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  1. Recently a forum member found a block of beryllium copper. Luckily he was smart enough to ask about it before using it, and in the course of the ensuing thread other hazardous things that look innocent enough were mentioned. Another member suggested making a sticky thread about such things, so here it is. Feel free to add your own, after all this may save someone's health if not their life! Beryllium copper, aka beryllium bronze, is sometimes found in junk shops. It is usually marked BeCu, and is most commonly used (at least the way most of us would find it) to make non-sparking tools. Handy and strong, with interesting properties, it is great for many things. It will also kill you (slowly or relatively quickly, and painfully whichever speed) if you grind or machine it without the proper safeguards, which are generally not available in a home shop. Here's the thread: Galvanized steel. We all know, or should know, to avoid forging or welding on plated steel. Galvanized steel produces zinc fumes when heated, and breathing these fumes will make you sick. If you have compromised lungs to begin with a big dose can kill you. This happened to my friend Jim Wilson. http://www.anvilfire.com/iForge/tutor.php?lesson=safety3/demo Cadmium plating is less common (it's the gold-ish peacock color on older brake fluid reservoirs), and it will kill you quickly if heated enough to vaporize the cadmium. This is just a start. Please fee free to add your own, just make sure it's true first. Most of the stuff we do is hazardous in some way. The more we know about hazards most people may not be aware of, the more safely we can work.
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