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Author Topic: Poisonous(toxic) rock and wearing it  (Read 12477 times)

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Debbie K

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Re: Poisonous(toxic) rock and wearing it
« Reply #30 on: April 04, 2017, 08:37:19 PM »

I don't think the shells are "toxic", per se, just that the dust is really bad to breathe, much more than rock dust. I think that power tools have made working with it much worse, as the dust is finer and much more prolific.

Another really bad rock for dust is some soapstone, which can have quite a bit of asbestos in it. I worked some dry several years ago; mostly drilling large holes and such and it was months before I my breathing was back to normal. Some serpentine and of course tiger eye and hawk's eye also can have high amounts of asbestos, too.

I ran into the same issues that you had researching shells when I was researching malachite a few years ago; very little information on the toxicity. I believe that there was a lengthy debate on the old website about it; it got quite heated. Malachite has copper carbonate in it which does make it toxic, and after the discussion ran its course I did find an article on it killing and sickening many African workers.

Debbie K
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OurEarthlyDesigns

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Re: Poisonous(toxic) rock and wearing it
« Reply #31 on: May 12, 2017, 03:21:50 PM »

I have wondered the same, but in a more specific application as in plugs for gauged ears. I was told that Turquoise is not used for instance because of the copper. I was also warned about dinosaur bone for the same application. The woman wasn't sure, but recommended that I look into biocompatiblity, but I've had a hard time finding any really good information. Any thoughts on using them in healed ears?
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Michael
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irockhound

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Re: Poisonous(toxic) rock and wearing it
« Reply #32 on: May 12, 2017, 05:36:38 PM »

No idea where Dino bone came into being hazardous.  It is agate plain and simple, no organic mater and and no hazardous mineral like some sulfides, copper bearing or radioactive nasties.  I would wear a mask with any grinding creating dust but wearing a dino bone being dangerous is silly in my opinion.  Maybe a Dino from Yellow Cat flats with high amounts of Yellow possibly having Carnotite in it?
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hummingbirdstones

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Re: Poisonous(toxic) rock and wearing it
« Reply #33 on: May 12, 2017, 06:36:37 PM »

I agree with Steve.  Dino Bone is agatized.  I highly doubt there is any problem wearing dino bone.
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Robin

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Re: Poisonous(toxic) rock and wearing it
« Reply #34 on: May 14, 2017, 05:59:53 PM »

Tiffany stone or beryllium is very dangerous to be around its dust. when grinding make sure to use water flooding the material as you grind or shape it.It is also radioactive.
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ileney

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Re: Poisonous(toxic) rock and wearing it
« Reply #35 on: May 28, 2017, 06:54:30 AM »

There was a report a while back about some of the Dino bone being found to be surprisingly radioactive. I have been worried about cutting it ever since. I suspect that is what the concern is, not toxicity, per se.
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Slabbercabber

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Re: Poisonous(toxic) rock and wearing it
« Reply #36 on: May 28, 2017, 04:40:44 PM »

I found some dino bone at yellow cat a few years back.  It does register on the gieger but not much.  There are areas there however that I wouldn't go near.
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raven.worldlrnr

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Re: Poisonous(toxic) rock and wearing it
« Reply #37 on: July 02, 2017, 12:01:47 PM »

I'm  not an expert by any means but I did work a couple of summers making flower and sea shell leis when I lived in Hawaii "Oahu". Although the commercials show working with nothing I can't reiterate enough the safety that you must have when you are cutting shells. These are animals that grew from reefs and such that held so many different toxins and bacteria that get thru a simple mask.  You need to have a mask that deals with sanding, fiberglass and small airborne contaminants. Sinus infections, chest colds and rashes start with these but are very hard to get rid of and people don't think to tell the Dr. that the have been working with these and it wears on your immune system. I also wear nitrile glove, mask/respirator/eye protection and a smock that is not washed with anything. Also if you do get something in your eye, marine shrinks the eye and helps grains lol out and I also have a large bottle of saline to rinse my eyes if needed immediately. I've learned the hard way having my eyes flushed in ER with lidocaine drops every 3-5 minutes to lower the pain level. It took 45 mins of  a constant flush to get sea shell dust out of my eyes.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk

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gemfeller

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Re: Poisonous(toxic) rock and wearing it
« Reply #38 on: July 19, 2017, 10:49:53 PM »

Re: the topaz, the older stuff was much more irradiated than the newer stuff is. Hummingbirdstones is right; the geiger is the best way to see if they're really hot.
Debbie K

I did a lot of research on this when the topic came up at GemologyOnline a few years ago.  When treated blue topaz first came to market in the 1980s a few "hot" batches were discovered.  The stuff was initially irradiated by dental X-ray machines in Brazil but the dangerous London Blue stones were treated in nuclear reactors and took a fairly long time to become inert.
 
I forget all the details but since then strict controls on topaz imports have been established in the U.S.  See this report from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission:  https://public-blog.nrc-gateway.gov/2014/12/08/blue-topaz-the-irradiated-gemstone/  I've dealt in the material for 30+ years and have never heard of a single case of anyone being sickened by handling or wearing it.  In the case of London Blue it's required to be stored for specific cool-off periods before it can be shipped to the U.S.  These regulations are strictly enforced by the NRC. 

