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Stainless Steel Screens and hexavalent chromium, is it dangerous?

Discussion in 'Vaporization Discussion' started by TheGinni, Apr 4, 2010.

  1. TheGinni

    TheGinni Keeping Canada Green!

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Canada
    Greetings All

    The thread Stainless Steel How safe is it was closed.
    I apologize if I posted the thread or the quotes in the thread in an inappropriate manner. It was not my intentions to do so. I was merely trying to show the conversation that had been started in the Brass safety thread. I have been following Vaporization and this site for a long while, but I am new here so please be patient with me. I am only trying to inspire some good thinking and talk! :)

    I AM NOT CLAIMING THAT STAINLESS STEEL IS UNSAFE!!! HIGH QUALITY STAINLESS AND MEDICAL GRADE STAINLESS ARE CONSIDERED BY MANY TO BE SAFE TO VAPORIZE FROM AND SAFE FOR USE IN MANY OTHER APPLICATIONS!!! I MAKE NO CLAIMS AS TO THE SAFTEY OF STAINLESS GOOD OR BAD!!! THIS IS ONLY TO INSPIRE PEOPLE TO TALK AND BE CRITICAL OF ALL THE PARTS THEY USE IN THEIR DAILY VAPORIZING!!! LETS KNOW WHAT PARTS WE ARE USING AND BE CONFIDANT IN THEM!!!

    Although I have used many many vaporizers, I will be buying my first unit of my own this week( I have a few friends that are licensed Medical MJ users and have a good deal of knowledge of and experience with vaporizers through them). I have got it down to two units.. Eventually I want them both... but one at a time ... #1 Extreme Q ( The manufacturer Arizer has been really great in answering all of my questions and seem to use only the highest quality 440 titanium blended stainless steel) #2 VaporBros, although, there are many other units that I would like to own as well, I wanted to put all of their health claims to the test!!, . If anyone wants to comment on that I posted in the New Extreme Q thread by Rockwise. I am also interested in getting a Purple Days from Tom... but again one a time. When I buy something I pick it apart to sometimes absurd levels. This got me to where I am in my decision of those two models, .. this got me thinking about all components right down to the very screens that hold the sacred herbs........

    I would like to express interest in starting a discussion over some questions that I had after watching a review Video by the one and only KADS in support of the VaporBrothers new EZ Change Whip system. While there were many excellent features discussed in the video the one that got me thinking was this: that the ez change whip had new ceramic screens! The video and VapBros seem to be making a big deal of these ceramic screens. They seem to claim that they are much better then the metal screens for cleaning purposes and also for the same principals behind the thought that ceramic is better in the heaters as well (Maybe Kads or VB can clarify?). Well way to go KADS! ..lol...By the end of the video you had me thinking!
    I know that even with ceramics you need to be careful of the content of ceramic. The VaporBros heating element is made from an all natural clay is supposed to be third party tested for its capabilities of being completely safe an non-toxic (Seriously though, can anyone find any such reports or findings? Just would like to see some hard data to back up the claims, not saying it is untrue). So this really got me thinking... How safe are the stainless steel screen that are provided with most vaporizer units out there? What grade and type of stainless are the individual manufacturers using? Even the better companies.
    Dont get me wrong I am not screaming foul on the part of stainless, we all know of its great heat resistant properties, and I know there are many very wonderful and dedicated individuals and companies out there that are making very health conscious units using stainless and I am not knocking you. I use stainless. That is why I am asking these questions. Now I know we are not talking aluminum here. It is stainless steel. It is used in our cookware and eating utensils even in surgical implants and in surgical tools! I am sure we are all familiar with the statement it is industry standard, well IMHO their is nothing in nature that dictates industry standards of the materials we use for our everyday use or vaporizing. By that I mean that humankind dictates industry standard even in medical practices, sometimes for centuries, before we realize we were dead wrong. Sometimes we use things that can seem harmless but in retrospect we often realize we did not fully understand the health or environmental issues and impacts when dealing with substances/products.

