As I told you before, I am a one armed widow living down here in the container docks.I have to eat, so I have been running a trap line for meter readers in my neighborhood. I caught one the other day, well at least I did for a while. It was a bizarre young women all dressed in black, wearing black lipstick. She was flopping about hideously, barking like a dog, and screaming threats in ancient Aramaic. I have heard that a coyote will chew off its leg to escape a leg hold trap, but this woman actually chewed through the steel trap itself! She appeared to be wearing some sort of black dentures!
By the time I could get back with the net and the ether, she was gone. She also ran off with the black plastic eyeglasses and cheap narrow brimmed fedora I was using as bait.
When I retrieved my damaged trap there was black paint everywhere. It was all over the meter and the stairs. Frankly the whole thing makes me nervous. Now I am starting to worry, could I get mad cow disease from all of that ivory black paint? I know it is made from animal bones. Is Ivory black dangerous?
I did some research on the question of "Mad Cow Disease and ivory black, actually, I did a lot of research. I contacted the CDC in Atlanta ( no kidding) and an expert on BSE ( as they like to call it) answered the question. Their opinion is that the risk is "vanishingly small".
The odds of getting it from carbonized bone that is handled and not ingested would be extremely small. While it is theoretically possible for the prions that cause this disease (called Creutzfeldt Jakob in humans) to survive the extreme heat used in making the pigment, it is not likely, given the temperatures to which the bone material is heated and the length of time that heat is maintained. Oddly enough the CDC already had researched this question for the potters, who use bone ash in the making of china and certain sorts of pottery. People would of course be eating from those products. There are no food grade bone black pigments, but there are bone black pigments approved for the cosmetic industry.. Incidences of the disease in humans even where there have been cattle with BSE are extremely rare.
The disease is carried in the nerve tissue and not in the bone. A major paint manufacturer when contacted about this explained that as a precaution the bone used to make ivory black doesn't include skulls or vertebra.
So Oneulna, I would go ahead and use ivory black without reservation, but I don't think you should eat it. Even if you did, I think the odds of your getting "mad cow" are very,very small.
I also think you need to be far more careful about where you set your traps though. Not everyone is nice.