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Cabbing Safety

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theimage1
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« Reply #15 on: September 10, 2009, 11:28:17 pm »

Dry grinding of certain materials (most actually) can be dangerous. Wet grinding (with sufficient water) reduces the risk substantially. I use dual spritzers on my Genie. I glued the original two together and attached them with a small plastic "Y" splitting the air supply between them. I then purchased a dual spritzer from Diamond Pacific (it's standard on the Titan) and use it on the other side. So all of my wheels get twice as much water as a normal Genie.

Malachite, some poorly formed pietersite, and TIffany stone (bertrandite) are some of the more toxic materials that you may come across. Any copper containing mineral has a degree of toxicity due to the copper.  Pietersite is a form of fibrous tiger eye which comes from silaceious asbestos. I have some pieces that still have non-silicified fibers of asbestos on the exterior. I would only work it very wet or not at all. Bertrandite contains beryllium, that's why it is mined. Beryllium is very toxic and it's oxides can be dangerous as a fine dust ... again work it very wet.

There are a few materials out there that contain mercury. This can also be quite toxic if suspended in air. Cinnebar, and a slab often called "myrickite" - basically a slab with small amounts of cinnebar included in the mineralization.  Again keep them quite wet when working.

There is also a variety of pyrite that is called arsenopyrite and this does contain arsenic, but it is rarely cut unless it is part of a mixed sulfide mineral. I believe but cannot verify that the original material called apache gold MAY have contained traces of this material.

I don't dry sand any materials (I know some that do), but that's the majority of my precautions, I use plenty of water and very occasionally gloves (those are to avoid staining my hands in a very few cases, not to protect myself from chemicals.) I wear plastic glasses when grinding to protect my eyes at all times.

If yo feel more comfortable wearing a mask, then wear it. The more comfortable you are the more relaxed you'll work and the better you will feel.
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« Reply #16 on: September 11, 2009, 04:46:29 am »

I love to cab Myrickite (though it is pretty rare) and am aware of the Arsenic in it and Cinnabar.  Several other materials have asbestos, whether its the really bad kind that gets stuck in your lungs or the kind that slips through and out again, I don't know.  I also cab and slab quite a bit of Tiffany Stone with its toxic Beryllium.  Arsenopyrite is a really cool mineral specimen but it is usually pretty brittle and is probably not likely to be slabbed or cabbed.  My worst fear is for my kids, luckily our basement is more like a cave and they hardly ever go down there.  A 150 year old stacked stone foundation really makes it feel like a cave.  Maybe i can slab some of my foundation stone, who knows what that stuff is since it has been whitewashed.  I make sure that my water is always spraying on what i am grinding and the wheel and like Ron, I use both spritzers together to get more water and less dust.  Call me paranoid, but remember, just because you are paranoid, doesn't mean they are not really out to get you!!!!

Mark
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« Reply #17 on: September 11, 2009, 10:55:19 am »

  .....seems like things cut easier with more water....and i'm a bit paranoid too =)  i work outside and don't where a mask, but spritz with my left hand in addition to the gravity drip on my flat lap.
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« Reply #18 on: September 14, 2009, 10:55:35 am »

Jon you lucky dog, but what are you going to do when you someday buy a big ole slab saw, drag it up to the roof everyday?

Mark
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Ajo
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« Reply #19 on: September 14, 2009, 12:42:07 pm »

Hi Everyone. I am a little concerned about cabbing certain material too. I get as much water on the wheels as possible. I always have some type of mask on. There is still is alot of fine mist that comes off the wheels. That mist can carry stuff into your lungs. Maybe I am a bit paranoid, but I rather be safe than sorry. I use the paper/filter type mask that you get at Home Depot,(very inexpensive). I also have a cartridge filter type. I also use them around the slab saw, because of the mist that it can make. I have my 10" slab saw on a cart that has wheels.  I can wheel it outside the garage. I live in Tucson, so I can do this most of the time. If I am slabbing inside the garage I use a mask. I used to know some the old timers in Vermont. They worked in the marble and granite industry. They hardly used mask back then. They cut the huge slabs in the open warehouses. Alot of them had breathing problems when they got older. Rock mist/dust that is dry or wet is not a good thing.  Just take some simple steps to protect yourself. Eric.
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« Reply #20 on: September 14, 2009, 07:49:36 pm »

