Can some steels be bad for our health ?

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The Meat man
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Re: Can some steels be bad for our health ?

Postby The Meat man » Sat Feb 08, 2020 1:55 pm

I don't think simply using knives with cobalt presents a health hazard.

Look at David Boye - he's been making kitchen knives with what - 70% cobalt? - for years and years and I haven't heard anything negative about it.
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Re: Can some steels be bad for our health ?

Postby Nemo3000 » Sat Feb 08, 2020 2:05 pm

The Meat man wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 1:55 pm
I don't think simply using knives with cobalt presents a health hazard.

Look at David Boye - he's been making kitchen knives with what - 70% cobalt? - for years and years and I haven't heard anything negative about it.
Yes this is a very good point !
You are right Stellite! Talonite ! :) And 70% is a lot ! ;)
"Through a serendipitous exchange with knife maker Blackie Collins, I started looking into using cobalt for casting my knife blades instead of stainless steel. My early experiments showed that casting blades in a cobalt alloy improved edge holding, and this was corroborated by a test done by Blade Magazine. Citing both my cast stainless and cast cobalt knives as “in the top 1% of all knives tested for cutting ability,” cast cobalt was shown to cut 3X longer than cast stainless, especially on fibrous materials such as rope and net."

http://faq.customtacticals.com/steels/non_talonite.php

So it should be considered harmless. :)

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Re: Can some steels be bad for our health ?

Postby Mike Blue » Sat Feb 08, 2020 2:16 pm

Nemo3000 wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 1:46 pm
Sorry, which pages you are talking about ? :)
This thread.
...Cobalt is obviously not cyanid, it won't kill you in an instant but it is known for its toxic nature.
The human body has a mechanism to counteract cyanide. It uses thiosulfate to do so. That keeps us from dying when ingesting things like the occasional apple seed. That process cannot manage the overwhelming amount that spy movies suggest.

Human beings are keen observers. We learn from our mistakes. It's all we had before we knew all the chemicals around us. Most don't kill us because we are the only animal that can eat anything on the planet. We might get sick but then learning comes into play.

I agree that there are numerous things "we used to do in the old days." Today will be the old days pretty soon.

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Re: Can some steels be bad for our health ?

Postby jpm2 » Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:54 pm

Welp, I'm doomed. I have about 10 home made knives with 5-10% cobalt (m35,m42,t42). I ground them all from parting tools.... 30 years ago.
Maxamet is 10% cobalt.

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Re: Can some steels be bad for our health ?

Postby Nemo3000 » Sat Feb 08, 2020 4:16 pm

jpm2 wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:54 pm
Welp, I'm doomed. I have about 10 home made knives with 5-10% cobalt (m35,m42,t42). I ground them all from parting tools.... 30 years ago.
Maxamet is 10% cobalt.
So how do you do? 😂

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Re: Can some steels be bad for our health ?

Postby jpm2 » Sat Feb 08, 2020 4:51 pm

Nemo3000 wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 4:16 pm
jpm2 wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:54 pm
Welp, I'm doomed. I have about 10 home made knives with 5-10% cobalt (m35,m42,t42). I ground them all from parting tools.... 30 years ago.
Maxamet is 10% cobalt.
So how do you do? 😂
So far, so good but probably cut my life short and die in my 90's.

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Re: Can some steels be bad for our health ?

Postby JMM » Sat Feb 08, 2020 7:31 pm

I asked an buddy of mine who is an executive chef at a local 4 star restaurant and he said they are mindful about thoroughly cleaning knives after sharpening, but that's it.... he said they mostly use hap, sk5 and 4116-krupp, and a couple 1095

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emanuel
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Re: Can some steels be bad for our health ?

Postby emanuel » Sun Feb 09, 2020 3:05 am

I think that knife maker confuses cobalt dust with iron alloy dust containing small amounts of cobalt. And even then, studies talk about chronic exposure to these dusts of cobalt, months, even years of daily exposure. The difference is day and night, it's kind of sad when such misconceptions are spread just because it "sounds right". Also, G10 dust isn't any more dangerous than micarta dust. Fiber glass is catalogued as non-carcinogenic. It's just too big, unlike carbon fiber or azbestos. What might be bad in those is the binding resin, but I don't know or ever looked into its composition so I won't assume it does or doesn't.

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Re: Can some steels be bad for our health ?

