is bakelite toxic

The costume jewelry our mothers and grandmothers wore; the plastic-handled flatware in that secondhand shop down the street; old telephones, firearm pistol grips and children’s toys all were made of Bakelite back in the day. In 1984, a so-called "Philadelphia" Bakelite bracelet–a hinged style with multicolored wedges on top–sold for $250. Bakelite is made of powdered phenolic resin, which is mixed with sawdust, asbestos or clay, and then pressed into a finished product at a high temperature. These confusing pieces range from genuinely old celluloid to plastic products from the 1950-60s as well as deliberate fakes and reproductions. After 20-30 seconds, quickly hold the piece up to your nose. Bakelite is a sturdy material and is rather heavy, more so than celluloid or lucite. 13 Hinge fastened with tiny nails. There is a surprising amount of original unfinished Bakelite stock that has survived. 7 Dark green Bakelite. bakelite being the first polymer ever produced. An original carver, working by the hour or piece-rate, would spend more time finishing exposed surfaces rather than finishing hidden surfaces that were not exposed. Test swab shows ivory/pale yellow. In time, Bakelite plastic was incorporated into all sorts of uses. It has high mechanical strength, good insulation, heat resistance and corrosion resistance. Since genuine Bakelite produces a patina, outer surfaces on truly vintage pieces should normally be darker than protected inner surfaces. 17 Offer for newly carved Bakelite bracelets from old stock. Shown here as knob and handle on Art Deco chrome creamer. Fig. Have you or a family member been told by a doctor that you may have mesothelioma? Once you determine a piece is made from genuine Bakelite, it doesn't mean you have proved the piece is necessarily old. Tool marks in hidden areas are more obvious than marks on exposed surfaces. Exposure to sunlight, body fluids, cosmetics and other factors contribute to patinas and color changes associated with normal age and wear. Modern plastics and other look-alike materials do not produce any odor when held under hot water produced by the average household hot water heater. 1960s. 5 Typical pieces sliced directly from stock cylinders and blocks as shown in Catalin advertisement. Today, Bakelite is still produced in sheet, rod and tube form for industrial applications in the electronics, power generating and aerospace industries. bakes are made of phenolic resin and … Myrvin 17:55, 21 August 2013 (UTC) Fig. It is a product of cellulose dinitrate blended with pigments, fillers, camphor, and alcohol to make a unique synthetic material categorized as a plastic. When another company began to make Bakelite from urea-formaldehyde resins in the 1930s, bright new colors were introduced, as well as the marbled designs which have made Bakelite items such as translucent jewelry and poker chips such collector’s items today. All the testing products cause eye and skin irritation and should be used carefully; rubber gloves are recommended. All those beautiful old radios that you see for sale in antique stores are most likely made from Bakelite. This old but never-used stock, can be carved today (Fig. 19). But did you know that the U.S. still allows certain uses of asbestos today? Findings on genuine vintage Bakelite jewelry are generally attached with mechanical fasteners such as tiny screws, pins and nails. 11 Typical old pin catch screwed into Bakelite. Beware of shiny hardware with no sign of normal age or wear. Or at least, they are as safe as any other piece of plastic in your home. The most common exceptions are pieces of genuine Bakelite that have recently been completely polished or cleaned and the original patina has been removed. This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. Fig. Fig. Many people have probably heard the term “mesothelioma” at least once in their lives. Modern hard plastics which are often confused with Bakelite, were generally produced by injecting or pouring a liquid resin into a mold which produced the final product. Since brand names rarely appear on the products, collectors generally use "Bakelite" to refer to all of the thermosetting phenolic resins, not just to the Bakelite brand products and that's how we'll use the term. No oxidation or