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Q: Heavy metals in glass ( No Answer,   2 Comments )
Subject: Heavy metals in glass
Category: Science
Asked by: mar19-ga
List Price: $20.00
Posted: 10 Aug 2006 08:37 PDT
Expires: 11 Aug 2006 16:50 PDT
Question ID: 754660
Someone would like to open a glass shop that does glass beveling and
edging work. He needs to know if there's any special waste management
handling requirements (disposal classification) for the new business.
Specifically, are there heavy metals in the glass fines? If there are,
are they considered toxic? Thanks.

Clarification of Question by mar19-ga on 10 Aug 2006 08:38 PDT
Is there arsenic in the glass fines?
There is no answer at this time.

Subject: Re: Heavy metals in glass
From: myoarin-ga on 11 Aug 2006 03:05 PDT
As I understand it, glass fines are very fine particles of impurity
that become fused to the surface of the glass during production.

By my logic, there cannot be many of them, and they cannot involve
anything that wasn't floating around in the glass plant during
production, where  - I assume -  if toxic substances are involved, the
plant has air filters that reduce the level of any minute dust to what
the safety requirements for the protection of the workers specify. 
Thus, any fines released in a glass shop would be insignificant and
not harmful, certainly not more so than the splitters and grindings
from working with the glass.

But this is just a layman's opinion.
Subject: Re: Heavy metals in glass
From: fstokens-ga on 11 Aug 2006 11:09 PDT
It depends on what kind of glass you're dealing with.  Regular
soda-lime glass (most window glass) has no heavy metals in it, so any
waste would be similar to sand (though sharper) and should not be
difficult to dispose of.  However, some glass does have heavy metals
(usually lead) added to increase the refractive index (more sparkle)
or otherwise change the properties.  Any fragments of such glass will
need to be disposed of correctly, or the lead may leach out and enter
drinking water supplies etc.  Some specialty glasses may present other
difficulties, depending on what has been added to them.

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