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Casting silver and silicosis risk


#1

Hey there,

My centrifugal caster is inside of my garage. I do all my investing
and burnout outside mostly but at the end of the day casting is done
inside the garage and also the investment has a way of falling off
in bits or just being tracked into the garage. Knowing that the
machine is spinning very fast i wonder is silica being released into
the air in small quantities? Will this effect my health? And what do
you all do about the health risks of silica?

Thanks,
Ali


#2

Ali:

Quench is the most dangerous part of the operation. Don’t breath the
super fine silica particles rising with the vapor from quench. Keep
in mind that such small particles don’t just fall to the ground the
way visible dust does.

Regards,

Bill Mull
Zero-D Products, Inc.
http://www.zerodproducts.com


#3

Asbestos may be different, but in the case of asbestos, the particles
that do the most damage are the ones that pass through the
respirator. These particles make it to the deepest recesses of the
lung where no amount of coughing can bring them back up. I suspect
that silica will act the same way. It is not the dust that we can see
that will make up sick. It is the stuff that we can’t. Best to have
good ventilation.


#4

A properly fitted respirator of the correct type will protect you
from silica or any other airborne dust including asbestos. The key
words are correct type and properly fitted. A cheap dust mask is not
going to cut it,even an N95 or N99 respirator may not be enough
protection in some circumstances. If you work with investment you
need to do some reading on silicosis and appropriate respiratory
protection. Then assess your work situation before choosing the
correct respiratory protection. There is no simple one size fits all
solution.

James Binnion
@James_Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


360-756-6550


#5
Asbestos may be different, but in the case of asbestos, the
particles that do the most damage are the ones that pass through
the respirator. 

I’m not a doctor, so take that into account, but my understanding is
that, in addition to the size of the asbestos particles, it is an
issue of shape. The asbestos particles are sharp or raggedy in some
way that keeps them from coming back out of the lungs once they’re
down there. I don’t think the silica particles have that particular
issue-- too many of them and you get black lung (or silicosis), but
asbestos gives you cancer, and if you are unlucky, it doesn’t need
to be many particles-- I think.

Noel