As I type this I'm aware of the radiation that is coming from my computer screen. As one of the first manufactured and synthetic plastics, Bakelite was highly desirable for its non-conductivity and heat-resistant properties. Wood flour was a much cheaper alternative to asbestos. Many people date the beginning of the modern plastics industry to 1907, when Leo Hendrik Baekeland, a Belgian-born American chemist, applied for a patent on a phenol-formaldehyde thermoset that eventually became known by the trademarked name Bakelite.Also known as phenolic resins, phenol-formaldehyde polymers were the first completely synthetic polymers to be … Another area of over reaction is if an object breaks. The possibility that some products leach out or off gas toxic chemicals, especially if subjected to high heat is not to be discounted. I played it for about half an hour this morning. Now the other thing the author is NOT aware of. Like other scientists of their day, Baekeland and Thurlow understood the potential of phenol-formaldehyde resins. Tom Howard says: There is a government conspiracy to hide the TRUTH about Bakelite, I’m worried for my health and that of my offspring and neighbors and THE entire world!! He first produced a soluble phenol-formaldehyde resin called “Novolak,” which never became a market success. Moreover, it could be molded very quickly, an enormous advantage in mass production processes where many identical units were produced one after the other. Hoping to capitalize on shortages of naturally occurring shellac—used to insulate electrical cables in the early years of the 20th century—Baekeland and Thurlow, as well as several other investigators, were experimenting with soluble resins. Thanks for taking the time to comment Ray. 03-21-2015 Thanks, Bryan. By 1887, when the university appointed Baekeland assistant professor of chemistry, Swarts saw it as the start of an illustrious academic career. Bakelite or polyoxybenzylmethylenglycolanhydride was the first plastic made from synthetic components. We are surrounded by objects, most of which, some way or the other have a polymer associated with them. Rich says: If you are running in circles and screaming “what do I do! Formaldehyde is gaseous at normal temperature, and is usually called formalin in a 35-40% aqueous solution of formaldehyde. The Polymer Age is also called the Age of Plastics. But if you must use them, dispose of them safely and cleanly. One of the earliest and most adaptable forms of plastic is Bakelite, made with components including phenol and formaldehyde. Through the early 1960s, Bakelite became a highly desirable product. Of course, you are spot on about the adverse effects of plastic food containers. Yet the surface of the blocks of wood does not feel hard although a small part of gum that has oozed out is very hard. Also heating or boiling Bakelite isn't going to change it back into formaldehyde. In practice, the phenol and formaldehyde are first polymerized to a small extent by using the proper choice of … this post do not necessarily imply our recommendation or endorsement of the views expressed within them. Ray says: To find a plastic recycling center near you, check out Earth911. Versatile and readily molded, Bakelite found wide use in the expanding consumer economy and opened the door to an era of synthetic materials. Ever see the smoking commercials with people with half their face missing, etc. I'll grant you that the article mentions that repeated friction use can cause it to degrade and release dust, but a plastic handle on your I think the modern foam mattress that people sleep on has far more formaldehyde in it than any finished Bakelite product would. Huh. I simply can't stand it, and also have to take issue with the entire premise. A combination of formaldehyde and phenol leads to Bakelite. Bryan, I would have to disagree. It is an example of thermosetting resin of phenol and formaldehyde. This looks promising and it will be worth while to determine in how far this mass which I will call D is able to make moulded materials either alone or in conjunctions with other solid materials as for instance asbestos, casein, zinc oxid (sic), starch, different inorganic powders and lamp black and thus make a substitute for celluloid and for hard rubber. This brought up vivid memories of lid handles and old heavy telephones of my youth. Bakelite was discovered in 1909 by a New York chemist Belgian-born Dr. Leo Hendrik Baekeland. The handles are either bakelite or phenolic which is basically the same. An avid motorist even before automobiles were safe, he toured Europe by car with his family as early as 1907 and spent hours tinkering with car motors. As with most things in life common sense avoids many problems. My older brother is 86 and I am 83. We all learned to live with the occasional zap when we switched the light on or off. Industrial equipment that required high temp, protection used asbestos. They made all kinds of bakelite out of different materials. 