    So dont go throw out all your stainless steel stuff, but here is some food for thought!
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    The United States Department of Labour ; Occupational Safety & Health Admin.(www.osha.gov) says:

    All forms of hexavalent chromium are regarded as carcinogenic to workers. The risk of developing lung cancer increases with the amount of hexavalent chromium inhaled and the length of time the worker is exposed. Studies of workers in chromate production, chromate pigment, and chrome electroplating industries employed before the 1980s show increased rates of lung cancer mortality. Certain hexavalent chromium compounds produced lung cancer in animals that had the compounds placed directly in their lungs.

    Hexavalent chromium is used in Stainless steel. The amount and type varies depending on the type and quality of the stainless.
    Now I know the melting/vaporization points for chromium are at an extremely high temperature and is much much higher than what is used in a common herb vaporization unit, but that is not true of some types of chromium, and depending on the type that is used in your screen... well is it possible that some screens are letting off chromium vapors?

    Here is what the CDC (www.cdc.gov) says:

    Noncombustible Solid in bulk form, but finely divided dust burns rapidly if heated in a flame.

    Now, many units are made with high quality screen that you would not have to worry about this, but some manufactures of cheap stainless use chromium finishes to make it look better, this is a spray on chromium similar to that used to chrome decorating. I am certainly NOT accusing any manufacturer of using such products, but I think the consumer should look in to it. I AM CERTAINLY NOT ACCUSING ANY VAPORIZER MANUFACTURER OF USING ANY SUCH SCREENS!!! Just make sure you verify the quality of the screen that you use. Make sure the manufacturer of your products stands behind the composition and construction of their products.

    CDC also says this about chromium of ANY kind:

    Exposure Routes inhalation, ingestion, skin and/or eye contact
    Symptoms irritation eyes, skin; lung fibrosis (histologic)
    Target Organs Eyes, skin, respiratory system


    I think this is something that is worth while talking about.

    Most people don't know or realize but we absorb metals like nickel and chromium that are in things like stainless steel cookware through our food even when you cook in low temperatures.

    The Canadian government says this:

    www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hl-vs/iyh-vsv/prod/cook-cuisinier-eng.php

    Stainless steel, made from iron and other metals, is strong and resists wear and tear. It is inexpensive, long-lasting and the most popular cookware in North America. The metals used in stainless steel or iron cookware which may produce health effects are iron, nickel and chromium.
    Small doses of chromium, like iron, are good for your health, but they can be harmful in higher amounts. The safe intake range is about 50 to 200 micrograms per day, what most Canadians take in. One meal prepared with stainless steel equipment gives you about 45 micrograms of chromium, not enough to cause concern.


    Again I am not making any definitive statements here about absorption through use of you vaporizer, but it would be nice to see some clear evidence through scientific trial of screens to shed light on such things!

    Another point to mention is that some chromium is very water soluble (only in some circumstances, in high quality stainless there is more chance of Nickel leaching into the water), so depending on the quality of the stainless, the type and amount of chromium used is the deciding factor on how much the chromium is affected by water. What happens to the chromium when you are cleaning your screen? humm ...Makes me think! What is the quality and level of the chromium in my screen? Is it only properly molecularly bonded to the iron and nickel to form quality stainless steel? Is there any other type of chromium in the screen? any added after to make it shiny? I would like to know !! I dont know about you!

    Last point I will make is this: No matter what anyone can find out about the safety of heating, cleaning and smoking over hexavalent chromium filled stainless steel, that hexavalent chromium is absolutely, unequivocally, hands down one of the most horrible substances on earth for the environment and the people that work with it.

    I want to know ... Is there and alternative? Is there an answer? Is it ceramic screens? Can we stop using any and all horrible chemicals to make our vaporizers?! Just looking to keep the world and our selves happy and healthy for the long vap! ;) Any Thoughts??

    :peace:
     
  2. Qbit

    Qbit cannabanana

    Messages:
    1,056
    Location:
    Australia
    Uh, as mentioned in your post, you get about 50 mics of chromium when you cook a meal in stainless steel - and that's a large surface are in direct contact with liquids and solids. The amount of chromium that would become airborne from a small stainless screen would be insignificant. Go worry about something else. ;)
     
  3. TheGinni

    TheGinni Keeping Canada Green!

