Shine, After having worked around the mining industry I have seen far too much of what silica can do to a person and what is so shocking is how little it takes to do it! Even though I was a vendor I still had to sit through the safety training before I could work at some mines and some of the things we learned about silica was worrisome to say the least. When you consider that the dust they were dealing with contained only a fraction of the free silica that will be in blasting sand it really gets scary. I have used play sand quite a bit and I have recommended it to others (even in this thread :spank: ) but I took extra care to use the proper protection and always warned about the hazards. I think I am going to take a different stance from now on because the risks are too high and I know that too many people will use that stuff with improper or no protection but the biggest thing is what you said about the "collateral damage". Even dusting one's cloths off after working with sand can stir up dangerous amounts of silica and the area around the operation will be dangerous until the dust is gone, but I suppose you know all this already. I have heard the tired old arguments about some "old timer" who has done it for years with no protection and no problems but to those that think this is making too much out of the hazards better think again since even one heavy exposure can do damage that may not show up immediately.
As you have said repeatably, sand kills. I will not recommend it to anyone anymore.
it is scary red. i just pray that my stupidity of youth is not going to come back on me. i too have done it. but when setting up the blasting business i did my homework. what i found was terrifying. i know some of you guys get tired of my preaching every time this comes up but get use to it. if i can steer one person away from this crap it will be worth it. every time someone recommends this stuff i will hit the pulpit. there are approx 100 different medias available for blasting and sand ain't one of them . remember 5% quartz or less is the rule.
Shine, if it makes you feel any better, you've convinced me. I have bought black diamond from Northern tool for 7 bucks a bag. I even got three bags at half price that were torn open. You're right, the SLIGHT difference in cost just ain't worth it.
you wont be sorry. now that we have what we're blasting with covered lets talk about "what" your blasting off. remember , that old paint is lead based and rust dust s very bad also. pay attention to where the cloud is going and keep your protection on until you've cleaned up. you're also going to notice less surface rust than you get with sand.
I'm a BELIEVER as well BUT,
It basically comes down to "what" you can get LOCALLY as well.
I used sand because IT was ALL I could get without paying an arm & leg for SHIPPING.
Not that THAT is an excuse but when they charge $6.00 for 50# but $25.00 a BAG shipping,THAT hurts.
Yeah I know,Choking in your own spit ain't pretty either.
No silica in the slag at all but like ANYTHING you blast with,
USE A GOOD RESPIRATOR.
No "dust" mask but a fresh air or quality cartridge type. Regardless of the media.