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Abalone hazards


#1

I was wondering if anyone knows about the health risks of
working with abalone shell.

I think it contains arsenic, I’m not sure…

Besides using a good repirator, is there any risk from direct
skin contact with the ground up abalone dust? Is it absorbed
through the skin?

Any info would be put to good use ; )

Thanks,
Stephen Bargsten


#2

S> I was wondering if anyone knows about the health risks of
S> working with abalone shell.
S> I think it contains arsenic, I’m not sure…

G’day; Abalone is known as paua in New Zealand, is more
colourful and darker than the American variety, and I have worked
with it. It is very faintly possible that a few shells might
contain a minute trace of arsenic, but only then if the shellfish
came from badly polluted waters. The dust from drilling, sawing,
filing and sanding the shell isn’t really poisonous, but it isn’t
a good thing to breathe any dust at all. The dust from working
the shell will be in tiny sharp-edged pieces, and will certainly
cause havoc in the lungs. I would say that a respirator or a very
good, close-by exhaust system is essential if one intends to do
much work with it, particularly when cleaning away the outer part
of the shell which has to be ground away with a coarse stone… It
is a lovely, though very brittle material, and is much used
commercially here. Cheers,

        /\
       / /    John Burgess, 
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     / //\    @John_Burgess2
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