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Canada
    I don't think you understand what I wrote at all... maybe I can clarify....

    I am not implying that any chromium is being released or vaporized from HIGH QUALITY SS. As far as I can understand the atomic bonding properties of chromium when in SS would not allow it to be released at the regular herb vaporization temperatures... But I would love some one with deep scientific knowledge about it to be able to explain that in english for everyone (we can all read wikipedia)... would love some good intelligent breakdown of these issues

    .... I was talking more about the fact that some 'cheap' stainless has extra sprayed on chromium and it combusts/vaporizes at a much lower temperature..... any type of hexavalent chromium is extremely carcinogenic and is directly linked to lung cancer. This is what I am worried about. Weather or not my screen has any type of 'extra' or sprayed on hexavalent chromium on it. This was just a thought after doing a lot of reading on stainless.... was hoping someone with some good scientific knowledge could weigh in. Not trying to worry anyone as I made clear in the post..... just "some food for thought!" .. I am trying to get some answers as well! Not trying to worry anyone just trying to get to the bottom of it thats all!


    THIS IS NOT TO SAY THAT ALL SCREENS ARE LIKE THIS >>> MOST SCREENS ARE QUALITY AND TESTED FOR SUCH>>> I JUST WANT PEOPLE TO BE AWARE THAT "CHEAP" STAINLESS CAN CONTAIN SOME HARMFUL TOXINS!!!!!!!! BE PARTICULAR ABOUT YOUR STAINLESS!!!! ASK THE MANUFACTURER WHAT TYPE AND GRADE OF STAINLESS IS USED!!!!! *** IN MY OPININ ONLY** I THINK THAT MOST OF THE QUALITY UNITS TALKED ABOUT ON THIS SITE AND RECOMMENDED OR USED BY PEOPLE HERE ARE SAFE! !!THIS IS JUST CRITICAL THINKING!!! THAT IS ALL!!!!!


    I used the stainless cooking example to show how easlily these metals can leach out into our bodies!! I think it is somthing at least worth thinking about and quetioning. If you do not , no problem... if others do not... also no problem. It was only my :2c: ... and thats it! ... Just trying to get some discussion going. Apparently not worth it in your opinion. For starters I am not sure that I want to fully believe that the levels of "safe" chromium in-take are what the the government says they are. The point is in 10 years they might come out and say: "don't use stainless for this or this because we now found that is causing lung cancer in people"... things like that happen all the time with even the most every day products we use.....I think the only way to evolve is to question what we do on a daily basis. Just trying to get some thoughts .. and well... thank you for yours!! :)

    If all stainless, regardless of place of origin, machining or finishing processes used, is 1000% safe... well Thats where I want the opinions!!! Is every quality of stainless the same? NO!! They can use all kinds of additives (chromium) to help finish or machine the stainless. For example 440C Stainless is sometimes very hard to machine (work into functioning shapes by process of machine). Some times then you could use 440A or B or add more softer metals to make it machinable. Sometimes Stainless with out enough nickel in it to make it shiny, has chromium added to the finishing process to make it look shiny. The reason they add chromium to make it look shiny is that chromium is the major metal that is in stainless with the classic SS rust prof qualities. So to add chromium to the finish of stainless not only keeps it rust proof but makes it nice and shiny for the consumer. This is where I want some opinions. I want to know what manufactures are using what grade SS. I want to know, because I use many different manufactures stainless steel products in a week using vaporizers!

    Anyway...Qbit.... Your right.... I'll go worry about something else, LUNG CANCER is not important or dangerous at all, :uhoh: not worth even thinking about :/ ,... your right :rolleyes: ...... Good point. :( .......

