Cutting Tungsten (fwd)

From:  Jim Lux [SMTP:jimlux-at-earthlink-dot-net]
Sent:  Wednesday, April 01, 1998 10:41 AM
To:  Tesla List
Subject:  Re: Cutting Tungsten  (fwd)

> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> Date: Tue, 31 Mar 1998 08:01:17 EST
> From: Hollmike <Hollmike-at-aol-dot-com>
> To: tesla-at-pupman-dot-com
> Subject: Re: Cutting Tungsten  (fwd)
> Jim, Rich, all,
>      I just wanted to add that thorium is relatively harmless UNLESS YOU
> BREATHE THE DUST.  The alpha radiation is blocked by a few inches of air
> because it is so reactive (a helium ion deficient in two electrons = very
> ionizing).  If you happen to breathe even a little of the dust, this
> ionization occurs in lung tissue and becomes extremely damaging.  At 2%
> thorium,  these rods will send the typical geiger-mueller counter off the
> scale. 
Interestingly, I put an unused  2% thoriated electrode next to my GM
counter's alpha window and got NO increase in count rate. Perhaps the
electrode is plated with tungsten ( a mighty good alpha blocker) or even a
film of oil or plastic? Next I'll go look at the grinding wheel the welders
have been using to grind the electrodes...

  I also expect that a fair amount of decay products(daughter products)
> will have built up in the rods that are even more radioactive than the
> itself.  I would suggest a respirator with a hepa type filter if

>    The lanthanide elements are somewhat toxic.  I would use a mask to
> inhalation of the dust.  It just makes good sense to do so.  You will
> possible irritation of lung tissue.  This goes with any activity that
> much dust whether the dust is chemically toxic or not.
Indeed... as if the ozone from the arcs weren't bad enough.