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Asbestos in electronic components

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by Deefoo, Mar 7, 2006.

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  1. Deefoo

    Deefoo Guest

    You may have heard of the problems the French government has with the
    scrapping of their obsolete aircraft carrier Clemenceau because of asbestos.
    Now everybody is afraid of asbestos.

    The company I work for makes military equipement and now I have been asked
    to certify that the electronics we produce is free of asbestos. Sigh...

    Well, I guess there is no asbestos in the components we use, but I am not
    100% sure. Before I certify anything, does anyone know of asbestos in
    electronic components? NEC for one mentions on their website that their
    products do not contain asbestos (but we don't use NEC). There seem to exist
    asbestos resistors but I guess if any asbestos is used it will be found in
    high-temperature stuff (which we don't use).

    Electronics is full of stuff bad for our health (beryllium, lead, whatever),
    so who cares about asbestos. Oh, how I hate public (as is media) opinion.
    Next is probably certifying that our products have never been in contact
    with birds.

    Thanks for your help,

  2. You best tell them this subject needs some research
    in the order of a few months.

  3. John B

    John B Guest

    On 07/03/2006 the venerable Deefoo etched in runes:

    It sounds to me as though your equipment has already been in contact with a management turkey! >:-}
  4. Yep, before it goes to the dump, I'll pay the scrap value.

  5. Ken Taylor

    Ken Taylor Guest

    People have been afraid of asbestos for a long time, and with good reason.
    However the idea that there might be asbestos in electronic components is
    bizarre, if not just patently absurd. Plenty of other lethal crap, as
    someone pointed out, but not that one.

  6. Guest

    People have been afraid of asbestos for a long time, and with good reason.
    How confident are you that fiberglass is safe?

    I don't particularly care to be around when it is cut, drilled, or
    especially routed.
  7. Paul Burke

    Paul Burke Guest

    No one gives a toss how SAFE it is, just whether it's legal and not on
    the list of banned substances. It's not about safety, it's about
    protection of someone's arse.

    Paul Burke
  8. Ken Taylor

    Ken Taylor Guest

    Why is that relevant?

  9. Oh, bullshit and bullshit. Unless you're so young that to you, "10 years
    or so" is a "long time". As recently as 30 or 40 years ago, whole theater
    curtains were made of asbestos, and they were proud of it - if there's a
    fire in a crowded theater, you don't want the curtain contributing!

    The asbestos hysteria has the same roots as all the other boogeymen,
    like global warming, the ozone hole, smoking, terrorism, drugs; anything
    they can scare children with.

    But it has nothing whatsoever to do with common sense.

  10. There is rather more too it than that. The theatre curtains, in common
    with the oil lamp wicks used by the vestal virgins, used the long strand
    asbestos form (commonly crocidolite). This is the least problematical
    form, and indeed in some circumstances (wet in particular), may be
    fairly 'safe', if handled with care (I'd personally still want to use a
    mask, but the risk is several orders of magnitude 'below' that from the
    other forms). Unfortunately, in insulation applications, the relative cost
    of this, led to much of the short strand forms being used. The worst of
    these, was amosite, and this stuff really is foul....

    Best Wishes
  11. They used to use asbestos-insulated wire for high temperatures (eg.
    for thermocouple extension wire in industrial furnaces). I think it's
    mostly ceramic fiber these days, but I bet there are a bunch of dusty
    rolls of it around.

    Best regards,
    Spehro Pefhany
  12. Guest

    Also on the theater curtains, likely not the curtain you see, but
    rather a special fire curtain that stays rolled up out of sight, until
    someone pulls it's deployment rope in an emergency. The idea is to
    isolate the audience area from whatever light/special effect/etc just
    blew up on stage.

    The implication is that the asbestos fabric curtain isn't getting waved
    about opening and closing on a daily basis - it's rolled up fairly safe
    and immobile until needed... or accidentally deployed.
  13. Deefoo

    Deefoo Guest

    I've been told that there are asbestos beaches on Corsica. People get killed
    on these beaches, not because of the asbestos fibers, but because they get
    slammed on it when the sea is high...

  14. Ken Taylor

    Ken Taylor Guest

    Bullshit and bullshit. Okay, so I'm under 90 and 10 years isn't too
    long, but when I entered the workforce about 30 years ago buildings were
    being stripped of asbestos *very carefully* back in Australia. The
    effects of asbestos were well known by then - the result of studies of
    the effects of the stuff on miners and people living around them. (This
    in Australia - I can remember even earlier than entering the workforce
    seeing a BBC documentary on the effects of asbestos on people in a
    manufacturing plant in England, and how it was affecting people in the
    surrounding towns.

    "Common sense" isn't.

  15. Jim Thompson

    Jim Thompson Guest

    But it IS/WAS hysteria. INSTALLED asbestos poses virtually NO threat.
    However it is potentially dangerous to mine workers and installers.

    ...Jim Thompson
  16. Ken Taylor

    Ken Taylor Guest

    It's hysteria if taken to extremes (and maybe it is in places), however
    down this way (Australia/New Zealand) the reg's say leave it if it's
    there, remove/replace it properly/safely if it's damaged or has to be
    worked on. The stuff is dangerous if buggered about with, which is
    unfortunately what people love to do with things, so it makes sense to
    get rid of it in an orderly fashion.

    OP's post indicates a nonsense reaction by clerical arse-coverers and
    he's lumped with the impossible task of saying something is 100% safe.
    Not my pick of jobs. :(

  17. Yep, if you just leave it there, it is great, environmentally friendly,
    and a good fireproof insulator. From what I understand, the really
    carcinogenic stuff was only from a few places in Africa, but the stuff
    normally used is safe. However, when it came to legislating about it,
    it was too difficult for the congress critters and envirowhackos to
    understand that there were DIFFERENT KINDS of asbestos, so they just
    banned all of it...

  18. Jim Thompson

    Jim Thompson Guest

    Arizona is full of "flocked" ceilings (asbestos mixed with plaster)
    with excellent thermal and acoustic insulating properties. It is
    easily 'neutered" by spray-painting it, but you lose some of the
    acoustic noise reduction in the process.

    ...Jim Thompson
  19. SioL

    SioL Guest

    I disagree. Coincidentally I just found this by accident yesterday, its a good read.

    Talks about the many poisons of the modern age and the many decades it usually took
    to realize the damage and ban their use.

    Talks about azbestos, PCB, DES, hormones, ozone hole and other topics.
    Contains a nice historic overview, I just skimmed through it for an hour or so.
    Plenty of references, too.
  20. Probably due to the appalling working conditions in South African
    mines and mining towns.

    "The dust was everywhere. It lay up to an inch thick. There were no
    warnings, nothing. Children played in it. I lived half a kilometre
    from the factory but in order to drink I had to scrape a layer of
    asbestos off the top of my water jar."

    Best regards,
    Spehro Pefhany
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