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aguest123

@chaos-disciple.org

1 edit

Are gel mousepads toxic? (repost)

This is a serious question. I posted this same question a while ago in the hardware help forum because a mousepad is usually used with mice, which is considered hardware. For some reason, some people decided to spam the topic. The spam posts were removed, but then the post was moved here to "General Questions", and another moderator must have locked it. I don't understand the reason for the lock, considering that I wasn't responsible for the spam, and this is a serious question.

While I appreciate the fact that one person (the one undeleted reply post) responded, eating a mousepad is not the only way that a person can be affected if the mousepad is toxic. For example, the mousepad might contain certain chemicals that one should not inhale, or that if rubbed with the hand, should be washed off thoroughly before eating. The point is that I don't know what exactly the "gel" in these "gel mousepads" are, and therefore I don't know the characteristics of that gel and, more generally, the mousepad itself.

Again, I emphasize that this is a serious question.



Lone Wolf
Retired
Premium
join:2001-12-30
USA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon Online DSL

Here's one that's non-toxic:

»www.gel-eez.com/

quote:
The original Geleez® Gel filled 8 inch Mousepad. Recommended by OSHA. Made in USA !

Replaceable, Non-Toxic Gel (safe around kids and pets), Fire Resistant, Machine Washable Fabric.
--
Charlie Rangel/Bawney Fwank 2012 Dem Ticket


Crash Gordon
Drive It Like You Stole It

join:2004-06-08
Smyrna, GA
reply to aguest123

Most are made with silicone gel then covered in fabric. Been using one from Fellowes for many years with no ill effects.



Gbcue
Premium
join:2001-09-30
Santa Rosa, CA
kudos:8
reply to aguest123

No, they are not.



Mr Neutron
Ceaseless, Tasteless, and Gormless
Premium
join:2005-05-30
Gorham, ME

2 edits
reply to aguest123

Perhaps a better question might be: is it really all that wise to make regular use of a computing peripheral that requires a pad of some kind in order to use it comfortably?

I pose this question because I've used thumb-operated trackballs for years and have never needed a pad of any kind to operate them comfortably for long periods. Sorry to sound like a retard, but I just don't understand the need for a wrist rest in order for you to use your mouse comfortably.

If I understand correctly, keyboard wrist rests are a no-no because, if you're practicing good ergonomics, you are not supposed to be resting your hands/arms on the desk. According to Jamie Zawinski:

»www.jwz.org/gruntle/wrists.html

"A padded surface might just be making it more comfortable for you to type improperly."

I guess I'm unclear as to why keyboard wrist wrests are a bad idea, but wrist rests for mice are a good one. Perhaps they are, in fact, a good idea, but could someone who has a firm grasp of ergonomics jump in here and break it all down?



Tappedout

@rr.com
reply to aguest123

I guess by "mouse pad" you mean a wrist rest ...

Under normal use you should never be exposed to whatever material is inside the item.

It should be said that EVERYTHING at some level is "toxic".



Weirdal
Premium
join:2003-06-28
Grand Island, NE
kudos:21

1 recommendation

reply to Mr Neutron

said by Mr Neutron:

Perhaps a better question might be: is it really all that wise to make regular use of a computing peripheral that requires a pad of some kind in order to use it comfortably?

I pose this question because I've used thumb-operated trackballs for years and have never needed a pad of any kind to operate them comfortably for long periods. Sorry to sound like a retard, but I just don't understand the need for a wrist rest in order for you to use your mouse comfortably.

If I understand correctly, keyboard wrist rests are a no-no because, if you're practicing good ergonomics, you are not supposed to be resting your hands/arms on the desk. According to Jamie Zawinski:

»www.jwz.org/gruntle/wrists.html

"A padded surface might just be making it more comfortable for you to type improperly."

I guess I'm unclear as to why keyboard wrist wrests are a bad idea, but wrist rests for mice are a good one. Perhaps they are, in fact, a good idea, but could someone who has a firm grasp of ergonomics jump in here and break it all down?

This man is just a pawn for the Big Trackball companies.

Anecdotal evidence: I've been using a cheap mousepad with exposed gel for years. The gel frequently touches my skin (it's very sticky), and I have had no ill effects.
--
»[Info] The DSLR Orangeface extension 2.0!


Mr Neutron
Ceaseless, Tasteless, and Gormless
Premium
join:2005-05-30
Gorham, ME

said by Weirdal:

This man is just a pawn for the Big Trackball companies.

Well-spotted, sir. I get a nickel for every trackball sold.

said by Weirdal:

Anecdotal evidence: I've been using a cheap mousepad with exposed gel for
years. The gel frequently touches my skin (it's very sticky), and I have had no ill effects.

I'm wondering if the OP can email/write the manufacturer the manufacturer of the particular trackball wrist pad s/he has in mind and have them set his/her mind at ease?

I understand you haven't had any problems with yours, but your older wrist rest might be from a different manufacturer than the one the OP has his eye on.

It would be nice if we had a make and model from the OP so we could compare apples to apples.
--
"Ah father, that sermon today.......frankly it bored the arse off me."


pnjunction
Teksavvy Extreme
Premium
join:2008-01-24
Toronto, ON
kudos:1
reply to Mr Neutron

Sorry but trackballs suck.

The same things he says about keyboards (being able to use them more ergonomically without fancy pads) applies to mice. I find the best position is with my chair pulled up to the desk and my entire lower arms resting on the desk in front of the keyboards and mice (pushed back on the desk). Sitting position also has to be good to prevent leaning on the elbows, given that my arms/wrists can be kept pretty happy.



Mr Neutron
Ceaseless, Tasteless, and Gormless
Premium
join:2005-05-30
Gorham, ME

said by pnjunction:

Sorry but trackballs suck.

Well, to each his own, but here's why I said what I did:

My own understanding of ergonomics is that the closer your hands are to neutral or "handshake" position, the happier they are over the long term. The really expensive ($200-$300) ergonomic keyboards don't rest flat on your desk, they are raised ~90 degrees so that your hand is closer to the neutral position than a standard keyboard will allow for.

If the "neutral position" theory is valid, (I'm not claiming to be any great expert here) then look at what you're doing with a mouse: you're resting your hand flat on your desk (in a "pronated" postion). A thumb-operated trackball, however, allows you to keep your hands in a "handshake" position. I use my own trackball in that position and it seems to work well: when I put it flat on the desk again, it's still comfortable, but not quite as comfortable when used in a neutral position.

Getting back to wrist rests: personally, I'm uneasy about the prospect of resting my wrists on a pad for any length of time while using a mouse. Yeah, okay, perhaps my fear is laughable, but if Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by the median nerve (which runs through the wrist) being pressed or squeezed, using a wrist rest doesn't strike me as being the best idea.

I guess I'm not clear why, if the OP has been using a mouse without a wrist rest, he feels he needs one now. I mean, it's none of my business, and as I said in my OP, maybe it is a good idea after all, but the ergonomics just seem all wrong.

A wrist rest reminds me too much of people buying those cheap-o drug store wrist braces to get them through the day. If you need some sort of "brace" for your wrist, maybe you're doing something you shouldn't be doing with it. I don't know.
--
"Ah father, that sermon today.......frankly it bored the arse off me."