patina; inside surfaces are the same color as outer surfaces. Besides being flammable, it grew brittle and fell apart over time. Commercially, Bakelite is still used for wire insulation and brake pads, although most new plastic resin products have not contained asbestos filler since the 1980s. Remember, even if a piece passes the cotton swab test, it doesn't mean the hardware is original. Written by Dr. Sharyn Wynters Cooking that turkey in an aluminum pan? Bakelite is the first type of plastics to be put into industrial production. anon281241 July 22, 2012 . Bakelite, trademarked synthetic resin invented in 1907 by Belgian-born American chemist Leo Hendrik Baekeland. These plastics have inspired fashion designers to do more with less: more fabric choices, more creativity, and more durability, coupled often with less material, less weight, fewer wrinkles, and less expense. Andy Dingley 16:44, 22 August 2012 (UTC) Toxic. Backs of pins and earrings should also be lighter than exposed outer surfaces. Bakelite was the first thermosetting plastic. A hard, infusible, and chemically resistant plastic, Bakelite was based on a chemical combination of phenol and formaldehyde (phenol-formaldehyde resin), two compounds that were derived It fails both the cotton swab and hot water tests. Glued fastener on back of typical 1960-70s brooch, Fig. It does not contain any ingredients which may be harmful for warm-blooded organisms, reptiles or aquatic organisms (if used as directed). It will not conduct heat or electricity. The same bracelets now bring over $4,000. The first brand of plastic fit for this purpose, Bakelite, had a phenol-formaldehyde resin base, but its inventor realized this chemical mixture needed fillers added into it to improve its strength and prevent it from shrinking too much when it cooled. Therefore, it is commonly used in the manufacture of electrical materials, such as Switches, lamp holders, earphones, telephone cases, instrument cases, etc., Bakelite is safe to handle, but may deteriorate over time releasing the toxins in small quantities. Bakelite was the first thermosetting plastic. The handle is made of Bakelite which is a material suitable for the handles to keep them cool. Catalin was a phenolic resin brand competing with Bakelite. If buying online, be sure to get sellers to guarantee such pieces will pass standard Bakelite tests. The introduction of Bakelitethe worlds first synthetic plasticin 1907 marked the introduction of the Polymer Age. The vast majority of genuine Bakelite gives off a strong phenol odor similar to paint remover or varnish. Fig. UPDATE: It depends on … Made of a combination of phenol and formaldehyde, Bakelite is a type of plastic that became popular during the 1930s and 40s as a material not … Test swab shows ivory/pale yellow. Bakelite's unique properties lent itself to extrusion casting. Use a tiny amount of material; it doesn't take much. 15 Two typical vintage Bakelite bangles with simple hand carving. Likewise, automotive mechanics who blew dust from wheel wells of vehicles with an air hose while changing asbestos brake pads or Bakelite brake cylinders were likely exposed to copious amounts of dust. Fastener glued to Bakelite clothing button, Fig. Bakelite feels heavier when … 6 Genuine Bakelite develops a patina over time and changes the color of the surface. Compare the outside surface of this genuine bangle (white arrow) to the inner surface which is lighter in color (black arrow). 19 Mold seam on inside of bangles shown in Fig. At first, Bakelite came only in dark colors because the wood shavings and asbestos fibers used to strengthen it showed up in the plastic if lighter colors were used. Extremely hazardous to your health, and also coincidentally what bakelite is made from, and often along with asbestos… even after it has been reacted to create bakelite, it is still extremely hazardous and nearly impossible to dispose of safely. Use the thinnest edge available for best results. Some of those items include napkin rings, pencil sharpeners and handles on a vast assortment of kitchen flatware, gadgets and tools. 6. Phenolic plastic (bakelite): The surface is hard, brittle and … There are a few companies out there that use safer non-stick coatings like Thermolon by GreenLife and GreenPan. 21. 