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Clean Hands - editorial

I would say that the ones experiencing problems associated with
fingers in the ultrasonic are extreme examples. They are leaving
their hands in the machine for extended periods or are having
some sort of reaction to the chemicals used. Everybody I know
uses their ultrasonic to help clean under their fingernails.
Noone said to use it as massage therapy. Simply dangle the
fingertips long enough to losen the compound under the nails.
Been working for me for 25+ years.

Seems to be the American way to take extreme examples and apply
them to everyone. I remember years ago a news article about a
woman wanting the federal govt. to put warning lables on peanut
butter because her young son crammed a huge spoonfull of pb in
his mouth and almost choked to death. Give me a break!!! Just
take a few minutes to look around your shop and find everything
we work with that is dangerous if abused or used outside the
envelope it was designed for. I have found that with a bit of
imagination tempered with knowledge and caution, practically
everything can be pushed a little outside its envelope.
Personally speaking, I don’t intend to run around being afraid of
everything just because someone said, “I heard…”. I do
consider myself an “edge walker”, though - an educated edge
walker with caution. I always try to consider the ramifications
of what could happen by constantly asking what if…

In my original post about cleaning hands in the ultrasonic I
made the mistake of not considering all the reactionaries out
there reading this forum and therefore forgot to modify my
comments with the proper federally approved warning lable:
Caution! Extended submersion of your digital extermeties
(fingers) in the solution contained in this electronic cleaning
device could result in some physical damage to your fingers. This
warning also includes the face, feet and/or any other part of
your body you may consider inserting into this equipment for any
reason whatsoever. We will not be responsible for any and all
accidents or injuries as a result of using this equipment for
anything other than its intendes use. We also recommend

  1. This equipment be closely monitored at all times by a
    qualified UCDT (ultrasonic cleaning device technician) who has
    been fully trained in the proper use of this equipment.

  2. Anyone using this machine must be fully trained in its use as
    put forth in the manual included with this machine. The user
    must be ready at all times to answer any questions he/she may be
    asked by the PSI (phantom safety inspector) who may appear at any
    time at your location.

  3. The manufacturer’s user manual must be attached to an easily
    accessible location within a 1 foot radius of the machine by a
    steel cable with a tensile strength of no less than 500 lb. test.

  4. A safety zone of no less than a 3 foot radius be designated
    with approved safety indicators.

  5. Federally approved face shields, gloves, and chemical
    resistant apron must be worn at all times when within the
    designated safety zone.

  6. A full-facepiece respirator must be easily accessable all
    for authorized operators of this UCD.

  7. This warning must be posted in all employee areas and above
    the area designated for the use of this equipment.

Any breach of these safety requirements can result in immediate
confiscation of the equipment. An approved toothbrush with any
and all associated technical/safety material will be supplied
until you are deemed in compliance by our PSI.

In addition, a full traing program leading to a “User
Certification” covering the proper uses and hazards associated
with unauthorized uses is available at our location. The
Ultrasonic Cleaning Device Technician Program is a longer program
requiring making arrngements for lodging. Upon successful
completion of the program the graduate will get a certificate
suitable for framing along with all the visual aids used in the
classrom including all charts, graphs, photos and coloring books
to take home. For students desiring/requiring certification,
please bring your own crayons. No sharp objects, please.

Is everybody happy, now?

Hi Aufin, What a great response! I totally agree with your point
of view. I guess it’s all about sensible moderation. As my dad
used to say, “There’s a difference between scratching your bottom
and tearing off huge chunks of flesh.”

On the other hand, I’ve seen some extraordinarily stupid things
done in jewellers’ workshops. If someone is going to be an idiot,
all the legislation, warnings, recommendations, fears and horror
stories aren’t going to count for much.

Kind regards, Rex from Oz

This whole forum is about exchange. Many people
with many experiences trying to share knowledge with each other.

When someone posts a practice that can be dangerous or harmful
many Orchid members reply with on the subject (i.e.
the thread about using a pure oxygen feed to pressurize a wax
injector, or the using the Ultrasonic to clean your hands).
Threads such as these increase awareness about potential dangers
and can prevent harm or save lives.

When presented with an option, to heed or ignore warnings about
dangerous or potentially harmful practices, each of us can choose
the path we are comfortable with. I am just thankful that there
are people who are kind enough to share their knowledge to help
the rest of us make an informed choice.

To all who contribute to the Orchid List, Thank You.

Michael in Berkeley

Let’s dispense with snotty editorials – especially those that
reach for a reason to bash americans. Relevance is the essence
of this list. Actually, the whole exchange has been fascinating
to me because it makes me wonder about those sonic
toothbrushes… like Soniccare. Within 6 months of using one I
had two cracked inlays. It probably was just coincidence, but I
stopped using it…

I don’t know about “happy” - but I’m certainly chuckling. You’re
not a former OSHA inspector are you? :wink:

Maybe, in the interest of common sense caution, it would be
better to keep a separate bowl of cleaning solution to use on
your hands. Then when your fingernails fall out you can start
looking for alternate causes (radioactive gold, exotic viruses
released from nearby government labs, bathing in pickle…)


I like to throw in my two cents every once in a while.

In my previous (corporate) life, before making jewelry full
time, I investigated and settled liablity claims for commercial
insurance carriers. I dealt with all kinds of chemical exposure
cases, toxic wastes and product liability suits etc. I paid out
lots of money for seriously injured people…believe me I have
learned to read and heed all the safety postings on Orchid.

Chemical and other exposure injuries (such as those
potentially caused by an electrosonic cleaner ) are usually
cumulative. Everyone has heard of asbestos or lead paint cases.
Those injuries didn’t happen overnight. they came from years
of breathing in asbestos. Just like with chemicals, a lot of
injuries come from a little exposure here and a little exposure
there each day. Then one day the injured party wakes up and they
can’t breathe from inhaling fumes for years (or their fingers
don’t work properly because they stuck them somewhere they didn’t
belong ) etc…

So I agree, wear your respirators, wear your goggles and keep
your fingers out of the ultrasonic cleaners!!


Is everybody happy, now?


but good sir, you’ve been remiss. You’ve carelessly forgotton
to include, in your fine safety regulations, proper
specifications for toxic cleaning materials (TCM) spill
management equipment (MOP) in case the users are so distracted
by the reading of the required manuals that their untrained
elbows should accidentally cause some of the cleaning solution to
exit the device and contaminate the floor…


Well said. When do we petition the govt to fund our study group
so we can continue to study the feasability of studying this
problem? We must begin immediately in order to have our study of
the study ready for presentation by the year 2000. Then we can
really get down to business and begin studying whether or not our
study was in order and decide whether to go forward with our
study. Maybe we need to study this some more. I think our
first meeting should be some place condusive to good karma, but
removed enough to disallow interruption. Barbados, maybe? Any
suggestions from the study group? We gotta have a title.