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Chrysotile (White Asbestos) Found in Coal Slag

Earlier in the month, it was discovered that a major producer of abrasive blasting media had been distributing coal slag contaminated with chrysotile, commonly known as white asbestos. Chrysotile is a known human carcinogen that can be extremely harmful when ingested or inhaled. Asbestos has been found to be a direct contributor to “chronic lung disease as well as lung and other cancers.” OSHA notes, “There is no safe level of asbestos exposure for any type of asbestos fiber.”

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Beryllium and Abrasive Blasting

On Monday, January 9th, OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) finalized new beryllium standards for professions commonly exposed to Beryllium. Several are affected including workers in the marine and construction industries. OSHA’s new ruling on Beryllium confirms that at trace levels, beryllium can be harmful. Long-term beryllium exposure can lead to berylliosis, as well as cancer and heart failure. According to author John Emsley, a third of those who contract berylliosis die, leaving the rest permanently disabled.

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Dust Control: Reducing Health Risks Associated with Abrasive Blasting

As it stands today, ordinary abrasive blasting substitutes continue to get hit hard by regulatory bodies around the world as well as by public interest groups due to associated health and environmental risks and impacts.

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