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Silicone breakdown products
#1
Silicone breakdown products
A while ago I had a skin reaction to an old silicone watch band.

Last week I pulled an old silicone cushion out of a drawer in the night and had the same reaction on my face. I had used it a year ago but saved it in case.  It had yellowed while in the drawer.

Hoping to avoid that ever happening again, have any of you had an old UNUSED mask yellow over time? For me it’s important to toss used cushions and silicone gear. I’m trying to discover if I need to toss unused gear also.
Bruce
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#2
RE: Silicone breakdown products
I think, since we all vary in what we can eat and live with by eating, and that our genetics vary, we react differently to our environment, including what we humans impart to that environment.  Some report here that they have to discard cushions after a few months at most, while I and others seem to be able to use them for years.  I'm into my third year with the very first one I was issued, including for my initial trial and sleep lab confirmation night.  I don't notice a discolouration or a deterioration in either feel or performance with mine.

We know that people have 'sensitivities' to organic volatiles such as those added to clothing treatments such as dryer sheets.  I had a valued friend ask me bluntly if I would consider stopping to use a shower gel because he got all stuffed up when I was close by.  

This probably won't help much, but I think you'll have to accept that your silicone-based cushions are not going to last long for you.
Serial Tapist
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#3
RE: Silicone breakdown products
To complicate matters still further, it is clear to me that there's silicone - and there's silicone. The quality/composition varies.

Two experiences support that view. firstly, I found that, while both were claimed to be 'silicone', the cushion on one type of Resmed mask worked well for me while that on another, didn't.

Secondly, the silicone cushion fitted to a mask bought recently, the exact same model I have been using for years, feels different (a little stiffer) and leaks more. Even old, used cushions work better.

I suspect this is a cost-related issue. Perhaps the 'stiffer' silicone is cheaper to produce.
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#4
RE: Silicone breakdown products
I'm no scientist, but I have spent a night or two @ a Holiday Inn Express. 

Silicone doesn't have much of a service life. At least not from my experiences with it. It either seems to turn yellow, or get hard and brittle with age.
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#5
RE: Silicone breakdown products
Uuummm......my mind has gone on a totally different tangent, Big Guy.  We ARE talking about face cushions....yes?
Serial Tapist
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#6
RE: Silicone breakdown products
All my masks have gone yellow after a few months, even faster once i started to disinfect them with ethanol.
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#7
RE: Silicone breakdown products
I think ethanol is particularly bad here. I have never needed anything more than warm water an a quick scrub with dishwashing detergent to break down skin oils. I assume you are not exchanging your mask between other individuals, which is the only time high level disinfection is indicated as necessary. The only product I use in disinfection is hydrogen peroxide, and I rarely go there. Here is what the pros say: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK214361/

As far as breakdown products and potential reaction, a scan of the Wikipedia article on silicone doesn't suggest much. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silicone_rubber
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#8
RE: Silicone breakdown products
Getting back to the OP's topic. . . I would recommend a mask liner. You then wouldn't have direct contact with the silicone. As a proof-of-concept, you could try cutting one out of an old tee shirt. If it works then order the commercial product. If not, order another tee shirt. Big Grin
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#9
RE: Silicone breakdown products
(04-25-2020, 09:33 PM)Big Guy Wrote: I'm no scientist, but I have spent a night or two @ a Holiday Inn Express. 

Silicone doesn't have much of a service life. At least not from my experiences with it. It either seems to turn yellow, or get hard and brittle with age.

I was more-or-less speaking of silicone in general. In regards to CPAP face masks, mine have turned yellow and also seemed to have become very flimsy after so much use. That is of course, due to their being so thin.
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#10
RE: Silicone breakdown products
All I do with my masks - cushions included - is to wash them by hand each day in warm water, plus a dash of dishwashing detergent. I typically get a year or thereabouts out of each cushion. They are replaced when leaks become a problem, though the cushion still 'looks OK'.

I'm not sure this regime will work as well with the latest generation of silicone cushion though, because it seems to me that Resmed has changed the material recently. The cushions feel a little less pliable and leak more, IMO.
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