Mica/glitter particles

Soapmaking Forum - Soap & Candle Forums

Help Support Soapmaking Forum - Soap & Candle Forums:

lenarenee

Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2014
Messages
3,746
Reaction score
3,403
Has anyone found some good research on any repercussions from breathing mica and glitter dust? I used Nurture's super sparkle in soap...and an hour later I found a lot of it floating around a sunbeam.

I know that inhaled silica dust stays in the lungs forever....never thought about what happens after breathing micas and glitter.
 

luebella

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 22, 2015
Messages
235
Reaction score
108
Would a respirator help?

In doing a bit of go ogling and not finding too many answers. Are oxides the same as micas? Would pose same risks breathing in?
 

Steve85569

Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2015
Messages
1,916
Reaction score
2,122
Location
North East Oregon, USA
Err on the side of caution and use a particle mask when using powders that can become air born.
Micas are as dangerous as silicas as far as I know. Has to do with the particle shape more than the composition. They are lighter so may get expelled from the lungs at a better rate but still "can't be good". Dust masks are cheaper than doctor bills.
 

lenarenee

Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2014
Messages
3,746
Reaction score
3,403
I have no idea if oxides have any inhalation issues.

There are natural and synthetic micas and at least some are silicates and inhaled silica particles are not cleared from your lungs...after time/accumulation you can get scarred lungs and there's nothing that can heal them.

I haven't had much time to research this as our little one has the flu and I have a big test next week.
 

lenarenee

Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2014
Messages
3,746
Reaction score
3,403
The product is fairly new and they don't have the MSDS up yet. I'm also looking for more information than MSDS supplies.
 

navigator9

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2014
Messages
2,713
Reaction score
3,093
Location
New England
I have asthma and I always wear a particle mask when I use micas. The particles are extremely small and easily become airborne. I've never noticed oxide particles floating around, but it takes two seconds to put a mask on, so why not? I wouldn't necessarily go as far as getting a respirator, a particle mask should work fine for this purpose.
 

Dharlee

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2015
Messages
163
Reaction score
53
I *think* there is another thread going somewhere on this as well. I said thrre I never used anything and thought it was fine, but now I am wondering. I am also a silversmith and it's just too easy to grab my particle mask from my bench not to go ahead and do it for this too. Like Steve said, cheaper [and healthier!] than Dr bills!
 

LBussy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2014
Messages
1,330
Reaction score
1,035
Location
Kansas City, MO
You don't want particulates in your lungs, period. The smaller/finer they are, the deeper they will go. Wear a mask if your process raises dust or if you are the least bit concerned. It's cheaper than lung cancer.

Mica is a silica, silica causes silicosis, silicosis is not fun.
 

Cosmo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 5, 2012
Messages
214
Reaction score
194
Sorry about the missing MSDS everyone! I will get that posted tomorrow. I didn't realize Super Sparkles didn't have one. If you work with mica often it is best to wear a face mask. We get ours from Uline.

The Super Sparkles safety information will be almost identical to that of any other mica. Super Sparkles is a larger micron size than many others micas, but less inert. Thankfully, smaller micron sizes are not as likely as larger mica particles to float in the air for long periods of time and get breathed in.

With that said, it is best to always err on the side of caution.

http://www.uline.com/Product/Detail/S-5687/Dust-Masks-and-Respirators/Uline-Standard-Dust-Mask
 

vmakkers

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2015
Messages
184
Reaction score
118
Location
California
I just used super sparkles too and noticed how air borne it got especially since I had it in one of those small puffer bottles people love to use for glitter. I noticed TKB 24k carat gold also gets pretty air borne. Never thought about how breathing in micas might be bad. Thanks for starting this thread!
 

luebella

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 22, 2015
Messages
235
Reaction score
108
I wrote to brambleberry asking about their micas and they said they are not nano particle which is good to know. I will be using a mask just to be cautious
 

Cosmo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 5, 2012
Messages
214
Reaction score
194
I wrote to brambleberry asking about their micas and they said they are not nano particle which is good to know. I will be using a mask just to be cautious
Nanoparticles are .1 micron or below. The typical mica micron size is 10-60 microns and I have never seen a nano mica. I don't believe it's possible.
 

DeeAnna

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2013
Messages
13,563
Reaction score
19,689
Location
USA
"...Thankfully, smaller micron sizes are not as likely as larger mica particles to float in the air for long periods of time and get breathed in...."

That's an incorrect belief. Smaller particles remain airborne for much longer than larger particles. The general rule of thumb I was taught is that if you can see the particle, it's large enough to be relatively safe, assuming the material is inert, not a toxin. A healthy respiratory system can do a decent job of trapping and removing these larger particles. Very small particles around 10 microns and under, however, are nearly invisible. These are the particles that the respiratory system is not efficient at removing.

"...http://www.uline.com/Product/Detail/...dard-Dust-Mask..."

This product is a nuisance dust mask that isn't rated for any kind of serious respiratory protection. For more information about choosing an effective respirator, see posts 12 and 20 in this thread -- http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showthread.php?t=50259.

The other aspect y'all are not talking about is that even if you wear a respirator, at least some of the particles you are concerned about are STILL going to be floating around in the room air after you finish using your powders. It is true that the concentration of particles will be lower due to dilution in the general room air and due to the larger particles settling out, but if you don't want to inhale this stuff at all and you don't want to expose other members of your household to these particulates, then you need to be thinking about using better ventilation to physically remove the particulates from the room air as well as wearing an effective respirator. Or thinking about using the powders outdoors -- that will eliminate the issue of them getting into the room air.
 

luebella

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 22, 2015
Messages
235
Reaction score
108
Ty for bringing that up! Wasn't thinking of after the respirator comes off. Will be mixing outside from now on
 

lenarenee

Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2014
Messages
3,746
Reaction score
3,403
"...Thankfully, smaller micron sizes are not as likely as larger mica particles to float in the air for long periods of time and get breathed in...."

That's an incorrect belief. Smaller particles remain airborne for much longer than larger particles. The general rule of thumb I was taught is that if you can see the particle, it's large enough to be relatively safe, assuming the material is inert, not a toxin. A healthy respiratory system can do a decent job of trapping and removing these larger particles. Very small particles around 10 microns and under, however, are nearly invisible. These are the particles that the respiratory system is not efficient at removing.

"...http://www.uline.com/Product/Detail/...dard-Dust-Mask..."

This product is a nuisance dust mask that isn't rated for any kind of serious respiratory protection. For more information about choosing an effective respirator, see posts 12 and 20 in this thread -- http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showthread.php?t=50259.

The other aspect y'all are not talking about is that even if you wear a respirator, at least some of the particles you are concerned about are STILL going to be floating around in the room air after you finish using your powders. It is true that the concentration of particles will be lower due to dilution in the general room air and due to the larger particles settling out, but if you don't want to inhale this stuff at all and you don't want to expose other members of your household to these particulates, then you need to be thinking about using better ventilation to physically remove the particulates from the room air as well as wearing an effective respirator. Or thinking about using the powders outdoors -- that will eliminate the issue of them getting into the room air.
And...is that cause for concern? Should a hobbyist have reason enough to, for example...open, measure and mix, the micas outside? (which for me, in Southern CA isn't an issue) Also, we have a youngster in the house...would her lungs be more at risk? I'd like to know where to go to find that out. I'm sure there are industry lists of exposure some where (even then, I'm not sure they'd be conservative enough).
 
Top