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Using Super Glue on Your Fingers

I heard that Kevin Jorgeson used Super Glue up on the Dawn Wall. What for? Was he gluing his mitts to the wall?

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I heard that Kevin Jorgeson used Super Glue up on the Dawn Wall. What for? Was he gluing his mitts to the wall?

—NTS, via rockandice.com

A bit of tape and a dab of glue, and Kevin Jorgeson’s digit is ready for another round with the <em>Dawn Wall</em>. Photo: Corey Rich / Big Up Productions / Aurora Photos.” title=”A bit of tape and a dab of glue, and Kevin Jorgeson’s digit is ready for another round with the <em>Dawn Wall</em>. Photo: Corey Rich / Big Up Productions / Aurora Photos.”> <b>Anyone except Jorgeson or Tommy Caldwell</b> would need to glue their<br />
    hands to the rock to free <em>The Wall of Early Morning Light</em>, but neither of them used glue for that purpose. They instead used KrazyGlue, a<br />
    type of glue you can brush on, to hold finger tape down, and for minor finger repairs such as closing splits or attaching a flapper. </p>
<p>Climbers have used Super Glue in this way for at least 20 years. Super Glue is an acrylic resin that rapidly hardens when it contacts bodily fluids, making<br />
    it a great body glue. The principle component in the glue is either methy-2-cyanoacrylate or ethyl-2-cyanoacrylate. Neither has been tested to determine<br />
    whether it causes cancer or affects reproduction. A report by OSHA does note that both chemicals have low toxicity, and are mostly skin irritants.</p>
<p>Super Glue was used during the Vietnam War to close wounds—though never approved by the FDA because of its unknown toxic effects. A safer-for-humans<br />
    version was eventually approved as medical glue, and is sold under the brand names SurgiSeal, Dermabond, GluStitch, and Surgilock, among others. Costing<br />
    over $200 for the glue, I doubt any climber would consider these. </p>
<p>Instead … there is Vetbond, basically the same glue, but packaged and sold for use on animals. Vetbond costs about $12 on Amazon, and has N-butyl cyanoacrylate,<br />
    the same ingredient in the human version, GluStitch. N-butyl has been noted as “safe” for medical use by the National Institutes of Health. </p>
<p>Some climbers do—wrongly—think that Super Glue is safe while KrazyGlue is poisonous. Actually, they are the same, using either methy-2 or ethyl-2<br />
    cyanoacrylate. Personally, I don’t want either of those swimming in my bloodstream. The ingredient in Vetbond, meanwhile, has no known toxic effects,<br />
    unless you count an insatiable urge to chase tennis balls. <em>Next!</em>
</p>
</p>
<p><em>This article was published in </em>Rock and Ice <em>issue 225 (April 2015).</em></p>


        

        

        
        
                          
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