Yep, Thiuram Mix is in the rubber power cords are made out of. Generally, when you plug something in you don’t have to touch the cord again so it’s not a great threat. In those cases it’s a threat that is easily remedied by just grabbing a towel or something else to act as a barrier between your skin and the cord to protect yourself. But, what about the power cord to your cell phone, or your laptop that you handle regularly? Or the kitchen appliances you don’t keep on the counter? Or the vacuum cleaner? I think you get the idea. Wearing gloves is an option, but for something you encounter for only a few seconds gloves are inconvenient.
I find reaching for power cords a rather habitual unconscious action, kind of like when the power goes out and you go for the light switch. We repeatedly touch power cords during our day and it doesn’t register. Each time you do the chemicals transferred to your system through your skin where it adds up and can lead to a reaction.
It took me a while to figure out an easy solution to this issue. My inquiries about this didn’t generate many solutions. It was first suggested that I cover all of my power cords with silver tape. That suggestion is primarily for people that have sensitivities to electronics. I envisioned silver cords everywhere and felt that might be overkill for my issue. Then it was suggested I put packing tape on my cords. That sounded simple and inexpensive.
In theory many ideas seem great, but I found the project very cumbersome. It’s amazing how much tape you go through to cover a cord. Then I had to decide which approach to use to apply it. Wrap it around and around (which used a lot of tape), or go lengthwise (getting the cord and the tape to play nice and line up together did not happen). The tape did not stick very well or it would come off after a few uses. I ended up putting more and more tape on over time.
While putting the tape on I had a lot of contact with the tape adhesive, which also may contain Thiuram Mix. I tried using cotton gloves, but that, of course, left the adhesive full of cotton fibers and it wouldn’t stick. Moving to using vinyl gloves became quite a comedic project. The tape got stuck to the gloves. Soon a finger got wrapped into the tape and became part of the cord. When that wasn’t happening the tape pulled chunks of the gloves off rendering them useless. No matter which way I tried I was unhappy with the outcome. The power cords covered with tape did not roll up easily and made a plastic crunching sound when moved around.
My final solution, well the one I am going with for now, for the cords I touch every day is to cover them with fabric. I wondered about the safety of using fabric. In and effort to be safe I decided to be sure to keep the fabric away from the end so it never came in contact with any metal conducting parts. I used an inexpensive cotton fabric. My color choice was partly due to the price of the fabric.
I began by sewing a fabric tube as long as the cord, ensuring it was big enough around that one of the ends (plugs) could to slip through. After I slipped the cord in I had the challenge of adhering the ends to the cord. It had to be sturdy because that’s where most of the wear and tear would be. I considered gluing the ends to the cord. Then I realized the fabric could get pretty dirty and I might want to remove it some time. I chose to tie off the ends by tightly wrapping them with a heavy cotton thread.
This proved to be a good solution. The cords roll up and store easily. And I discovered an unexpected bonus. With the bright fabric covering my cords they are never confused with anyone else’s. I’ve also found I don’t easily leave them behind because they don’t blend in with the background like the plain cords do.
I hope you found this helpful. I’d love to hear any ideas you came up with to deal with the power cords in your life that you can’t touch.