Rosin and Conifers

Edited: November 5, 2017, 11:47 AM · Rosin is made from conifers. From Wikipedia, "Rosin, also called colophony or Greek pitch (Latin: pix græca), is a solid form of resin obtained from pines and some other plants, mostly conifers, produced by heating fresh liquid resin to vaporize the volatile liquid terpene components."

There a lot of different types. So is rosin bad for your health? Conifers are good for you according to this link. So is there something else mixed in to the final rosin that makes it less desirable to chew on? Not that I really want to chew on it.

Replies (21)

Edited: November 5, 2017, 12:23 PM · I found the post quoted below on a Strings Magazine discussion related to rosin. After reading it, you can see that they seel the same substances to the makers of chewing gum, but they expose it to Hexane (a well established carcinogen), so I would suggest that it is your call.
I don't chew gum or rosin:)


"I used to work at a Resin plant in Bauer Utah, about three miles south of Tooele. Our process of removing Resin hidden in COAL dust was quite simple, we would mix to coal dust with a high Octane fuel called Hexane to turn the Resin into a liquidthe liquid was drained off, filtered thru paper and the hot Steam was injected into the mixture we called leach. The hot steam turned the Hexane into a vapor which was vaccumed off and then cooled causing the hexane to return to its original liquid form. the Resin was feed thru a oven at 300 degrees, our product was sold throughout the World to Paint Manufacturers, Baseball and sporting equipement suppliers and Chewing gum manufacturers such as Wrigglys and Beech Nut."

November 5, 2017, 12:46 PM · Thanks Duane. I think I will start trading Bazooka Joe for a pinch of Skoal between my cheek and gum.
November 5, 2017, 12:53 PM · I don't think fossil coal resin and pine rosin have much to do with each other.
November 5, 2017, 1:48 PM · But would you want either in your chewing gum? Or inhale it?

I don't know if any of the rosins that go by the "gold, silver, lead"ect, designations actually have metals in them or not. Jade claims that it has no metal impurities that other rosins have. Metals are generally bad, although certain ones are used in medications in small doses.

Shellac is what makes your Skittles and candy corn, among other shiny candies, shiny and pretty. We use it as varnish. Rosin probably isn't bad for you in it's raw form, but I don't think that I would try to eat it. Also, many rosin preparations have "Secret Ingredients". Are they consumable? Who knows.

November 5, 2017, 1:58 PM · Van Gogh use to dab his paint brushes on his tongue. I guess licking the violin rosin cake might have the same effect. I'll pass, unless I can start painting really well.
Edited: November 6, 2017, 12:32 AM · I've never noticed the presence of coal resin on the ingredient list of chewing gum (edit: although that doesn't mean much since I rarely consume chewing gum); I suspect that the story on coal resin and chewing gum was a case of old-fashioned internet trolling.

And in general it is not a wise idea to eat things from shops unless they were meant to be eaten (detergents, smartphones, furniture, you name it.)

Topic was discussed before: http://www.violinist.com/discussion/archive/6139/ . Looks like pure rosin is not poisonous, although some people may be allergic.

November 5, 2017, 3:32 PM · I ordered a cake of Liebenzeller Meteor rosin about five years ago just because I thought it sounded like a fun to try although I was skeptical of there really being pulverized meteorites in tbe mix. The Gold and Silver metal additions also pique my interest but maybe someday in ghe future.. I can't imagine eating or putting this stuff in my mouth though.

I did a lot of painting with lead paints when I was young and not being aware of the dangers was not that careful with using it and believe it has impaired my mind somewhat. At least now with my toxic oil paint I am aware of the cadmium and lead and zinc hazards amd try to be more careful with them.

November 5, 2017, 4:05 PM · I never ate or even licked any rosin - but you definitely want to keep it away from your dog if you hope to use it again.

I used Liebenzeller rosins with all their additives and found gold and Meteoreisen most to my liking. I found silver too bright, and copper too soft - but copper might be a good one for beginners who still have their bows slipping "latitudinally" but don't want that to be heard.

November 5, 2017, 7:25 PM · Artificial chewing gum has a terrible impact on our environment. Get informed and stop using it.
Edited: November 5, 2017, 8:05 PM · I'm enjoying all the chemistry and pharmacology lessons here. *phew*
November 5, 2017, 8:18 PM · Google "rosin potatoes" and you'll find recipes for boiling potatoes in rosin. Citrus drinks like Fresca contain small amounts of modified rosin as a flavoring. It can't be that harmful to ingest in small quantities.

