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Toxins in cutting rough


#1

There have been many posts lately on toxic materials so I thought I
would mention the following:

For those jewelers that decide to occasionally buy rough and do some
cutting, please be aware and wear a respiratory mask. Some materials
are quite toxic to cut. Example would be rainbow pyrite. Those that
cut regularly are probably taking these precautions.

Diane Sadel
http://www.sweetgemstones.com


#2

Ssorry but I have to get in my 2c here. I have been cutting stones
regularly for nearly 30 years. I mean all kinds of stones!
Malachite, hemetite, all the “toxic” stones along with those not
usually associated with being toxic. I have never worn a respirator
protector! Why? Do I not value my health? No, any lapidary with any
training will know that these stones are all cut (ground) with plenty
of water. There is no dust, there is little or no residue, virtually
no splash if using modern methods and thus, nothing to get on the
body. A respirator is hot, it gets in the way of an optivisor and is
simply not needed. By the way, I get regular physicals and toxic
substances have never shown up in my tests.

Do be careful but don’t go beserk on this issue.

Cheers from Don at The Charles Belle Studio in SOFL where simple
elegance IS fine jewelry!


#3

The cutting is not always the problem with toxic stones. The towels
used to dry the stones if not disposed of when wet will cause dust
when they dry. The cutting liquid does not always stay in the water
trough. The over splash can dry out and the mud left can cause dust.

I agree with Ddon that we should not go overboard but careful
handling of the residue is strongly recommended.

good luck
lee


#4
There is no dust, there is little or no residue, virtually no splash
if using modern methods and thus, nothing to get on the body. 

Now my $0.02 worth. I suffer from Emphysema and as a result, I am
very responsive to contaminated air. I know for a fact that when you
are cutting stones, there is a mist in the air and that mist contains
particles of what ever stone you are cutting. The same for cutting
wood, or as yesterday, cutting aluminum on my lathe and watching the
very fine aluminum dust floating in the air. If it will float, you
will breath it in and once in the lungs, most stays to do it’s
damage.

As you need to loose around 70% to 80% of your lung capacity before
you feel the effects, the fact that cutting “hasn’t hurt you” may
just be a false since of security. I have been cutting stones for
close to 40 years now and I also didn’t have a problem for the first
30 or so I thought. The last five are another mater though. A dust
and mist mask, not the 10 for a dollar ones at the hardware store,
will help a great deal in protecting your lungs. Even from the
non-toxic stones such as Opal which I love to cut.

Don


#5
 A dust and mist mask, not the 10 for a dollar ones at the hardware
store, will help a great deal in protecting your lungs.  Even from
the non-toxic stones such as Opal which I love to cut. 

Chemically, opal is silicon dioxide plus water. Like any silicate,
it could loose silica into the air when ground and (after many years
and much exposure) contribute to silicosis. I know of a lapidary who,
after half a lifetime spent cutting fire agate (more silicon dioxide)
without protection, is now terribly ill. The point is that while some
stones are more toxic than others, you can’t assume the "non-toxic"
ones are harmless.

Beth