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Inhaling when polishing with rouge


#1

I have recently gotten back into jewelry making and am polishing on
the wheel with tripoli and then rouge…I wear the white 'doctors’
mask with the little metal over the nose…and I still have the
rouge residue in my nose (after I blow it), so I can’t imagine how
much has gotten into my lungs and was wondering how harmful that is
and what kind of face mask I should use!!??

Angela


#2

You need to get a better polishing system, like a Torit. I had that
problem with a $300 table top polisher. got the better system and yes
it was more $$$. but increased the gold scrap $$$ 4 fold. Paid for
itself in 18 months

David


#3
I have recently gotten back into jewelry making and am polishing
on the wheel with tripoli and then rouge...I wear the white
'doctors' mask with the little metal over the nose...and I still
have the rouge residue in my nose (after I blow it), so I can't
imagine how much has gotten into my lungs and was wondering how
harmful that is and what kind of face mask I should use!!?? 

None of the polishing compounds, inhaled, are good for you. The
silica based ones may be worse, but in general, you want to not be
breathing lots of the stuff. You nose actually does block a fair bit.
That’s part of it’s job, after all, to filter the air you breath. But
that doesn’t affect what you inhale through your mouth, and some will
still get past your nose. So then. First, makes sure whatever mask
you use actually fits. There are a number of types. Any of the N95
masks are capable of filtering these materials, but you need it to
fit well, and apparently, the ones you’re using don’t. The simple
surgical doctors masks often aren’t well sealed, being more intended
to stop what you might cough from getting away. The 3M N95
particulate masks come in several styles, some with added valves to
make breathing a bit easier and reduce things like fogging your
glasses… But try several types to find one that fits. They fit
different people’s faces differently, so I don’t know that any one
single type would fit everyone.

Also, seriously consider getting a polishing setup equipped with a
dust collector and a face shield. The shield (those simple plexiglass
sheets sitting between your face and the wheel with many better
quality machines) stop a lot of the compound from getting anywhere
near your face in the first place, as well as improving the air flow
from the suction fans. If you cannot afford a commercially made
polishing machine with it’s dust collecting fans, etc, you can build
something almost as effective with plywood, some inventiveness, and
a shop vac for the suction. Get a suitable fine filter for the shop
vac so it actually stops the fine stuff instead of just blowing it
back into the room.

Far better than figuring what mask fits you best is keeping the
compound from ever getting that close to your face in the first
place. That’s the reason for the proper polishing machine setups, be
it commercial or home made. If, when you’re done pollishing, you look
in the mirror and find your face covered in compound, then you need
to be quite careful that your mask fits well, and should consider
what you can do to reduce that exposure.

As to actual safety of the compounds, well, it’s not like they’re
instantly toxic. They’re not. Most are pretty benign. But that is in
terms of on your skin. None of these dusts are good to breath, even
if they happen to be things your lungs can eliminate over time. Some,
like the silica based tripoli and white diamond, might offer some of
the risks of crystaline silica flour, such as found in casting
investment. Depending on the nature of the material, sometimes the
stuff occurs as rather sharp tiny (invisible) crystals which the
lungs cannot get rid of. The result, after long term chronic
exposure, is called silicosis. It does usually require chronic
exposure over time, rather than a single little bit once upon a time.
But still, a risk to avoid. Check the MSDS sheets for the polishing
compounds you use for specific on each. But as I said,
rather than trying to figure out which are safe to breath, instead
try to arrange it so you’re not breathing any of them in on any sort
of regular basis.

Oh, and in addtiion to looking in the mirror at your face, look at
the INSIDE of the mask when you’re done working with it. It should
remain clean. If it’s not, it’s not fitting well enough.

Hope that helps.
Peter Rowe


#4

I was going to suggest using less rouge but after reading David and
Peter’s post maybe I’m polishing wrong. I never have a problem with
rouge dust on my face or nostrils and I don’t wear a mask. It seems
to me if your throwing rouge off the wheel then you have too much.
The only thing I get from polishing is rouge coated fingers. Does
everyone else load up compound to the point it goes flying and
requires protection?

Thanks,
Jim Doherty


#5

Thank you so much for all of this Will a LOWEs or RIO
GRANDE sell the 3M N95 and do you know about how much they run?? I
have only really had 2 big ‘polishing’ sessions and still have one
more (b4 my show)…I will check out their MSDS sheets! I really
appreciate it!!

Angela


#6

Angela - use tumblers and avoid the problem. Or get a proper dust
mask that seals to your face. They are available from safety shops.

Judy Hoch


#7
Does everyone else load up compound to the point it goes flying and
requires protection? 

If you polish at your bench with a muslin brush, you’ll need a mask
and safety glasses. I think that’s what David and Peter were talking
about.


#8

The subject of this thread keeps making me want to say, “OK, yeah, I
admit I polished with rouge once or maybe twice when I was young,
but I swear I never inhaled”

Noel


#9
I never have a problem with rouge dust on my face or nostrils and I
don't wear a mask. It seems to me if your throwing rouge off the
wheel then you have too much. 

I agree with Jim, It takes only a touch on the wheel to get enough
rouge. Perhaps it could be the type of wheel you are using. Try the
yellow muslin buffs… if the meet your polishing needs. Once they
get through shedding off they work forever and will turn only your
fingers black… Unless you rub your nose!:wink:

Good Luck. Dan.
http://www.dearmondtool.com


#10

In addition, how about dust collection at the bench…

http://www.hermansilver.com/shop1.htm

Remember, after polishing particulate is still in the air with no
dust collector.

Jeff Herman
http://www.hermansilver.com


#11

Angela,

Will a LOWEs or RIO GRANDE sell the 3M N95 and do you know about
how much they run?? 

A mask from Lowe’s or Home Depot that says it has replaceable HEPA
filters will protect you from almost anything you shouldn’t inhale.
Mine was under $30.

Lorraine