If you’re an owner of a Canon EOS REBEL T4i Digital SLR camera (EOS 650D/EOS Kiss X6i in overseas models) and have been curiously wondering why your hands sort of itch a day of shooting, there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation for that. Canon, Inc. recently announced a product advisory on the particular model of its DSLR line, noting that some products have had their rubber grips turn white after prolonged use as well as cause skin allergic reactions.
The color and chemical change in the rubber grip is caused by an excessive amount of rubber accelerator during production, which can mutate into a strain of zinc bis (N,N’-dimethyldithiocarbamate) thanks to high temperature or humidity. Zinc bis can be responsible for making your cameras switch colors but also cause allergic reactions if you have extra sensitive skin. Problems are amplified if you recently used an affected item and rubbed your eyes, in which case you may experience red eyes or similar itchy symptoms.
Canon have pinpointed the EOS Rebel T4i cameras manufactured between May 31st through June 15th, 2012 as the affected lot, and they can be identified by looking at the serial number on the underside of your device. If the sixth digit of the serial number is “1,” you will have to contact support for a replacement unit. If it’s any lower or higher, no further action is necessary.
While the incident is unfortunate, Canon states that the reactions are non-life threatening and the amount of zinc bis detected was “minimal.” Though there are no actual reported case of any severe reactions, users are still advised to be cautious about possibey allergic symptoms.
If your camera is one of the unfortunate items, register your unit immediately and wait for Canon to contact you about a complimentary replacement or repair service. In the meantime, make sure to thoroughly wash your hands after using your camera to not accidentally get zinc bis contaminated elsewhere.