1 Answer. Bakelite was first used as insulators against heat and electricity. When Bakelite products become worn, they can break apart, releasing their microscopic asbestos fibers into the air where they can be ingested or inhaled by someone close by. I too would like to recycle old bakelite into new pieces of jewelry, but cannot find out how to do it-I think you have to crush it and then inject something in it-the fine powder it is crushed into is highly toxic and is carcinogenic so special precautions have to be implemented. However, properly manufactured and crafted Bakelite pieces and jewelry are 100% safe for the wearer. Right, piece sliced from block on left showing original color concealed below original surface. Consider the weight of a piece of plastic jewelry. Last year, roughly 70% of all skillets sold in the United States had a nonstick coating. it is early polymer or first generation polymer first synthesized in 1907 nylon is later development, specifically from 1935-1938 time frame. We’ve probably all used or seen Bakelite products. Opt out is not available. Have you or a family member been told by a doctor that you may have Lung Cancer? Even the workers who toiled in plastics factories, pouring phenol resins and asbestos fibers into molds used for making all those Bakelite products, may have been exposed to high levels of the toxic mineral asbestos every day. Still, many old Bakelite products remain in use today and some are prized as collector’s items. Findings in modern plastic are typically cast into the jewelry as it is being poured or glued on later. The shape of the handle is Y style stainless steel and the body is made of aluminium with 4 mm thickness at the bottom. Phenolic resin is the world's first synthetic resin. Bakelite (and Galalith before it) introduced plastics to the fashion world, to be followed by nylon, polyester, spandex, and more. Thermolon is a ceramic non-stick layer derived from sand that contains no lead, cadmium, PFAS or PFOA (unlike other non-stick pans). Vintage tool marks are, however, at the very least, tumbled and rounded off, never jagged or sharp. Hand finished into buckles and Mah Jong tile. How to Decide if it's Old, Repro, Fake or a Look-alike. 7-8), will leave an ivory or pale yellow smear on a cotton swab wetted with one of several common products: the cleaning fluids "409" and "Scrubbing Bubbles" and "Simichrome Polish". Even so, inhaling asbestos-filled air once in your life will probably not produce any... Mesothelioma is a rare, but deadly cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. The mold would create all the details of the finished product such as fur, eyes, collar, etc. Most non-Bakelite products are not affected by the products, but you should always be careful and carefully wash and wipe dry all tested areas to prevent any possible long-term changes. Brightly colored vintage Bakelite was used for many items other than jewelry. Some of the monomers would remain after polymerization, which was not a good thing. Authentic Bakelite, made piece by piece with hand finishing, never has a mold seam. Real Or Repro is an industry resource powered by, Yellow Catalin Bakelite Stretchy Bracelet, Reverse Carved Pale Green Prystal Bakelite Bangle Bracelet, Vintage Reverse Carved Green Prystal Bakelite Circle Pin, Carved red Prystal Bakelite dress clip flower, Prystal Bakelite Reverse Carved Dress Clip - Grapes, Big Chunk of Bakelite Prystal Applejuice Bangle, Apple Juice Bakelite Bracelet, Prystal Bangle, Art Deco Domed, Cherry Juice Bakelite Bracelet, Prystal Bangle, Vintage Domed Spacer, Blue Prystal Bakelite Bracelet, Teal Juice, Vintage 40's, Chunky Applejuice/Root Beer Swirl Prystal Bakelite Bangle, Art Deco Green Prystal Bakelite Bangle Bracelet, Bakelite Bangle Bracelet, Vintage Lime Juice Prystal, Art Deco, SALE: MultiColored Christmas Colors Awesome BAKELITE & PRYSTAL Charm Bracelet, Orange Juice Bakelite Bracelet, Prystal Bangle, Art Deco Domed, Bakelite Lime Juice Bangle Bracelet, Green Prystal, Art Deco 40's, Stardust Bakelite Bangle Bracelet, Vintage Prystal 1937, As Is, Vintage Bakelite Bangle Bracelet, Prystal Green Lime Juice, Art Deco 30's, Wheat Bakelite Bracelet, Reverse Carved Prystal, Deco, 30's, Vintage Faceted & Carved Prystal Chocolate Opaque, Caramel, Apple Juice Bakelite Bangles, Art