Re: Geiger counters, a funny story.  Eight or ten years ago an Indian dealer sent me large chrysoberyl cat's-eye and asked if I could sell it for him.  It was a yellowish stone, not the brandy color that's considered most desirable in the Trade, but it was huge, nearly 20 carats, and of fine quality.  It so happened that about the same time a few of the yellowish Indian stones had been sent to an Indonesian company which irradiated them to darken the color.  They were sizzling "hot" when they came to market and this set off a big alarm among people who dealt in those goods. 

Not knowing that, I took the stone to several major gem dealers of my acquaintance in L.A.  When I pulled the stone out of my pocket, people's faces blanched and one guy ran quickly to a back room and came back lugging a Geiger counter.  He gingerly tested the stone and got nothing but a normal background radiation count.  But I had trouble convincing other dealers the stone was safe.  As it turned out, very few of the dangerous irradiated stones were ever discovered but it set off a panic that I still hear about all these years later. 
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irockhound

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Re: Poisonous(toxic) rock and wearing it
« Reply #39 on: October 22, 2017, 08:32:58 PM »

I was out in Wyoming this last trip and collected some of the Sweetwater Agates.  They fluoresce a bright green do to the addition of a Uranium Uranyl Ion.  I have looked and they say the radioactivity is pretty weak.  This is similar to the glow of Desert rose from the South West that also glow green.  The Sweetwater's are just a bit brighter.  Very pretty under a short to medium wave UV light.  Even low exposure over long periods can be bad.  I don't think they are that much to worry about but have no clue about radiation levels.
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Windenzee

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Re: Poisonous(toxic) rock and wearing it
« Reply #40 on: October 22, 2017, 11:24:38 PM »

Certain Sea shells were used to produce Lime for plaster here in England and I do believe Australia. The shells were burnt and ashes were the Lime.
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Slabbercabber

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Re: Poisonous(toxic) rock and wearing it
« Reply #41 on: October 23, 2017, 05:32:31 AM »

I am certainly no expert but I suspect the problem with seashells is not the calcium carbonate so much as the fact that most people working seashells do so dry.  Any dust is bad.  Fresh sharp dust is the worst.
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irockhound

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Re: Poisonous(toxic) rock and wearing it
« Reply #42 on: October 23, 2017, 10:42:19 AM »

There is a great article that goes after the myth of Shell Toxicity and takes on many of the rumors and hype.  The only common theme is dust and as slabber said dust is bad.  People have died from inhaling volcanic dust particles because of the damage they do to the lungs etc nothing toxic there just the dust.  As for the toxicity this article seems to put that to rest.

http://www.portercalls.com/images/sounds/DOPCUT%20SHELLANDDIEarticle.pdf
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Barclay

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Re: Poisonous(toxic) rock and wearing it
« Reply #43 on: October 23, 2017, 08:10:09 PM »

I was out in Wyoming this last trip and collected some of the Sweetwater Agates.  They fluoresce a bright green do to the addition of a Uranium Uranyl Ion.  I have looked and they say the radioactivity is pretty weak.  This is similar to the glow of Desert rose from the South West that also glow green.  The Sweetwater's are just a bit brighter.  Very pretty under a short to medium wave UV light.  Even low exposure over long periods can be bad.  I don't think they are that much to worry about but have no clue about radiation levels.

With radioactive elements you not only have to worry about the toxicity of the element itself, but it's decay products.  Here is what our friends at Wiki have to say about Uranyl Ions, "Uranyl salts are toxic and can cause severe renal insufficiency and acute tubular necrosis. Target organs include the kidneys, liver, lungs and brain. Uranyl ion accumulation in tissues including gonocytes[15] produces congenital disorders, and in white blood cells causes immune system damage.[16] Uranyl compounds are also neurotoxins. Uranyl ion contamination has been found on and around depleted uranium targets.[17]

All uranium compounds are radioactive. However, uranium is usually in depleted form, except in the context of the nuclear industry. Depleted uranium consists mainly of 238U which decays by alpha decay with a half-life of 4.468(3) × 109 years. Even if the uranium contained 235U which decays with a similar half-life of about 7.038 × 108 years, both of them would still be regarded as weak alpha emitters and their radioactivity is only hazardous with direct contact or ingestion".  Alphas are the largest radioactive particle.  They can be stopped by a piece of paper or your skin, but if you breathe them in or handle the mineral and then food when you get them inside you they are very bad.  Those long decay rates show that this stuff continues to give off alpha particles for a long time.  That russian guy who was poisoned in the UK, Alexander Litvinenko, was killed by ingesting an alpha emitter.  Granted polonium is worse than uranium, but how many alpahs does it take to kill me is not math i would like to do.
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Michael

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Re: Poisonous(toxic) rock and wearing it
« Reply #44 on: December 31, 2017, 05:41:25 PM »

Are masks, the kind with rubber bands sufficient?  What about respirators?  I have heard that Cerium O is not a good thing to breathe without something to block that dust floating in the air.  I have one lung left from Vietnam, so I want to be sure to keep it functioning, of course.  All opinions are welcome.  I use the rubber band kind when grinding/sanding/polishing, and a Harbor Freight respirator when using polishing agents like CO / TO/ Linde A/ #61 Rapid Polish, etc.  I think this is important as all of you guys are rare and there are not a lot of us.
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