I had to sand a brass bushing to gets its diameter down a little bit, a few days ago. Produced a lot of fine dust. I may have been careless and put some food item in my mouth with dirty hands. Ever since, I have slightly bitter taste in my mouth whenever I eat literally anything. The bitterness reminds me of the taste of oak acorns or some such. Does it make sense to link this to brass sanding? Other than the bitter taste, I feel fine.
You aren't supposed to eat acorns :-). I think they're poisonous.
But I just tried putting a piece of freshly cut brass in my mouth and it didn't taste of anything. Brass isn't very reactive. Personally I doubt it's the brass. Even if it was responsible for the funny taste, I would have expected it to have cleared after a few days.
Just had another thought. I remember my father (who is a dentist) saying that putting aluminium in your mouth can cause pain if you have fillings. Apparently it's some kind of galvanic effect. But aluminium is more reactive than brass, and it's also unlikely that such an effect would last for several days. It would only happen when you put food in your mouth if the food caused the metal to be released into your saliva. On the whole I think it's unlikely that the brass dust is the cause of the problem.
I've had this taste from copper dust. It lasted for a few days. And my tongue felt strange. I guess you need to be more careful. I also got a slight case of metal fume fever from welding on zinc plated steel years ago. I now pay close attention to what I breathe and eat. ERS
Odd... I've always had a very sweet taste after making chips or filings from coper-containing stock - Particularly if I take a hit off a cigarette - Seems like something in the coper-bearing stuff interacts with the cigarette smoke, and like I just dumped a spoonful of sugar in my mouth, only without the texture. It often persists for days, particularly if I've made lots of *REALLY* small (AKA dust) copper-containing chips.
At one point earlier in my life, I tested the theory that it was something to do with copper and got what I consider pretty solid confirmation - The procedure: strip a piece of 3/12 romex, and snip off a few small pieces of nice copper wire. Roll them around the mouth for a few seconds, spit 'em out, then take a hit off a smoke. The results were impressive - As soon as I drew on the cigarette, it was exactly as if I'd taken a mouthful of corn syrup - my mouth was filled with a thick, super-sweet taste that nothing would "rinse away". The effect persisted, although gradually decreasing, for several days, seemingly being "reactivated" every time I took a drag off a butt.
Maybe the question of bitter vs sweet is an "individual chemistry" thing?
As far as health concerns, copper is one of the "trace nutrients" we need, although I imagine when you've snarfed enough to taste it, you've had the daily quota and then some for several people. Excess copper *IS* toxic to sheep - A fact that's noted on animal mineral-salt blocks.
But to humans? Dunno... I'd imagine the LD50 is up there fairly high.
That item is CDA 932 bronze, leaded. Might be SAE 660. John, what specifically do you see about that that I haven't found yet that says to seek medical attention? He's got to know what to tell 'em to look for. All I've found so far is lead.