Eric I agree with you, better safe than sorry.  Rock dust even from non toxic rocks can build up in your lungs and be a big health issue.  It all depends where you work (in or outside), lack or abundance of ventilation, dry versus wet work, how much the water knocks down the dust that then dries out in your work area, etc.  We have enough problems with bad air and I come from a really clean an mostly pristine area, but i don't need to add to the athmospheric contaminants I breath in every day.

Mark
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« Reply #21 on: September 14, 2009, 07:55:41 pm »

  ....ouch....and sometimes i smoke cigarettes while cabbing...i have issues  O0
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« Reply #22 on: September 15, 2009, 03:19:10 am »

Jon, those poor cabs.  Think about the second hand smoke.  They put up with being dynamited out of the ground, broken into chunks, sawn into pieces, drowned in oil, and then second hand smoke.  Poor little guys.  Ha, ha.   :'(

Mark
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woodyrock
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« Reply #23 on: January 11, 2010, 01:16:13 am »

A word about dust masks..I am assuming that everybody is referring to those wee white paper filter masks?  I you are using these you will fooling yourself into thinking you are protecting your lungs. A proper dust mask is a nice black rubber, or silicon thing with screw on filters, or it is fed   compressed air from a compressor made to supply breathing air. Masks come in sizes like shoes, and must be fit, AND tested for fit plus you can not have facial hair, or the mask will not seal. A full face mask will seal if you wear a moustache, but no other facial hair, and you must be clean shaven the day you use the mask.

Then, to really throw a wrench in things, asbestoses is caused not by asbestos only, but any material that has small fibres......like silk, or fibre glass etc, etc.

Woody
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« Reply #24 on: January 11, 2010, 09:14:05 am »

I use the N95 rated masks when I'm sanding dry but otherwise I don't wear a mask for cabbing. I do have a "flow through" water system that keeps enough water on the wheel to not have much (if any) mist. On my grinding wheel I have a small flap that rides on the wheel and it helps distribute the water across the wheel. I hardly get any water on me as I'm grinding. I have been doing lapidary on all kinds of material (Myrikite, Malachite, Pietersite, whatever) for 51 years with no compromise to my breathing or lungs. I quit smoking 35 years ago (never a heavy smoker). I did a stint in the Navy on a WWII diesel submarine where there was a constant smell and mist of diesel in the air. The rest of the Navy could always detect a submariner by the smell of diesel on their uniform. I was proud of that! The nuclear sub that I spent most of my Navy years on didn't have any diesel smell, though. Our air was exceptionally clean and pure because of the filtering and treatment that we had. It was also artificially generated (the oxygen part). After we started on patrol no one ever had a cold or other virus because the air was sent through a burner to remove carbon monoxide and the heat killed all the bad guys. What fun!
In the 1800's and early 1900's in Germany where they did a lot of lapidary work on very large (14 feet in diameter) sandstone grinding wheels nearly all of the workers suffered from and possibly died from silicosis from the quartz in the sandstone wheels and in the rocks they were grinding on. They had to lie on their stomachs with their faces over the piece that they were working on to do the grinding. I'm not sure if there was water flowing on the wheels or not. We've got it easy as we sit comfortably at our lapidary machines!
Bob
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woodyrock
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« Reply #25 on: January 12, 2010, 12:31:08 am »

Diesel boats forever!  I was a combat swimmer/photographer in the Navy and did several missions via diesel boat. Smell one once, never forget that smell. BTW, nuc boats do not smell that much better.  Bobby forgot the tobacco odor. After the Navy, and bumming around a while, I went to work in Nuclear Engineering, and retired from the Navy yard in Bremerton.  Until the Navy prohibited smoking on board, the boats would come into the yard for overhaul with yelow brown interiors. One squirt of 409, and the condensed nicitine on the bulkheads would run down the side in riverlets to show the white paint undeneath.
Woody
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