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topic 44260

Is galvanized steel safe to touch?

A discussion started in 2007 but continuing through 2017


Q. I want to use some galvanized steel fence posts to make a bed and desk. I was told to use vinegar to wash it down with to remove any dust and oil. I just wanted to know are galvanized steel harmful to us if it is touched like in the case of using it to make bed posts and a desk. I wanted to use a metal that would not rust and stay shiney. I am not going to weld it I am just going to use the fence brackets the make a cool bed frame.

After I make the bed and wash it down will it be harmful to touch. I cannot see why it would be because I see my duct-working in my house is galvanized steel. I am sure it will not be eaten, used to drink out of, or set on fire. My main concern is that if you touch it without washing your hands (like to sleep on) will it be harmful.


Julian Devos
home use - SSM, ONT, Canada


A. Clearcoat it with Everbrite [a supporting advertiser] coating or Krylon spray,remove dust and oil with some detergent,or solvent.Hope it helps and good luck!

Goran Budija
- Croatia


A. Julian

Zinc is pretty harmless. Babies bottoms are plastered with zinc oxide to prevent nappy rash, Water pipes are zinc plated and so are most supermarket trollies. Zinc deficiency in the diet can cause major problems.
I expect that eating a whole bed might be too much tho!

Come to think of it, sleeping on a steel bed, zinc plated or not, without a mattress could be a problem

geoff smith
Geoff Smith
Hampshire, England

Danger of frequent skin contact with galvanized steel

August 18, 2017

Q. I am constructing an outdoor play/gymnastic area for my children. I am making the monkey-bars and chin-up bars out of galvanized tubing. Is it safe for the kids to come in contact frequently with galvanized steel?

Bucky Petry
builder - seymour, Tennessee

August 2017

Hi Bucky. I think all anybody can offer is their own personal opinion that "it's probably safe enough", or maybe better worded as "it's not reckless". I recently bought a new flexline gas connector for the kitchen stove and it came with a California warning that natural gas causes cancer, implying that people should not use kitchen stoves.


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live "Aloha"

August 18, 2017

There is a body of opinion that California should come with a health warning.

Contains nuts

geoff smith
Geoff Smith

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