    ;)
     
  4. Purple-Days

    Purple-Days Tom Manufacturer

    Messages:
    2,722
    I can not speak for others, the Purple-Days Diffuser and the Pandora kit use nothing but 304 Stainless Steel. No plating. We also use Black Oxide coated 'Dark Fin' washers made of 304 Stainless, this oxide is induced with sulfuric acid, (made of Sulfur, Hydrogen and Oxygen). These washers and the flat washers we use come with RoHS certification. Our screen material is also 304 Stainless Steel. All of the stainless we use is unplated and all of it is washed several times in hot soapy water to remove any manufacturing oils or residues. :cool:
     
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  5. DevoTheStrange

    DevoTheStrange Ia! Ia! Vapor Fthagn!

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    cheap stainless steel screens that are coated are easy to avoid if you are aware of them.... and besides, a lot of people will heat treat their screens before even using them, knowing they can burn off any bad chemicals really easy.
    I know that is what I do when I get a screen that looks too shiny... it is what I have always done....
    I remember even being told that at head shops "you will want to burn the screens to make sure there is no bad stuff left from machining, and they coat them to make them look like new metal"
    Thing about cheap steel that we might end up using is that it normally is small things such as screens.... which is easy to fix if you suspect there is a bad metal in it. And if you burn your screens the color of the flame and metal as it burns should tell you if there is chromium... flame will have more blue than normal in it, and metal will turn green as it burns off, then back to normal metal color.

    you even answered your own question of why chromium is used with the following quote.
    "Stainless steel, made from iron and other metals, is strong and resists wear and tear. It is inexpensive, long-lasting and the most popular cookware in North America. The metals used in stainless steel or iron cookware which may produce health effects are iron, nickel and chromium.
    Small doses of chromium, like iron, are good for your health, but they can be harmful in higher amounts. The safe intake range is about 50 to 200 micrograms per day, what most Canadians take in. One meal prepared with stainless steel equipment gives you about 45 micrograms of chromium, not enough to cause concern.

    Other than screens I do not see why anyone would want to add chromium plating to anything that would be on a device used in breathing.
    By burning your screen first you eliminate the chromium.
     
  6. TheGinni

    TheGinni Keeping Canada Green!

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Canada
    DevoTheStrange : Again I am not really talking about absorption through means of cooking... that example was only to show how easy these metals can leach out from stainless!!! What you are missing is that it is a huge health concern and a huge environmental concern if there is any hexavalent chromium used after the bonding process. Hexavalent chromium in known and proven to be a huge carcinogenic cancer causing agent!!... GOOD POINT: "BURN IT OFF WITH A LIGHTER".. but I am not sure I want to even think about having to burn off CANCER CAUSING hexavalent chromium from my screens!!! I don not want it there at ALL!! Thaks for the imput though! :) You made a good suggestion about heat treating your screens and have a valid point... Thanks!... but because you" do not see why" does not mean it is not happening or exists! ...Again just trying to get to the bottom of it!
    Why in the world would someone use brass that contains lead or solder that contains lead in their products?? Not sure but it happens!!!!


    Thanks Purple - Days !!! That is the kind of of info I would like to see posted here. Info about they type and quality of stainless that people are using and wether or not the manufacturing companies are even knowledgeable or confidant in their products!!!

    This is exactly why one day I will own A PD vaporizer!! Thanks again Purple Days!!!

    Here is the Info that Steve from Arizer sent me about the screens in the Extreme Q

    I have used an Extreme a couple of times and I loved it so much I ordered one! Although I use many vaporizers that friends own, this is the first one of my very own! I chose this unit for many reasons, but most of all it is a tested health conscious unit using top quality stainless steel. At the end of the day IMO the people at Arizer that make the EQ are very honest and caring people, they are very open with information about their product!
     
  7. DevoTheStrange

    DevoTheStrange Ia! Ia! Vapor Fthagn!

