Industry News

Study Finds Glass Abrasive Samples Contain Beryllium

Today the Abrasive Blasting Manufacturers Alliance (ABMA) released the results of an independent study assessing the beryllium content of 9 samples of crushed glass abrasives from major manufacturers and distributors in the industry. The results showed that all of the glass samples contained beryllium, in addition to arsenic, cadmium and lead.  These findings should lay to rest the false claims and advertising that some manufacturers of glass abrasives have deployed to mislead the public about the supposed benefits of their products.  These have included claims made in ads and websites that glass abrasives present “no hazard,” that they are the “safe alternative” for blasting, and contain “no toxic metals such as Beryllium, as found in slags.”  The study shows that such claims are utterly and completely false.

For the study, 9 samples of crushed glass abrasives from different sources and manufacturers were submitted to two independent laboratories for analysis of beryllium content. The results showed that every glass sample contained beryllium in concentrations that ranged between 0.270 and 0.757 mg/kg. 

“The ABMA has always said that the OSHA beryllium rule puts in place overly restrictive exposure limits that will negatively and unnecessarily impact the entire abrasive blasting industry, not just blasting with slag abrasives, but all abrasives,” said ABMA’s Mark Mummert. “The new study confirms this to be true, despite the misleading information coming from some non-slag manufacturers in the industry. With this study, beryllium is now confirmed to be present in glass abrasives and, therefore, it is clear that glass abrasives are subject to the OSHA rule,” continued Mummert.

The ABMA study can be found in full here.