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Red Rouge Health Hazards


As Californians have discovered via our own overzealous regulators
rouge is a health hazard. You now need a licensed hazmat hauler and
processor to refine your gold.

Of course, there is no dust or metal fume that is healthy to inhale.

The point is not to change polishing material, as the copper, zinc
and nickel in the jewelry you polish is a hazard if inhaled. Skin
exposure is best avoided as well, but this is far less risky.

Because of the sheer value, jewelers often control the polishing
dust very well already. We do tend to keep our dust collectors
working very well. It’s funny that we protect our wallets ahead of
our lungs… Heck our industry (A now defunct MJSA Taskforce) taught
the California regulators years ago how material control is really
best accomplished!

I used to collect this dust, by cleaning out the dust collectors for
our customers. I know a few tricks to keep the dust down, like a
water spritz onto the dust to keep it from getting airborne. I always
used a respirator filter mask (not just those cheap paint store dust
masks that do not fit well). After you used the lever that knocks the
dust from the filter down into the collection bin, walk away for a
while to allow your (perhaps $100 per pound value) dust to settle.
Then handle it slowly, use the water spritz, and then send it to a
reliable processor.

Daniel Ballard

I stopped using triploi and red rouge a while ago. They produce such
a fine dust that it gets everywhere, on everything. Lungs too no
doubt. When cleaning the buffing area my nostrils would get quite

Now I use Zam primarily. One step process is faster. It seems to be
a heavier, less prolific dust that settles out quicker. Finish is
good enough for most applications. This is one compromise thats worth
it, imho.

Perhaps someone knows the safety data of Zam?

Here's the MSDS sheet for ZAM 

Although it does not contain any known carcinogens, it appears to
also be hazardous for breathing dust etc. Anyway read it for
yourself. I’m no chemist so these things do not make a lot of sense
for me. I just use a mask always for any of the buffing compounds I


Hello y’all,

I worked with a man once who wore safty glasses all day long, a dust
mask, ear protection and rubber gloves.I am not kidding. This is a
person who wouldn’t think of cleaning the polishing machine or even
his work space. I have seen a lot of shops and most resemble pig
stys. During my apprenticeship in Germany, (a long long time ago), I
was tought the important stuff like sawing straight, filing
straight, soldering and taking care of my tools , shop cleanliness.
Dustcollectors only work as long as the filters are cleaned or
changed. My dustcollector get cleaned every other week, the
polishing machine and the floor every week. Don’t forget that
polishing dust is worth money! It’s my work space,I make cool jewelry
there, sometimes I even make money there. I keep it clean. So I guess
my point is… sure, some of these compounds may not be good for you
over a long time if you breath their dust all the time, but you can
minimize the exposure a great deal just by practicing a little common
sence. That’s my 2 cents worth.

Have a great day,