Hexane is not a carcinogen.

Edited: November 6, 2017, 10:23 AM · Just because the US government doesn't classify it as a carcinogen doesn't mean that it isn't!

With both of my grandfathers and my father working at Oak Ridge, TN, we had the pleasure of getting a Radioactive dime. It was safe, they said...

Edited: November 6, 2017, 10:44 AM · The dose makes the poison...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_dose_makes_the_poison

November 7, 2017, 10:09 AM · So here's where we have problems. If you go to Quora.com (whatever that might be), you will see that an "engineer" (define?) named Shivam Patil (whoever that is) claiming that "hexane has been identified by the FDA as a potent neurotoxin and a carcinogen." But then if you scroll down, he also writes, "No information is available on the carcinogenic effects of hexane in humans or animals." The latter is consistent with EPA documents.

November 7, 2017, 11:34 AM · I don't intend to snort Hexane to find out :) You make a great point though. A lot of what we read online is suspect unless confirmed by good sources.
Even Snopes was found to be suspect, a site whose business is to determine facts.
https://www.forbes.com/sites/kalevleetaru/2016/12/22/the-daily-mail-snopes-story-and-fact-checking-the-fact-checkers/#5276b930227f

We likely get many chemicals into our bodies in small amounts from other sources. In the whole scheme of things rosin probably isn't so bad unless you melt it down and use it in that fondue recipe or as glazing on your spaghetti.

Even things that were once thought healthy can be bad for you. Take fresh vegetables as an example. Now we need to ask if they were speed grown with chemicals or if the origins are GMO. Which chemicals were sprayed on it and have they been washed off?

How about fish? How could fish be bad? Was it farm raised or fresh?Did they inject it with anything to make it taste or look better? Has the fish been feeding in a zone loaded with radiation from the leaking Fukushima nuclear plant?

I think the origin of rosin is a very interesting subject. Never even considered it could be bad for me, but maybe. At some point in the past someone looked at pine tree sap and thought it might make the strings grip better. I mean, it grips and sticks to anything else it comes into contact with in the natural state:)

November 7, 2017, 12:34 PM · Well, we've come to understand that it matters what we put into and onto our bodies. Everyone's got their own balance point. As for me, I drink a lot of water.

Just as the dose makes the poison, "the solution to pollution is dilution."

November 7, 2017, 2:13 PM · I always wondered how plants were found to be safe in the first place. I mean who ever would have thought that dandilions were ok to eat, or pine needles-- poor sucker who had to test every possible combination.
"Here, chew on these:
Water Hemlock (Cicuta maculata)
Deadly Nightshade (Atropa belladonna)
White Snakeroot (Ageratina altissima)
Castor Bean (Ricinus communis)
Rosary Pea (Abrus precatorius)
Oleander (Nerium oleander)
Tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum),
and tell me how you feel afterward. Oh, and if it kills you, the rest of us will smoke it." LOL...
November 8, 2017, 10:21 AM · The Great Spirit or one of his cohorts likely took Adam and Eve around,then pointed out the good ones,said stay away from the bad ones...oh and that fruit tree. Don't touch that.You will then know what evil is and will be involved in it personally to a degree you won't like. That is a generalized paraphrase.

I imagine much later on in the 1500's or before, the violin had been invented and a rough bow was made. The maker sat thinking to himself, I need something to put on the horse hair to make it hold better to the cat gut strings...right about that time he noticed a glob of pine sap on his sleeve.

I'm fairly certain they didn't get it right on the first try. Was it a similar process to Edison experimenting with light bulb filaments? Who knows what they tried first, and second?

November 8, 2017, 10:27 AM · Mythology is fun, Timothy, but I suspect humans had prior experience with tree sap, fabric and hair.
Edited: November 8, 2017, 11:48 AM · Lots of hard-to-digest things could go in a rosin. Some like solvent will dissipate as the rosin gets old, some like surfactant or coloring agents will stay. The receipes for rosins depend on the rosins and the makers. Some use one thing while others might not. The great unknown is who put what in which rosins? So, if you have to choose to chew either a fattiest fat burger or a rosin that contains surfactant (thank god I'm not in that situation), while the rosin probably won't kill you the burger might have a slight edge in the immediate health front.
November 8, 2017, 5:54 PM · @Ken How can you not love mad cow burgers. Unless you're use to the flavored cardboard of Micky Ds.


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