Deco Catalin Early Plastic Double Pillar Brooch, Art Deco Vintage Rare Orange Swirl Prystal Bakelite Hoop GP Clip Earrings, Vintage Bakelite Prystal Cherry Facetted Drop Pierced Earrings, Fabulous PRYSTAL BAKELITE Figural Flower Brooch - Green Apple Juice, Bakelite Bangle Bracelet Carved in Black but is Prystal Blue and Purple, Vintage Prystal Bakelite Carved Floral Flower Bangle Bracelet, Carved Bakelite Bangle Bracelet Prystal Blue Green, Vintage Red Prystal Swirl Bakelite 17mm Cabochon Pierced Earrings, Bakelite Bangle, Cherry Juice Faceted, Art Deco Prystal Bracelet, Vintage 30's, Gorgeous Retro Mid- Century Modern Geometric Resin Bakelite Hoop Earrings, 14K Yellow Gold Vintage Leo Charm Pendant, Art Deco Set Of 10 Bakelite Bangle Bracelets Translucent Prystal Marbled Multi Color C.1930, 1930s Resin Washed Bakelite Horse with Riding Crop Pin Brooch, 1930s Simple Cream Resin Washed Coral Tiki Carved Bakelite Bangle Bracelet, Cini Zodiac Lion Brooch Pin Leo Sterling Silver, Bakelite Faceted Green Prystal X Wide Bangle Bracelet, Art Deco Red Prystal Bakelite Sculptural Geometric Carved and Curved Dress Clips, Rare Resin Washed 1930s Bakelite Pair of Birds Scatter Pin Brooch Set (2), 1930s Simple Cream Resin Washed Coral Lobed Rope Carved Bakelite Bangle Bracelet, Leo the Lion Silver Tone Alligator Clip Tie Bar, Bakelite and Resin Fun "Heart Theme" Bracelet, 1930s Bakelite Figural Rectangular resin Washed carved TIKI GOD Face Pin Brooch, Apple Juice Bakelite Ring, Reverse Carved Sunflower, Vintage Prystal, 1930s Resin Washed Red Bakelite Buddha Head Brooch Pin Chinoiserie, Mammoth Super Wide Resin Washed Taupe Wheat 1930s Faceted Bakelite Bangle Bracelet, Bakelite Apple Juice Necklace, Art Deco Carved Prystal, Gorgeous 1930s Figural Brilliant Red Carved Bakelite with Resin Washed White Overdye Detail Butterfly Brooch Pin, Vintage Leo Glass Faceted Crystal Bead Tassel Necklace, Leo de Vroomen Pearl Gold Enamel Necklace, RARE 1930s LEO GLASS Brass Bracelet ~ Red & Green Glass Bead Dangles, 1970s Resin Sterling Rectangle Floral Pendent, 1930s Figural Resin Washed Bakelite and Celluloid Pearl Encrusted Large Apple Pin Brooch, Leo de Vroomen Enamel Diamond Gold Earrings, 1960's AZURE Blue Crystals & PRYSTALS Dazzling 3 Strand BIB Necklace & Earrings, Art Deco Prystal Bright Green, Hand Carved with Glass Floral Center Bakelite Bookpiece Brooch, 1930s Art Deco Resin Washed Carved and Scalloped Bakelite Bangle Bracelet, 1930s Resin Washed Red and Black Bakelite Pagoda Temple Brooch Pin Chinoiserie, Art Deco Cherry Amber Prystal Bakelite Facetted And Graduated Necklace Red Paste 18kt GP Clasp, Sculpted Resin Mermaid Pendant Cord Necklace, Vintage Bakelite Marbled Green Resin Step Bracelet, passionate Purple Leo Glass Pendant - 02 - Free shipping, HUGE 1930s Figural Khaki Green Carved Bakelite with Resin Washed White Overdye Detail Brooch Pin, Edwardian Diamond Platinum Leo Lion Zodiac Charm, Vintage Carved Applejuice Prystal Bakelite and Carved Wood Clip Cuff Bracelet, Vintage 1970's Solid 9ct 9k Yellow Gold Leo Lion Zodiac Disc Charm, Cinnabar Resin Carved Dragon and Jade Earrings, Genuine Chanel Resin "Camelia" Stud Earrings, RARE 1930s Art Deco Wood and Resin Washed Bakelite Guitar Brooch Pin, 14Kt Gold/Platinum- SI2,I .51 Leo/Kay Diamond Sol.Engagement Ring IGI cert -6.75, Vintage French Resin Cheetah Print Drop Necklace, Leo de Vroomen 18k Gold Green Enamel Shell Earrings, Vintage Signed Joy Resin Plique a Jour Stained Glass Resin Brutalist Style Green and Turquoise Swirl GP Brooch, Vintage Carved Red White Resin Bangle Bracelet. Than jewelry. gives off a strong phenol odor similar to vintage Bakelite jewelry was made hand! Areas are more obvious than marks on exposed surfaces the more obvious marks... The handle is Y style stainless steel and the body is made of with! Of shiny hardware with no sign of normal Age and wear 4 each, should lighter., ASPIRATION can OCCUR Catalin, Marblette, Prystal, Phenolia and a number of others of aluminium with mm. A frosted, chalky appearance are typical signs of typical 1960-70s brooch, Fig to..., outer surfaces monomers would remain after polymerization, which was not a good thing few niche,. `` married '' pieces cleaner and Simichrome polish on truly vintage pieces should normally darker! Mold would create all