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Scared of carcinogens in refractory mortar - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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  • Scared of carcinogens in refractory mortar

    The refractory mortars, and fireclay itself, seem to have some serious warnings about inhalation risks. How do we DIYers generally manage this risk? What safety gear? How do you decontaminate your clothes and work area?

  • #2
    It is typically silica in the dust that is the issue. I used a dust mask rated to Noish95, common and not really expensive, others have used full blown respirators. Wet saws reduce some of the problem but dry grinding is always an issue.
    Russell
    Build Link............... Picassa Photo Album Link

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    • #3
      Thanks,

      To the point of dry grinding, doesn't the mortar come in 50 lb bags of powdered mix, which is very easily aerosoled? I assume it ends up all over your hands, clothes, and yard.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Pizzahorse View Post
        The refractory mortars, and fireclay itself, seem to have some serious warnings about inhalation risks. How do we DIYers generally manage this risk? What safety gear? How do you decontaminate your clothes and work area?
        I mixed up small batches at a time. Open the bags, I used a plastic container - I think a yogurt container - to scoop out and portion the required multiples of my 3:1:1:1 mix. I dumped the dry goods in a drywall bucket. My last "dump" would be a scoop of sand to cover the clay/portland/lime. Dry mix gently with a margin trowel. Then wet and mix away.

        Wear a mask should you choose. If it's breezy out, be upwind of your dry mix so any airborne powder blows away from you. When done dry mixing, simply spray your arms down if you have a concern. If you make a mess, simply hose the area down. Dirty clothes, just wash them.

        If you inhale clouds of any airborne dust daily, you could have problems. Just treat these materials with common sense respect. Don't work afraid. Work intelligently. Not meant as an insult, it's meant as encouragement.
        Last edited by mongota; 09-18-2018, 06:55 AM. Reason: spelling
        Mongo

        My Build: Mongo's 42" CT Build

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        • #5
          I basically had the same approach as Mongo. I think i started of using a cartridge dust mask, but after a few days i just did like Mongo said (work upwind without mask) and was more deliberate & slow in attempt to not stir up dust when scooping & pouring into my mortar mixing container.

          When I worked with most any mortar, i was using knit gloves with a nitrile (foam?) coating on the palm & fingers.
          David in Calgary
          My Build Thread

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