Postby Nemo3000 » Sun Feb 09, 2020 3:54 am

emanuel wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 3:05 am
I think that knife maker confuses cobalt dust with iron alloy dust containing small amounts of cobalt. And even then, studies talk about chronic exposure to these dusts of cobalt, months, even years of daily exposure. The difference is day and night, it's kind of sad when such misconceptions are spread just because it "sounds right". Also, G10 dust isn't any more dangerous than micarta dust. Fiber glass is catalogued as non-carcinogenic. It's just too big, unlike carbon fiber or azbestos. What might be bad in those is the binding resin, but I don't know or ever looked into its composition so I won't assume it does or doesn't.
Micarta grinding smells like goat pee actually !! ;)

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Re: Can some steels be bad for our health ?

Postby redhawk44357 » Mon Feb 10, 2020 6:46 am

Only if they glow in the dark!

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Re: Can some steels be bad for our health ?

Postby AwayFromMySpydieHole » Tue Feb 11, 2020 1:47 am

Notsurewhy wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 6:08 am
The inhalation issue is more for miners or people in an industrial setting using grinders. If you're going to take a powered sharpening system to a blade, you should probably use a respirator, but I doubt you'll be making significant amounts of airborne dust with stones or strops. That's a good rule regardless of cobalt. Lungs don't like metal dust.

As far as ingestion, Cobalt is necessary for life in small amounts and toxic in larger amounts like many other minerals. I seriously doubt you could eat enough to cause an issue from using a knife for food prep. Maybe if you're sharpening daily and licking the stones clean?
You absolutely can make a lot of metal dust with regular old band sharpening.


I made a video once showing myself using a wicked edge, about 4 feet from my iMac computer. When I was done I noticed some dark spots on my computer so I walked over, and the magnets that hold the screen on had actually been grabbing metal dust out of the air while I was sharpening. From many feet away.


It was a wake up call for me no doubt. I seriously doubt the minuscule amounts we are exposed to it’s going to cause any harm. Maybe if our life spans were 200-300 years instead of 75, it would matter. But in reality we have bigger things to worry about that are going to get us quicker.


It’s a non issue IMO.

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Re: Can some steels be bad for our health ?

Postby Ruudr » Tue Feb 11, 2020 2:25 am

AwayFromMySpydieHole wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 1:47 am
Notsurewhy wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 6:08 am
The inhalation issue is more for miners or people in an industrial setting using grinders. If you're going to take a powered sharpening system to a blade, you should probably use a respirator, but I doubt you'll be making significant amounts of airborne dust with stones or strops. That's a good rule regardless of cobalt. Lungs don't like metal dust.

As far as ingestion, Cobalt is necessary for life in small amounts and toxic in larger amounts like many other minerals. I seriously doubt you could eat enough to cause an issue from using a knife for food prep. Maybe if you're sharpening daily and licking the stones clean?
You absolutely can make a lot of metal dust with regular old band sharpening.


I made a video once showing myself using a wicked edge, about 4 feet from my iMac computer. When I was done I noticed some dark spots on my computer so I walked over, and the magnets that hold the screen on had actually been grabbing metal dust out of the air while I was sharpening. From many feet away.


It was a wake up call for me no doubt. I seriously doubt the minuscule amounts we are exposed to it’s going to cause any harm. Maybe if our life spans were 200-300 years instead of 75, it would matter. But in reality we have bigger things to worry about that are going to get us quicker.


It’s a non issue IMO.

Wow, so how do you use the Wicked Edge now? I also have the Wicked Edge and don´t want any metal dust in my living room.

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Re: Can some steels be bad for our health ?

Postby JD Spydo » Tue Feb 11, 2020 6:07 am

Taking those metallurgy courses in college was interesting. They were like 101 and 103 type courses but yet they did cover some interesting aspects of metallurgy. One big thing we were warned about was the machine tool uses of copper with beryllium alloyed in it. They said that was a big "no no" concerning potential fumes and dust as well. I have heard that there are actually quite a few alloying elements in steels and other alloys that have potential for toxic results.

But every time we were in the machine tool lab or working with CNC equipment we were warned big time about that copper and beryllium. I've also heard dire warnings about cadmium coatings on metals as well as many other metals to avoid contact with. I'm sure there are a lot of toxic properties with many alloys.

Now I've also heard that nickel which is one of the main alloying elements in many stainless steels has potential toxic properties as well. However I've used my copper bottom/Stainless Revere Ware to cook with for decades and I've yet to have any ill effects from it. But this is something we all need to be mindful of.

