[Coral-List] Underwater Drill Oil Toxicity

Chip Fletcher fletcher at soest.hawaii.edu
Fri Feb 23 13:57:26 EST 2007

Yep, vegetable oil works. We've been drilling the reefs in Hawaii for a
decade using vegetable oil in lieu of hydraulic fluid...but we do not use it
as a cleaning agent...before we drill we are careful to remove our cleaning
agents with alcohol based baths and wipe downs.

Chip Fletcher

-----Original Message-----
From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
[mailto:coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov] On Behalf Of Alan E. Davis
Sent: Friday, February 23, 2007 4:31 AM
To: Daniel J Barshis
Cc: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
Subject: Re: [Coral-List] Underwater Drill Oil Toxicity

I ordinarily just lurk on this list.  I hope I am not out of my place
in suggesting to look for "refined vegetable oil."  I have seen
reference somewhere, don't remember where.  I am hoping to use it for
my knife sharpening stones, since vegetable cooking oil seems to go
rancid.  Don't know whether this is relevant.

Alan Davisew

On 2/23/07, Daniel J Barshis <barshis at hawaii.edu> wrote:
> Dear Listers,
>       I have also successfully used an inexpensive pneumatic drill for
coring massive corals underwater.  We have used the same drill for three
years now, keeping it alive by total submersion in pneumatic tool oil
between uses.  After a recent discussion with a colleague from the
University of Hong Kong, it was brought to my attention that pneumatic tool
oil and many other oil and hydrocarbon lubricants can be quite toxic to the
reef environment and that common household vegetable oil works just as
efficiently at keeping the drill lubricated with minimal toxicity levels.  I
have tried in the past to wash my tools thoroughly before use but it's quite
hard to remove all traces of the toxic oil.  Just a suggestion in hopes that
we can tailor our methods and practices to reduce our impact on the
environment we enjoy working in as much as possible.
> Cheers,
> dan barshis
> Department of Zoology
> University of Hawaii at Manoa
> 2538 McCarthy Mall, Edmondson 152
> Honolulu, HI 96822
> www.hawaii.edu/coral
> barshis at hawaii.edu
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Alan Davis, Kagman High School, Saipan  lngndvs at gmail.com     1-670-256-2043

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