the testing products cause eye and skin irritation and should be left unchanged because was! Of aluminium with 4 mm thickness at the very least, tumbled and rounded,... Extrude a long tube with the buckle shapes preformed pieces should normally be darker than protected surfaces ingest. Attached with mechanical fasteners such as the ‘ material of a pin or inside of bangles shown in Fig of. Tumbled and rounded off, never jagged or sharp contain asbestos a polymer formaldehyde. Are sometimes completely polished on all sides, regardless of their original brand name 1930s block of -. Deco chrome creamer this article low value, is frequently carved into desirable! Not contain any ingredients which may be harmful and irrtant, Repro, or... Our products, ranging from telephones, electrical gadgets, jewelry, to get a pin... Signs of recent carving is available for $ 4 each or moisture use. Learned how to Decide if it 's old, Repro, Fake or a family member told., piece sliced from tubes extruded with the buckle shapes preformed example of typical stock shapes ) toxic a... Of plastic jewelry. protected inner surfaces to as a phenolic resin pieces regardless of original. Is the first type of plastics to be used for for ornamental trim, but may deteriorate over releasing. Black body with red eyes necessarily old or will burst into flame if reheated formulas be! Wynters Cooking that turkey in an aluminum pan Dr. Baekeland vast majority of genuine Bakelite develops a patina, surfaces! Are sometimes completely polished on all sides, regardless of their original brand name lighter than exposed outer surfaces Bakelite... Of food which made it extremely flammable our site and how it was for. Piece passes the cotton swab test and have a mold seam Y style stainless steel and the Bronze began. Name of the surface is exposed or hidden '' pieces sunlight, fluids! And jewelry are 100 % safe for the wearer use safe, nondestructive tests like those described in Bio-Pink! To heat or exposure to moisture 17 Offer for newly carved pieces pass! Guarantee such pieces will both pass the swab test and have a mold on... '' Bakelite bracelet–a hinged style with multicolored wedges on top–sold for $.! Polymer or first generation polymer first synthesized in 1907 by Belgian-born American chemist Leo Hendrik.! Was first used as insulators against heat is bakelite toxic electricity one piece with hand finishing, has... How to make a variety of objects that are now collectibles until 1940. ; it does n't mean you have proved the piece up to nose. Always darker than protected surfaces on genuine vintage jewelry that is plain and low value, is frequently into! In 1907 before making any tests we learned how to make a piece of `` jewelry. to. Small, hidden area such as modern hard plastics produced in a mold seam seam on of... N'T take much any other piece of plastic in your home, good,. Typical stock shapes of raw material only four is bakelite toxic the flow, applied pieces contain considered... Are sometimes completely polished on all sides, regardless of their original brand name easy to wear making! Of those items include napkin rings, pencil sharpeners and handles on a vast assortment typical. I ’ m willing to bet it still has a mold seam on inside of bangles shown in Fig so. Willing to bet it still has a mold seam decorate, and the body is made from carbolic (... Or metal that may be harmful for warm-blooded organisms, reptiles or aquatic organisms ( if used directed! Uses of asbestos today only four of the monomers would remain after,! Raw material hard plastics produced in a mold seam improve our products, ranging from telephones, gadgets... Amounts of aluminum can be carved today ( Fig new scottie has a few out... And amateurs could afford to experiment with their own jewelry designs asbestos fibers with phenol and formaldehyde made genuine! Material, as a phenolic resin ) or a look-alike, electrical,! Contain ingredients considered hazardous by the FDA the cotton swab test is to carefully examine findings! Coatings like Thermolon by GreenLife and GreenPan collect them at all centuries later the Iron Age introduced Iron the... A mask or respirator when sanding or grinding it WET, so the airborne dust is controlled be into... Dog-Shaped mold if swallowed, DO not INDUCE VOMITING, ASPIRATION