    Messages:
    1,652
    Location:
    Somewhere in the mountains.
    No i am not missing the point... I understand the dangers of Hexavalent Chromium. Which is why I said it is an easy to fix problem. All you have to be is aware of its existence and it is easily removed.
    The reason I quoted your quote about cooking is in regards to absorption, and safe absorption levels, which is why they use Chromium.. and not some other metal. It details what is an acceptable Daily intake of chromium, it doesn't matter if it is from cooking or from smoking or just rubbing it, that statement details what is considered safe daily dose.
    So if you treat metal that has chromium in it, you can reduce that dose you get from that particular piece of metal to little or none. With steel that has leachable chromium in it instead of just a coating, you can also remove the leached chromium in it as well.

    if I had missed the point I would not have told you that chromium can be removed and told you to just deal with it. And by saying "Don't See Why" i am acknowledging it does happen, but the comment means you will run into it on a rare occasion. There is no reason to put chromium in something that is used in a breathing way because of its known toxicity. Which is why when you do find it, it is on things such as screens (usually because it is cheap low grade product, being made to look like something it is not, which is a bad practice)... and when you do find it on metal pipes... you find it on the outside of the pipe, not inside where the flame might burn it and cause it to fume... so your chromium content in that case is from your lips touching the metal.

    Chromium is far easier to remove from metal than lead is, when it comes to treating the metal. Usually you can burn it off, or use a light acid bath.

    And if you think about it, how easy chromium burns off a screen.... when used in a pipe... if not heat treated, after a few uses, the chromium will have burned off anyways in doses smaller than would be harmful anyways. It is not like the chromium on a screen will continue to off gas for the life of the screen.

    Now if the screens were nothing but chrome plated to the point where there was more chromium than steel, then it would be a major problem.

    To have chromium be an extreme problem like you are stating you would have to be working with it, be the person who is putting it on the screens.

    Until stricter regulations arise, you will always encounter chromium. And since they deem small dosages on a daily basis to be healthy below a certain limit, I do not see them removing chromium anytime soon.
     
  8. TheGinni

    TheGinni Keeping Canada Green!

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Canada
    DevoTheStrange: .. I realise you have a good grasp on this matter.. and .. truly.. Thank you for weighing in on the subject!! Your comments have been informative, pratical and are usefull to someone who is unfamiliar with stainless steel ot any metal! Honestly thank you for posting :)


    I am not "screaming foul" on the part of any one or anything and I am not trying to scare anyone ... I just think it is good to bring these things up sometime! Maybe with enough knowledge and understanding we can change practices that are not healthy or environmentally safe. As I said most quality companies and quality parts would have good practices and are not selling chromium coated screens for their breathing products! But cheap vaporizers, cheap replacement screen and cheap pipes could all have this dangerous substance all over them! It is just good for people to know to stick with good companies and good parts !!! Know what you use!

    Although I will say this ... you keep quoting the "safe daily intake" of chromium from the Canada Gov. document ... they are specifically talking about absorption through way of food and or cooking...They refer to leached metals in food and chromium intake via ingestion only!!! the absorption by inhalation through the lungs is massively dangerous and is known to cause and been directly linked to lung cancer!!!!! I implore you to read this quote again :

    ANY AMOUNT OF HEXAVALENT CHROMIUM TAKEN VIA INHALATION TO THE LUNGS ON A DALIY BASIS IS VERY DANGEROUS!!! Method of absorption has a HUGE impact on the safety of the material you absorb!!! Most of all chromium!! .. Think about your statement even on a basic level.. when we absorb air through our lungs into out blood stream it is healthy and quite essential for life but when someone absorbs air directly into the blood stream you can have an "Air Embolism" which can occur whenever a blood vessel is open and air can be injected directly into the veins accidentally , this could very likely kill you !... Big difference!!!
    Although you may cook with your leftovers.. most of what you do with you vaporizer is not eating!!!

    .Most of these screens have been found to be safe... just trying to start a discussion, see what people are saying about their screen and how the feel abut metal in general ...you never know someone may get a genius thought and create a beautiful new bio screen or something..lol... who knows!! ... like I said this was generated by the VB claim that no metal in the heater to mouth path way is better!!!... ASK THEM ?!?!?!. ..lol :) I will send an e-mail to KADS, he seems like a really nice guy, we will see if he has anything to input on the matter.

    I would love to see manufactures input and statements as Purple Days and Arizer/Extreme Q shared. It is nice to see people that care about what goes into their units!!!

    But through the help of fine people like yourself Devo, people are aware that exavalent chromium exists and it can be dangerous if you don't take steps to ensure you are safe!