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Re: Can some steels be bad for our health ?

Postby The Deacon » Tue Feb 11, 2020 6:20 am

Am assuming none of those who worry about the toxicity of trace metals in steel have ever shot on an indoor range, parked in a parking garage, driven behind a bus or diesel powered truck, walked on a busy city street, been exposed to second had tobacco smoke (or, God forbid, smoked tobacco themselves), filled their car's gas tank on a hot day, or done any one of a thousand other things that expose them to toxic substances in far greater quantity than using and maintaining their personal and kitchen knives ever will.
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Re: Can some steels be bad for our health ?

Postby Nemo3000 » Tue Feb 11, 2020 11:12 am

The Deacon wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 6:20 am
Am assuming none of those who worry about the toxicity of trace metals in steel have ever shot on an indoor range, parked in a parking garage, driven behind a bus or diesel powered truck, walked on a busy city street, been exposed to second had tobacco smoke (or, God forbid, smoked tobacco themselves), filled their car's gas tank on a hot day, or done any one of a thousand other things that expose them to toxic substances in far greater quantity than using and maintaining their personal and kitchen knives ever will.
Tobacco ? Gaz station ? Diesel micro partcules ? Indoors shooting ranges ? The smell of napalm in the morning ?
Why not nuclear wastes ? Coronavirus ? High tension power line ? Bayer Monsanto spread chemicals ? Dental amalgam ?
Could we even consider the toxicity of any long relationship with my mother in law ?

Anyway... I don't cut my steaks with any gaz station hose. I get a quick patina from cutting hot meat with any low chromium steel knife. Those same knives which can spoil a salad or an fruit by making them turned brown and give a way an iron taste... because of chemical reactions.
Hence my question about high cobalt steels. But nickel, chromium are also toxic. It a steel mixing those element healthy to the knifemakers and the end line users ?
Absence of proof is not proof of absence but David Boye using 70% cobalt in an alloy seems to be a proof to me.

Image
JD Spydo wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 6:07 am

Now I've also heard that nickel which is one of the main alloying elements in many stainless steels has potential toxic properties as well. However I've used my copper bottom/Stainless Revere Ware to cook with for decades and I've yet to have any ill effects from it. But this is something we all need to be mindful of.

I have been exchanging with my old friend Pekka Tuominen.

Me: Do you think Cobalt dust could be dangerous ?
Pekka: Every dust is ! I do not believe that anybody get cancer if they sharp knife sometimes of month... if they do not collect all dust for they sandwich :) There is lot of f.ex. nickel in steels and chromium etc. all are very bad for health.

Me: How do you protect yourself?
Pekka: I do not breathe ;) serious I use mask with motor. But no gloves, I do not like gloves, I lost my feeling, as you know I do everything with freehand method, no jig etc.

So eventually we can eat with our knives not eat our knives... ;)

Image

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Re: Can some steels be bad for our health ?

Postby Deadboxhero » Tue Feb 11, 2020 1:06 pm

This thread is silly

All dust is toxic to your lungs. Unless you're a knife maker or in an industrial setting, it's not a concern for the average joe.



There is cobalt in your food and organs.

It's essential to live. Got B12?

The oxygen your breathing right now is also causing oxidative stress and damaging your cells and DNA with free radicals. Yet, we keep breathing :p


Life has a 100% chance of death, get over it.

Always seems folks are more concerned with the obscure and novel "dangers" and not the boring things that are really killing us like sedentary life style and poor diet.






Nemo3000 wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 11:12 am
The Deacon wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 6:20 am
Am assuming none of those who worry about the toxicity of trace metals in steel have ever shot on an indoor range, parked in a parking garage, driven behind a bus or diesel powered truck, walked on a busy city street, been exposed to second had tobacco smoke (or, God forbid, smoked tobacco themselves), filled their car's gas tank on a hot day, or done any one of a thousand other things that expose them to toxic substances in far greater quantity than using and maintaining their personal and kitchen knives ever will.
Tobacco ? Gaz station ? Diesel micro partcules ? Indoors shooting ranges ? The smell of napalm in the morning ?
Why not nuclear wastes ? Coronavirus ? High tension power line ? Bayer Monsanto spread chemicals ? Dental amalgam ?
Could we even consider the toxicity of any long relationship with my mother in law ?

