Please can someone enlighten me as to what the alloy is that we all know as "white metal" I know it has lead in - and I know you can get lead-less varieties now which are more like pewter, but what other contents are there? Also, once painted, is the lead any less dangerous?
Lead is only dangerous if you eat it, if you handle it and lick your fingers you will eat a little. Washing your hands first solves the problem. If you are going to be hanling your whitemetal models a lot paint reduces the chance of contaminating your fingers, also makes the model look a lot better.
You would have to do an awful lot of handling whitemetal and being careless with washing before you had any problem.
The dangers from whitemetal are now pretty low unless you actually eat the stuff, or vapourise it and breath in the fumes. Probably greater risk of burns when casting it than anything else. As when working with any model making materials, its sensible to wash hands thoroughly when finished and before eating.
A couple of decades ago, people used to mix cadmium with the alloy which improved its strength, but also hastened the death of anyone casting with it. Doesn't get used any more.
Alex Tiranti supply a variety of casting alloys which would go under the collective name "white metal".
Jane Sullivan wrote in news:iKqnWvtJvD1EFAnemail@example.com:
FWIW the pipes bringing drinking water in to my parent's house are still lead ...
Surely I'm not the only one who's sick and fed up with all these stupid regulations, doesn't matter if they're from brussels of this current effing government they simply no longer make any sort of sense.
I've been drinking water from leaded pipes for about 36 of my 40 years, and it's done me no harm whatsoever. Ummm - what day is it today? Who am I?
No you're not the only one by any means! I work in the electronics manufacturing industry, and obviously there is potentially major investment needed to pay for all the new equipment (by the manufacturers of course, not Brussels!). Fortunately all of our customers told us that they will be staying leaded as they are exempt. Then one decided that although they are exempt, they might like to go lead-free after all! This isn't a drop-of-a-hat decision to make! One of our girls is pregnant, and now she's been told that she can't work with leaded solder, so she can't do the job she was employed for, but we can't lay her off because of that because of OTT employment laws.
I believe leaded pipes have never really been a serious risk as they collect sediments such as limescale on the inside which coats the lead and thus prevents any of the 'harmful' stuff from leaching out into the water.
In hard water areas there is a buildup of insoluble lead carbonate.
Lead was chosen because it is soft and the pipes can deform without breaking.
In fact plumbers get their name from the Latin word for lead.
Even though lead carbonate is insoluble, there would be a certain amount of lead ions in standing water, but running it until it was cold would clear this out.
Where the water is soft, lead pipes are more dangerous. One of the causes for the decline of Rome was the use of lead pipes. It didn't do the cities of Victorian England much harm so I always assumed our water was harder than theirs.
Except in soft water areas where the water is slightly acid and interacts with the lead. I was brought up on Clydeside which possibly has some of the softest water in the UK and the rule always was to run the water from the cold tap for a long time before using it for drinking or cooking. It's a habit I still do today even though I now live in England in a very hard water area, and with non-lead water piping.
OK. I don't know how their glazes worked, but we drink wine from ead crystal glass on special occasions. I don't think the wine attacks the g;ass but these days Waterford etc come with a warning that pregnat women shouldn't drink from the glasses.