Protect skin from chemicals, irritants

Working with chemicals, abrasives and other harsh irritants, you could be at a high risk for skin cancer or what OSHA calls Occupational Hand Disease, which is the second leading cause of occupational disease in the U.S.

Here are three new products that claim to protect your skin from these damaging irritants.

Coat your hands, arms, face and neck with Mac Tools' new Skin Shield, a non-detectable protective lotion. The polymer lotion will not wash away even after several washings. One application lasts up to four hours. Not only does it protect your skin from harmful chemicals, it also protects from painting or engine repair stains. Contact Mac Tools, Dept. FIN, Box 328965, Columbus, OH 43232, 800/622-8665 or circle 186.

The maker of SkinVisible claims it protects skin from chemicals and other irritants and kills infectious pathogens. It also protects hands from household cleaners. This lotion contains a polymer and will not wash away. One application lasts four hours. Price: $5 for a 2-oz. bottle. Contact SkinVisible Inc., Dept. FIN, 6320 S. Sandhill Rd., Suite 10, Las Vegas, NV 89120, 877/925-6000, www.skinvisible.com or circle 185.

According to The Natural Place, its Superlan moisturizes and softens the driest, toughest skin, yet is safe for sensitive, rashed or chapped skin. The hypoallergenic lanolin is nearly identical to human skin oil. It contains no water to dilute its effectiveness and can be used for severely dry or chapped skin, eczema, windburn, sunburn, cuts and scratches. A lighter version (Superlan Lite) can be used to moisturize your face and neck or other sensitive areas. Both are available in 1- and 4-oz. jars, which cost $7 and $16, respectively. Superlan Tube protects your lips from sun, wind and cold. Price: $3. Contact The Natural Place Inc., Dept. FIN, 6 Mapleleaf Rd., Monsey, NY 10952, 800/480-7333 or circle 184.

Not just for Deere hunters

You don't have to be a year-round Deere hunter to enjoy the extensive collection of John Deere memorabilia in John Deere Collectibles. The new 128-page coffee-table book has many rare finds that may surprise and delight you.

Author Brenda Kruse says she has her father-in-law to thank for her first book. Every time I went home for the holidays, he would show me some of his Deere collection, Kruse says. He encouraged me to write this book, because he and his friends who are some of the most respected collectors of John Deere memorabilia had no resource to check for information on their collections.

Most of the items in the book date from the 1860s to the 1960s and are from the collections of Kruse's father-in-law and his friends and from the Deere archives.

Dating by the deer can help you date some of your items just by learning when a certain Deere logo was used. Other tips from the author: The round, desk mirror (circa 1910 or 1912) on the bottom left corner of the cover and any ephemeral printed in color in the 1800s are prized and really rare.

Kruse says that because Deere is now licensing its logo to manufacturers, there will be many new lines to watch for. And hang on to. Price: $25, plus shipping and handling. Contact MBI Publishing, Dept. FIN, Box 1, Osceola, WI 54020, 800/458-0454, www.motorbooks.com or circle 183.

Fix water lines

Repair broken water lines with an in-line repair coupling called the Slip-Fix.

The PVC coupler offers a tight, permanent seal with no threaded connections to work loose or leak, according to the company. A built-in recess keeps the O-ring lubricated and allows it to keep its shape. To use, cut out the damaged pipe, insert the compressed Slip-Fix between the ends and extend it to fit, then weld it to the pipe ends. No special bracing is required for - through 2-in. sizes. Contact Nibco Inc., Dept. FIN, 1516 Middlebury St., Elkhart, IN 46516, 800/234-0227 or circle 182.