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Skin Rash from Zam

We have recently introduced Zam as a prepolish and sometimes polish,
but yesterday our helper got a rash up the insides of both exposed
forearms, an itchy spotty rash.

Any thoughts on zam and skin rash?

Thanks, Archives show little on any aspect of zam/health etc.

B r i a n A d a m
e y e g l a s s e s j e w e l l e r y

Brian - no ideas relating to Zam specifically, but as a highly
allergic person with a highly allergic dd, I can speak generally to
allergies. It DOES sound like the rash is probably the Zam, if that
is the only change in what the person is working with. Also sounds
like what is called “contact dermatitis” - which simply means it
happens because the skin has physically come in contact with the
irritating substance. In this case you have 3 choices: one, quit
using the Zam; two, quit using the employee; three - and the most
viable one probably - have the employee wear a covering that prevents
the Zam from contacting the skin. Depending on the level of allergy,
simply removing the immediate physical contact will take care of the

That said, it DOES happen that an allergy progresses in severity and
in sensitivity. In this case it would be possible for it to become
inadvisable for the employee to be even where Zam was used, as in
severe cases breathing air containing microscopic particles of the
allergic substance can bring on an allergic reaction, an asthma
attack, anaphylactic shock, and even death - quite literally! There
are people who have died simply by breathing air that contained the
allergic substance - this is, in fact, why most airlines no longer
serve peanuts. Peanuts are one of the substances (they are actually
legumes, not nuts) that DO infiltrate the air and can, and have,
killed people who simply breathed air in an enclosed area where
someone had eaten peanuts.

I mention all this just to say you should be aware that it CAN
happen, and if you continue to use Zam and the employee, you should
become aware of signs of asthama, anaphylactic shock, and what to do
just in case it should occur. It probably won’t, but if you know
what to do when does you wind up with a live allergic employee
instead of a dead one! MUCH preferable to all concerned! My dd and
I carry an Epipen with us wherever we go, just in case. We have not
ever needed to use it, although she has had an ambulance ride due to
allergies (fire ant bites), but I feel that "better safe than sorry"
is DEFINITELY the way to go!!!

Good luck to both you and your employee!

Beth in SC who is glad the fall allergy season is about over

Wonder what the waxy ingredient (i.e. that holds it all together)
is? If it is something different from what is used in rouge, or
whatever else you have been using, then perhaps it is a matter of
being allergic to that. If the ingredient is the same as in rouge,
then it is probably the Zam material itself.

Margaret @Margaret_Malm2, in Utah’s colorful Dixie

MMMmmm, been using ZAM for years with no apparent health problems.
None of my students have reported any problems either.

Cheers from Don at The Charles Belle Studio in SOFL where simple
elegance IS fine jewelry! @coralnut2

I don’t know that this is the culprit of this employee’s rash on his
arms, but I know a fellow whose arms break out in a horrible rash
from gluten, found in most grains. Glutenous ingredients by lots of
differentnames, are often used as a binder in food products , and I
suppose also in other than food products too. It might be
interesting to see what is used in Zam and other polishing compounds
to hold them together. Ed

Hello Brian

Are you sure it is the Zam? Are you using the Chemkote buff
recommended to use with it? If so the chemicals on the buff may be
the culprit. Or the mix between the two.

Karen Bahr “the Rocklady” (@Rocklady) K.I.S. Creations
May your gems always sparkle.

The binder is just a wax , but the polish contains Chromium Oxide
which makes the green color. Many people are hyper sensitive to
Chromium compounds which causes the rash . Chromium Oxide is a good
white metal polish-- but.