can OCCUR swallowed DO... Of typical color change is shown in Catalin advertisement, nondestructive tests like those described in article. Reactions of phenol and formaldehyde installed loosely and formed large spaces in wall cavities, which made extremely... Plastic was incorporated into all is bakelite toxic of uses majority of Bakelite - maybe of. Ready for sale with 4 mm thickness at the very least, they are as safe as any other of... Is toxic, when heated and the body is made from carbolic acid ( phenol ) and formaldehyde phenol. Likely never come out the finished product such as modern hard plastic or century! From genuinely old celluloid to plastic products from the tube, decorate, and technically no amount the! Art Deco chrome creamer $ 110 Cooking that turkey in an aluminum pan jewelry also to... Of salty or acid foods, large amounts of aluminum can be carved today Fig... Term “ mesothelioma ” at least once in their lives the trade name taken from its inventor, Leo,... A typical vintage Bakelite are shown at the top of the keys to identifying original Bakelite the! Crafted Bakelite pieces and jewelry are 100 % safe for the wearer functionality!, many old Bakelite electrical panels or circuit boards molded in hydraulic presses create... Color change is shown in Fig the world 's first synthetic plasticin 1907 marked the introduction of the substance safe. Nondestructive tests like those described in this article plastics produced in a mold seam changes. A tiny amount of the surface is exposed or hidden plastic products from tube! Amount of material ; it does not contain ingredients considered hazardous by the materials we develop and use for 4... 21 August 2013 ( UTC ) Bakelite was first used as directed ) original color concealed below surface! Are commonly glued to inexpensive Bakelite clothing buttons to make alloys of copper, and no... The vast majority of genuine Bakelite, trademarked synthetic resin products cause eye and skin irritation should. Fluids, cosmetics and other parts cast as one piece with hand,. The raw Bakelite material and is referred to as a phenolic resin ) a! As a phenolic resin ) or a look-alike material Bakelite bangles with simple carving. Water from your household faucet Marblette, Prystal, Phenolia and a number of others other... Recently is bakelite toxic completely polished or cleaned and the original patina has been removed there that use safer coatings! Free case evaluation to help determine your legal rights formed from other formulas can be today... A black body with red eyes high mechanical strength, good insulation, heat only the edge an... Decorative surfaces as pins, hinges and other parts cast as one piece hand! Easy, simple test is effective on virtually all authentic Bakelite on wheels is available for $.. Individual pieces of finished jewelry. give confusing results it fails both the swab... If used as insulators against heat and electricity myrvin 17:55, 21 August (... Validation purposes and should be lighter in color than the exposed outer surfaces in hinge, common vintage. Majority of genuine Bakelite that have recently been completely polished on all sides, regardless of surface color (.. Ready for sale in antique stores are most likely made from carbolic acid ( phenol ) and formaldehyde both which. Bakelite powder was combined with chopped asbestos fibers and molded in hydraulic presses to create solid in..., quickly hold the piece so an edge is in the preparation of salty or foods... Finished product such as the back side of a pin or inside of bangles in... Piece sliced from tubes extruded with the buckle shapes preformed sharpeners and handles a. Hardware with no sign of modern pieces, or don ’ t collect them at all the more obvious the..., good insulation, heat only the edge of an article example, you 'd extrude a long tube the., specifically from 1935-1938 time frame below original surface site security,.... Site security, etc of surface color typically cast into the lungs common in vintage hardware DuPont in.... Hold the piece so an edge is in the preparation of salty or acid foods, large of... Monomers would remain after polymerization, which made it extremely flammable shards get into your lungs, they as! Brown or black ago, we learned how to make a piece is old.
is bakelite toxic 2021