Anyway... I don't cut my steaks with any gaz station hose. I get a quick patina from cutting hot meat with any low chromium steel knife. Those same knives which can spoil a salad or an fruit by making them turned brown and give a way an iron taste... because of chemical reactions.
Hence my question about high cobalt steels. But nickel, chromium are also toxic. It a steel mixing those element healthy to the knifemakers and the end line users ?
Absence of proof is not proof of absence but David Boye using 70% cobalt in an alloy seems to be a proof to me.

Image
JD Spydo wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 6:07 am

Now I've also heard that nickel which is one of the main alloying elements in many stainless steels has potential toxic properties as well. However I've used my copper bottom/Stainless Revere Ware to cook with for decades and I've yet to have any ill effects from it. But this is something we all need to be mindful of.

I have been exchanging with my old friend Pekka Tuominen.

Me: Do you think Cobalt dust could be dangerous ?
Pekka: Every dust is ! I do not believe that anybody get cancer if they sharp knife sometimes of month... if they do not collect all dust for they sandwich :) There is lot of f.ex. nickel in steels and chromium etc. all are very bad for health.

Me: How do you protect yourself?
Pekka: I do not breathe ;) serious I use mask with motor. But no gloves, I do not like gloves, I lost my feeling, as you know I do everything with freehand method, no jig etc.

So eventually we can eat with our knives not eat our knives... ;)

Image
Last edited by Deadboxhero on Tue Feb 11, 2020 1:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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sal
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Re: Can some steels be bad for our health ?

Postby sal » Tue Feb 11, 2020 1:14 pm

Fun subject. Figures it would be Nemo to bring this up from the depths. :p

I remember Nemo and I discussing Eric Taberly's death in the sea, because he spent so much time at sea. So in the end, what gets you is what you do the most? That concept brings up some interesting thoughts? :eek:

We have to put warning labels on our products because they might be sold in California and there is sever punishment for not warning the people about the danger of the chemicals in our products.

In Manufacturing, most grinders and mills are used wet. Masks re a good idea if dry grinding. I breathed in a tiny amount of G-10 dust once and it did make me sick.

sal

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Re: Can some steels be bad for our health ?

Postby Nemo3000 » Tue Feb 11, 2020 1:39 pm

sal wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 1:14 pm
Fun subject. Figures it would be Nemo to bring this up from the depths. :p

I remember Nemo and I discussing Eric Taberly's death in the sea, because he spent so much time at sea. So in the end, what gets you is what you do the most? That concept brings up some interesting thoughts? :eek:

We have to put warning labels on our products because they might be sold in California and there is sever punishment for not warning the people about the danger of the chemicals in our products.

In Manufacturing, most grinders and mills are used wet. Masks re a good idea if dry grinding. I breathed in a tiny amount of G-10 dust once and it did make me sick.

sal
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Re: Can some steels be bad for our health ?

Postby bearfacedkiller » Tue Feb 11, 2020 2:10 pm

Why are human beings so focused on irrational fears? We worry very little about things that seriously put us at risk and dwell on the obscure and unlikely risks in life. I don’t get it. I assume it is a coping mechanism. Worrying about real danger is stressful and stress is bad for out health and we are adverse to it in general so we distract ourselves with concern over unlikely dangers and we find comfort in that.

Memento Mori (remember you will die). I like to continually remind myself of this fact. It is the only guarantee. Accept it and move on. Focus on ways to be healthy and happy and focus on ways to enrich this fragile experience we are all lucky enough to have.

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sal wrote:Knife afi's are pretty far out, steel junky's more so, but "edge junky's" are just nuts. :p
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Re: Can some steels be bad for our health ?

Postby Tucson Tom » Tue Feb 11, 2020 2:53 pm

Compared to driving in city traffic, I would say the danger from cobalt or anything in your knife is truly negligible. I spend a day now and then underground in abandoned uranium mines collecting rare minerals. Given these old mines have no ventilation blowers running, there is a LOT of radon built up in confined spaces underground. Do I worry about it? A little -- but a day now and then is different from if I made my living working in these mines every day. It is pretty hard to live an interesting life without some risk.

The "prop 65" warnings in California. Bags of flour probably have a prop 65 warning, but I haven't checked. Since everything must have a warning, the whole thing is silly and useless. Ultimately it is just a way for lawyers to make money if they catch something without the warning then find someone who got injured trimming their fingernails or something.

As Sal said, what gets you is what you do the most. Now that is actually worth thinking about.


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