ccpottery@BELLSOUTH.NET on wed 16 jul 03
I too was told that cobalt was extremely dangerous and never questioned it. Everyone I
knew had heard the same thing so we all agreed.
When this topic arose I went to check all of my reference books sure I would find the
huge red flag ... I could find no dire warnings about it. Hmmmmm..... I doubled my efforts
and went through every book I had until I was down to the mail order catalogues.
The last book I checked was the Georgies Ceramics Catalogue .... under colorants they
kindly have placed the OSHA Health Hazard Ratings.
Cobalt Carbonate and Cobalt Oxide were both :
Skin : no hazard
Inhalation: slight hazard
Ingestion: no hazard
So all this time I thought I was living on the edge, wearing the breathing mask, rubber
gloves and clearing the room of small children and cats .... Oh, the disappointment!
Well, I refuse to change my ways .... everybody else could be wrong but that person who
told me the story of cobalt. Besides, the whole outfit kinda scares the uptight neigbors.
Chris Campbell - in North Carolina - As to product placement and Law & Order .... well,
look closely in the houses they visit and you will see lots of great pots, glass and
Lee Love on thu 17 jul 03
----- Original Message -----
> Cobalt Carbonate and Cobalt Oxide were both :
> Skin : no hazard
> Inhalation: slight hazard
> Ingestion: no hazard
I'm guessing that Cobalt suffers from the "Chicken Little" effect. Could
people be confusing natural cobalt 59 with cobalt 60?
Cobalt 59 is a naturally occurring,stable (non-radioactive) metal found in
various minerals. After being placed in an intense radiation field (neutron
field), cobalt 59 is transformed into cobalt 60, which is radioactive. This
happens because each nucleus of cobalt 59 absorbs a neutron and becomes
unstable( r a d i o a c t i v e ) .D u r i n g the transformation from cobalt 60
back to a stable state, gamma radiation is emitted and the cobalt atoms are
reduced to stable nickel metal atoms.When cobalt 59 becomes cobalt 60, it begins
to emit gamma radiation. It does this because its nuclei become u n s t a b l e
.Unstable nuclei spontaneously emit radiation as they are transformed back to a
stable state.While cobalt 60 is itself unstable, it does not emit gamma
radiation of sufficient energy to make its surroundings radioactive.Every 5.27
years, cobalt 60 loses50% of its radioactivity. This is the result of its nuclei
becoming stableafter emitting gamma radiation. Inthis way, cobalt 60 is
transformed,atom by atom, into stable nickel.The radioactive substance cobalt
60is extensively used in medical andindustrial applications. Cobalt 60 isused
for medical applications such asin the radiation treatment ofmalignant tumours,
Mashiko JAPAN Lee@Mashiko.org
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