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Investment hazards


Could a few of you all take a look at thiese 2 pics? They are of some recently
purchased VigorVest investment and look suspiciously like asbestos.
The box indicates that silica is a constituent but there is no mention
of asbestos. Personally, I am fine working with most acids and cyanide
compounds among a multitude of other things, but I smoked for twenty
years and now find myself terrified of asbestos. What do you think?


Bruce, Very strange material. I have used Satin Cast for twenty years
and never recall anything looking like this. Have you contacted the
company? I would think that addition of any hazzardous material of
that nature would be illegal. Keep us posted! Jon Michael Fuja


Certain investment manufacturers put Fibers (as in fiberglass) Into
the investment mix Both Kerr and R&R investments had at one point
sold materials that were fiber reinforced to increase the strength of
the material.The material was sold as “fiber reinforced investment”.

Daniel Grandi


It certainly looks suspicious. However, they might be silica glass
fibers, which are generally held to be harmless. Take them to the
geology department of any nearby college and ask someone to put them
under a petrographic microscope. Glass will show up as black under
crossed polarizers, whereas any of the asbestiform minerals will show
various extinction patterns characteristic of a crystalline material. Tas


Could a few of you all take a look at thiese 2 pics? They are of some recently
purchased VigorVest investment and look suspiciously like asbestos.

I don’t have a complete answer to what the material is, but I have
learn in jewelry class to always to be safe ask for the M.S.D. sheets
and keep them on file. Everything that is use in a workplace has a
Materials Safety Data Sheet(M.S.D. sheet) which is Mandtory by O.S.H.A.
;even Elmer’s Glue has one.

-Travis Clark
P.S. You may what to search for the O.S.H.A. website?
or call the company you got it from for the sheets.


Bruce,It is very unlikely that any product sold in the US would have
asbestos in it without huge warning labels all over it. The fibers
do not look like asbestos either they look like alumina silica fiber
which is put in investment requiring higher strength. I could also be
fiber glass as that is sometimes used.

If you are concerned about your lungs do you use proper source capture
ventilation and or a respirator when handling investment? Breathing
sub ten micron sized silica dust can ruin your lungs and cause
silicosis it is very similar to black lung. It requires long term
exposure but if you smoke it increases your chances of problems from
the silica tenfold.


James Binnion Metal Arts
4701 San Leandro St #18
Oakland, CA 94601


Naw, I didn’t look at the photos. Theres no way to be sure if a
fibrous material is asbestos from a simple photo. You need a
mineralogist to look at the fibers themselves under a mineralogical
microscope. Be aware that there are several types of fibrous minerals
that do NOT pose the hazard that asbestos does. And there’s
fiberglass too. The latter is often used as a reinforcing agent in
investments designed for larger, heavier pieces. Some types use a
mineral fiber, but none of them use asbestos. If nothing else, it’s
use in a product like this, sold in the U.S. would be illegal in many
cases, especially if it’s not labeled. I wouldn’t worry about it.
Besides, the known dangers of silica flour probably exceed those of
asbestos. Both are dangerous, but silica exposure causes disease in a
greater percentage of exposures than does asbestos. And if your
using any decent sort of filter mask with the investment, the
relatively coarser (than silica flour) fibers are easily filtered out.
Masks capable of protecting you from the silica itself are a bit more
costly… Remember that quenching or breaking out a burned out flask
is what generates the highest levels of airborne dangerous silica

Peter Rowe


there is no asbestos in commercially available investments. If you
wnat to make sure, call Vigor and ask them to send you an MSDS for the
investment. Also, not all forms of asbestos are all that dangerous,
some are but others are not. It is sort of like believing ALL snakes
are dangerous and poisonous because you got bit by a type that is a
problem. If you over heat silica (1650+F) it starts to transforn into
a form that IS dangerous (and damn I can’t think of the name of what
it changes into… hate getting old!). So wear a good quality
resperator mask when using these things and go for it.


MidLife Crisis Enterprises
C.T. Designs
Cynthias sculptures are at:
Maiden Metals,
A small bronze foundry, no web site yet!!

    Could a few of you all take a look at thiese 2 pics? They are of some
recently purchased VigorVest investment and look suspiciously
like asbestos. 

Just to let you all know. I am very sure that the fibers that I
photographed are glass. Upon looking at them under a microscope,
I found that besides appearing perfectly straight, they were of
uniform size and appear under a polariscope appear to be non
crystalline. Pretty small for positive testing, but I am
comfortable. I was initially thrown by the perfectly straight
nature of the fibers. My apologies to Vigor.