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Asbestos in gauzes

Discussion in 'Science' started by phlogiston, Sep 8, 2018.

  1. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    One of my workplaces has been told about this, the other not (yet) even though we're part of CLEAPSS. My main non-mainstream school only has a couple of gauzes to dispose of.
    They seem to minimise the risks though - how many of us have come across gauzes where kids have poked the material out from the wires?


  2. oscillator

    oscillator Occasional commenter

    We replaced all of our gauzes and rumour is that this used up 1/3 of the current UK supply! Sorry guys...
  3. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    I fear some of us may have to wait a while.
  4. Jeroniymo

    Jeroniymo New commenter

    We are replacing our entire stock after the warning .. That's 100's ….

    It was a bit of a shock at the start of the year
  5. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    Didn't realise that the pad in the middle was asbestos. I would have thought these went at the same time that the asbestos bench mats were shown the door (about 30 years ago IIRC)

    Just read the advice. AS they do not name the suspect suppliers how will you know that your gauzes contain asbestos?
    border_walker likes this.
  6. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    You can't know unless your supplier can verify. So the default position is to assume there is a risk and either get rid, or store safely until such time as the safety can be confirmed.
  7. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    rehaank likes this.
  8. ScienceGuy

    ScienceGuy Established commenter

    The problem was not that they all definitely contain asbestos, but that they all could contain asbestos.
  9. Jeroniymo

    Jeroniymo New commenter

    But if you cant tell the only thing you can do is to remove them ….. This is particularly true if your Gauzes have been around a long time like ours were.
  10. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    we've chucked all ours.

    No bunsen burners for the forseeable future....
  11. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    If they are asbestos then you can't just chuck them in the bin.
  12. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    And the problem is that gauzes are unbranded and may last years, so if you've used several suppliers over the years, there's no way of knowing.
  13. ScienceGuy

    ScienceGuy Established commenter

    Effectively all gauzes in school on September 1st have to be taken out of circulation and replaced.

    The follow up to this, reading between the lines of one of the CLEAPSS documents, is that they may be concerns on the make up of some heatproof mats as well but, as yet, there is no evidence that they do contain asbestos.
  14. oscillator

    oscillator Occasional commenter

    AND the new replacement gauzes are coated in some sort of flammable oily substance that catches when put on the bunsen... Techs spent all day burning them off in a fume cupboard.

    What a nightmare!!
  15. border_walker

    border_walker Lead commenter

    I thought thatthis issue was dealt with decades ago. might just be the LA I was in at the time.
  16. averagedan

    averagedan Established commenter

    If they contain asbestos it will be a small quantity of chrysolite, I would be surprised if there's any real risk at all from using them as chrysolite is far safer than most forms of asbestos and needs to be ground into a powder and inhaled regularly over a period of years to cause illness..... But we have dutifully binned ours and now wait for our brand new shiny gauzes to arrive.
  17. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    Despite the supplier's website promising delivery within the week, I'm still waiting. The other stuff arrived.

    I don't like the sound of the oily stuff. I don't have a fume cupboard in my facility.
    Fun with detergent coming up.
  18. dnstalford

    dnstalford New commenter

    Gonna reactivate this old thread! Anyone else still waiting for replacement gauzes?
  19. ScienceGuy

    ScienceGuy Established commenter

    Yep - we ordered as soon as the supplier got the all clear but they have not produced any for us. The latest we heard was that they have more stock in but these have yet to be cleared for use.

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