, 10:13 PM
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^ what he said.

Air it out for a bit, they'll go away on their own.

Ryan -
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-01-2011, 10:50 PM
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Yeah, they smell pretty strong at first. Wear them a few times and the smell of swamp ass and balls will override it.

"People say that marijuana smoking is going to get in the way of my career. I say to them that on the contrary, my fighting career is getting in the way of my marijuana smoking." -Nick Diaz
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-01-2011, 11:02 PM
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Yeah, they smell pretty strong at first. Wear them a few times and the smell of swamp ass and balls will override it.


You probably got a pair fresh off the factory line.

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-02-2011, 09:23 AM
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That "new car smell" is caused, more specifically, by the leaching and evaporation of plasticizer (this is the glue that holds together plastic, anddd gives it its rubbery characteristics - so more plasticizer = more flexible = softer = good for depressing impact... etc.) This leaching isn't really a big deal for the product in general. I'm not really sure why it makes you tear up. I haven't really experienced this at work, and I work with PVC every day.

An interesting thought though - when PVC is first made, there is about a 24 hour period that follows in which the pvc continues to set up and becomes harder and harder. Once this period ends, it will typically stay around the same hardness level for the life of the product... Though, when cheap plasticizers are used - too much "secondary" plasticizer - the product will continue to leach as i talked about before. Leaching = less plasticizer remains in the product = the plastic gets harder.

I wonder if your shorts will actually lose some of their softness/impact resistance as this happens and if the plastic in them will eventually become more stiff.

I doubt it would ever make a huge difference. I was more just thinking out loud.

Sorry if i lost some of you guys, but this was right up my alley

Chemical Engineering FTW!

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-08-2011, 08:10 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by FacePlant4Free View Post
That "new car smell" is caused, more specifically, by the leaching and evaporation of plasticizer ...

An interesting thought though - when PVC is first made, there is about a 24 hour period that follows in which the pvc continues to set up and becomes harder and harder. Once this period ends, it will typically stay around the same hardness level for the life of the product... Though, when cheap plasticizers are used - too much "secondary" plasticizer - the product will continue to leach as i talked about before. Leaching = less plasticizer remains in the product = the plastic gets harder.

I wonder if your shorts will actually lose some of their softness/impact resistance as this happens and if the plastic in them will eventually become more stiff.
...

Chemical Engineering FTW!
So, let's assume the impact foam in the Skeletools was made more than 24 hours ago and is PVC-based. Based on what you're saying, if it's still smelling significantly long after it's made then that is a sign that cheap plasticizers were likely used. And cheap plasticizers = foam's useful life is probably shorter? Am I understanding this right?

For reference, I do have a pair of brand new Black Diamond Telekneesis knee pads that barely smell like anything. On the other hand, the initial pair of Skeletools we got was straight up pungent and the smell filled my whole apartment. Is there an MSDS or notable health risks for the PVC/mats used in these foams?

Yes, ChemE ftw!! Thanks ;-)
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