    I would suggest, for anyone concerned at all, to follow DevoTheStrange's advice! Wash/Heat-treat/acid-trreat your screens before you use them!

    Also stick to the companies and products that you can trust! If you do't know which ones there are so many wonderful users here that have great thought and opinions on all units! If you are worried about your screen, ask the manufacturer about its composition!

    CHEERS! :)
     
  9. davyvision

    davyvision New Member

    Messages:
    9
    So since the PAX has an all Stainless Steel pathway and it uses a Stainless Steel Oven to heat your herb, it sounds like the PAX is NOT safe to vape out of?
     
  10. Unconnected

    Unconnected Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    121
    Dude i think there is a huge difference between someone working in a chrome plating factory vs someone vaping with a chrominum coated screen. One bloke is standing around next to huge vats of the stuff giving off fumes and what not, the other guy is just vaping and only takes in some fumes for a brief period of time before the small quantity is burnt off.

    I dont think you have much to worry about. Seriously people on here, its like the first time they heard of fumes hurting the human body was when they started vaping, and now are on a fucking impossible quest to remove all dangerous fumes from their lifestyle, which is totally impossible. You know that new car smell? carcinogenic, that smoke from your non stick pan that you left on the cook top too long? carcinogenic, the gas coming out of the back of every car, carcinogenic.

    Seriously, just about every product you have ever bought would given off toxic fumes left from manufacturing, time to move on with your life and vape, if your that concerned with your lung health you should not be intaking ANY fumes or gasses, including cannabis vapor, into your lungs. The lungs are for breathing fresh air only, anything other than that will harm them, including cannabis though it is a tiny amount compared to other smokables. seriously, if you care this much stick to brownies and stop posting stupid fear mongering threads with one or two irrelevent-to-this-situation examples, such as workers in a chemical plant.

    just vape on and stop worrying, worrying causes stress, stress causes your immune system to go down, this causes you to get illnesses like cancer, i put it to you that a life time of worrying about these things will be much shorter than a life spent enjoying what we have here on earth and not stressing over a few toxic fumes that wont kill you. Its not mustard gas after all.

    mod note: No reason to refer to someone's thread as stupid. If you can't treat other members with respect, you should avoid posting.
     
  11. Caligula

    Caligula Maximus

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    [​IMG]
     
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  12. davyvision

    davyvision New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Point being If I wanted lung cancer I would smoke cigarettes since they're so fn enjoyable, but I am trying to avoid it. I got 2 options....maybe 3 options trying to find the safest portable vape.

    1st: PAX seems safe but the info above worries me. Also this info worries me to https://www.osha.gov/OshDoc/data_General_Facts/hexavalent_chromium.pdf

    2nd: Davinci Ascent seem safe but ppl are complaining of a silicone smell and taste. Also this has a ceramic in it. Which brings me to this info that also worries me.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8837678
    http://www.sfsu.edu/~ceramic/manual/ceramictoxicology.htm

    3rd: The MiVape which supposed to be an all glass pathway and glass heating element (hopefully not ceramic). I want to believe everything is all glass but sometime ppl refer to ceramic as glass. The major problem with this vape is.....it was supposed to be released in November of 2011 then delayed and delayed and the summer of 2012 and delayed and then summer of 2013 (delayed) and then be end of the year of 2013. (delayed) And now May 1st. Hopefully its not delayed. But is it going to be all glass? Does one wait to see if it really is going to be released on.... shall we say.....on time? Im fn lost. All I want is a vape that wont possibly kill me.
     
  13. Caligula

    Caligula Maximus

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    Location:
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    I think your fears concerning ceramics is a bit off base. You are basing this off of studies done on people who work in the ceramics industry, and who are chronically inhaling, ingesting, and otherwise consuming relatively large quantities of unrefined or semi-refined ceramic particles/dust.

    What we are talking about here are refined and finished products which have changed on the molecular level through forging and other processes. The connection you are trying to draw here is similar to saying I shouldn't use finished borosilicate glass because glass workers who inhale boro particles have a higher instance of lung cancer.

    This is not an apples to apples comparison.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2014
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