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Subject: Source for Fuller's earth sought

Source for Fuller's earth sought

From: Monona Rossol <actsnyc<-at->
Date: Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Andrea Reichert <aj_reichert [at] videotron__ca> writes

>I am looking for a reliable source for Fuller's Earth either in
>Canada or the U.S. Can anyone provide me with some leads? ...

I posted an answer to this request before and I specifically
discussed attapulgite, the mineral suggested here for use.  This
mineral, like asbestos, is an amphibole mineral, meaning it can be
in both a chunky and a fibrous form.  Attapulgite disabled one of
our union workers (IATSE, Local 600) in two days of exposure when it
was used as a dust effect on a movie location. She has permanent
lung fibrosis.

It is now known that asbestos is not unique in its ability to cause
fibrosis, lung cancer, mesothelioma, and other cancers.  It is the
shape and size of the particles that will cause these effects.
Another fibrous mineral, completely unrelated mineralogically to
asbestos called erionite, will also cause these diseases.  High
rates of mesothelioma are found in an area in Turkey where this
mineral is found.

Man-made refractory ceramic insulation fibers have also been
documented to cause mesothelioma in animals and they are regulated
in the European Union as carcinogens.  Refractory ceramic fiber
products used for kilns and other high temperature equipment should
be regulated as a carcinogen in the US, too, but they are not.

Now the new nanoparticles of carbon, the carbon nanotubes, also
appear to be able to cause the disease in animal tests.  So even a
very nontoxic substance like carbon, when fashioned into long thin
fibers, becomes toxic.

I suggest that unless you have electron microscopic confirmation
that none of this attapulgite is in the fibrous form, I wouldn't use
it.  And I would make it policy never to use any substance called
"fullers earth" unless the exact mineral composition is known and
verified.  The term fullers earth is applied loosely to any of
dozens of minerals that absorb grease and oil from cloth in the
textile industry.

Monona Rossol


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                  Conservation DistList Instance 24:13
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Received on Wednesday, 11 August, 2010

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