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Thread: Alloy dangers?

  1. #1
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    Alloy dangers?

    Good morning, I looking for information. If you have ever worked in a lab, you were told of the health hazards of blocking alloy. I was recently diagnosed with brain atrophy as well as cerebral degeneration. In most cases, this is caused by an inherited genetic issue, heavy drug use or cancer. None of these apply to me. Now the Doctors are looking to environmental factors.

    This all started with a tremor, loss of balance and loss of manual dexterity. Eventually my PCP authorized an MRI and trip to the Neurologist. That started this quest for information.

    This is a lot to ask, but has anyone else who has worked with alloy had any of these symptoms? Or know of someone who has?

    Thanks in advance for any information and you help in my quest.

  2. #2
    Compulsive Truthteller OptiBoard Gold Supporter Uncle Fester's Avatar
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    Sorry to welcome you to OptiBoard under such tragic circumstance.

    I found this thread with a search using "Blocking alloy". There are probably others you will want to look at.

    Sarcoidosis is something my wife, who is also an optician, has and actually had an MD ask without prompting if she was exposed to poly dust at work, when a lung inflammation took her out of work for several weeks. She originally had it years before on her skin.
    Hang in there. I'm sure I speak for many here when I send you healing thoughts through the Ether.

    https://www.optiboard.com/forums/sho...Blocking+alloy
    Last edited by Uncle Fester; 10-28-2022 at 08:26 AM.

  3. #3
    OptiWizard
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    Do not accept answers from uniformed people on this board. The alloy contains heavy metals which are extremely dangerous if they are in ingested. The alloy should be never be touched by unprotected hands. The reclaim water is highly toxic and caused huge fines for some labs that were caught dumping the water u treated into a standard sink. The reclaim water should be run thru a special machine that removes the alloy and oxidized metals this will alloy return of the water in conventional way. The filters are considered a hazardous waste and must be documented and disposed of according to law.
    You should contact the alloy manufacturer and get msds sheets and an attorney if necessary.

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    Compulsive Truthteller OptiBoard Gold Supporter Uncle Fester's Avatar
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    Lensman11- Thanks for the clarification and advice to work with experts. I see where our anecdotal experiences can create headaches for lab owners like you.

    Is this the alloy that I worked with in school in the 70's which we extruded to form a block and has since been superseded by tapes?

    LM2- I'm curious as to how much this alloy is used anymore.

  5. #5
    OptiWizard
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    Uncle Fester
    You are mixing apples and oranges. The tape you are referring to was a replacement for brush on coating which was loaded with solvents and if not applied under a high volume exhaust hood you would be causing other health problems. The alloy you worked with in school if it was used on glass was a different formulation than was is used today. Glass alloy melted at 156 todays plastic materials require 117 melting point. The introduction of wax material ( which was actually a step backwards because we used pitch to block lenses before the alloy a came out) to replace the toxic alloy was not usable in high speed production machines or for the stability the lenses used today.
    The optical laboratory is a very delicate manufacturing environment filled with dangerous processes and health hazards. I wonder how people were informed of the things they were exposed they were exposed to or if the proper precautions were in place to reduce the toxic environment.

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    Compulsive Truthteller OptiBoard Gold Supporter Uncle Fester's Avatar
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    Yes, the alloy was used on glass but as I recall we used hairspray on cr39 to prevent slippage and reduce scratches (supposedly) and then used the alloy for them as well. I could be wrong on that as it was a long time ago. Poly came out at this time as well and was full of other issues, but 3M came out with their 2 sided tape and I never used the melted alloy at any time except school. It was a solder like reusable metal with a very low melting point held in an uncoverd well on top of the extruder.

    I was mostly concerned with my boss cheating with OTC auto antifreeze for our 9 pot dye unit that ran all day in a shoulder to shoulder tiny lab with no vent hood and RIT dye from Woolworth's that we poured down the sink.

    Thanks.

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    Thanks for the replies.. Everyone knows that the components of blocking alloy are dangerous, but haven’t yet located anyone who have gotten ill from using it. But I’ll keep searching. I’ll will let you all know what I find.

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