07-11-2019 The above guest post is published based on the premise that it will be helpful and informative. I saw a piece of jewelry on e-bay I liked made of celluloid and another of Bakelite and decided to look it up and now feel it is not for me. Bakelite aside, the dangers of prolonged exposure to plastics and other such synthetic materials and chemicals have been proven over and over. Have you ever heard of such a thing? About 1% of these are Reactors, 0% are Injection Molding Machine. valentino says: Like many of the people who have made important contributions to American life, Leo Hendrik Baekeland was an immigrant. So it began... Besides that, no one here has addressed simply using common sense when handling synthetics, rather than overreacting and avoiding something entirely just because it has formaldehyde or possibly asbestos. They don't seem to be credentialed as a plastic manufacturing expert and they didn't cite any source material. Call for abstracts closes Jan. 19, 2021. This bring me questions about a certain necklace made with big beads of yellow/orange color plastic and dried seeds. The reactions are complex, but the final result is a hard "plastic" made of cross-linked polymer chains. It's one of the first plastics made from formaldehyde resin. The mechanism: The first step is an nucleophilic aromatic substitution adding formaldehyde to the phenol. Polymers ("poly" = many) are very large molecules—veritable giants in the molecular world—comprised of smaller molecules called monomers ("mono" = one). Adapted for the internet from “The Bakelizer,” produced by the National Historic Chemical Landmarks program of the American Chemical Society in 1993. Is this possible. Previous reactions had resulted in slow processes and brittle products, he said; then he continued "...by the use of small amounts of bases, I have succeeded in preparing a solid initial condensation product, the properties of which simplify enormously all molding operations...". Hexion operates a large formaldehyde network with global assets throughout the world. The primary objective for testing BMMA-5353 was to quantitatively determine the airborne concentration of asbestos fibers, if any, in the breathing zone of workers. An entry made the following day states: All these tests were conducted in concentrated horizontal digester and the apparatus was reasonably tight. 100% (1/1) Super Crystalate. If the acid was somehow released, there would certainly be some sort of chemical reaction. Promoting excellence in science education and outreach. Hard to say if it is the seeds or the plastic that give it smell. It is strong but brittle. Take it or leave it if you like. I have also heated an open tube rammed with a mixture of asbestos fiber and liquid. If the pin melts the object but no formaldehyde/burnt hair odor is detected, it is most likely an imitation. the chemical structure with reactive chemicals or extreme heat, your risk is going to be extremely low. C. urea. I bought two very old cans of antique buttons and unknowingly cleaned them by boiling them in hot soapy water. The most annoying thing about this thread is the back and forth with oh, it didnt hurt me or my relatives, etc etc. Celluloid not only resembled ivory, it had astonishing properties: at normal temperatures, it was a permanent, hard solid; when heated, it became soft and could be molded or rolled into sheets. New products will be manufactured and molded all over the world—in complex processes that began with Leo Baekeland, an idea, and the Bakelizer. The dangerous nature of Bakelite is from different sources: manufacturing, collecting and disposing. I've been in the electronic business over 50 years and have worked with Bakelite for decades with no ill results. If someone wishes to create their own little private Bakelite museum, why not, but this product has been surpassed in every practical way so it is probably not a good idea to use these items in every day life as originally intended. Bakelite is a condensation polymer of formaldehyde and phenol. These bracelets are highly popular by vintage collectors, but the smell alone is troublesome. Additionally, it seems that asbestos based bakelite was reserved mostly for commercial or ", Baekeland made the first public announcement of his invention on February 8, 1909, in a lecture before the New York section of the American Chemical Society. We should all learn from the lesson of Steve Jobs the dangers of believing witch doctors. Worry beads Bakelite Beadwork Bead Misbaha. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene When fully ???????cured??????? How harmful is that, how to track where the smell comes from? The introduction of Bakelitethe worlds first synthetic plasticin 1907 marked the introduction of the Polymer Age. Like I said earlier, this is a knee jerk, poorly researched article. Bryan says: I belong to an early music recorder group in Brisbane, Australia. It is very unpleasant. Are sure that the fumes are not toxic? Baekeland's first patent in the field had been granted in 1906; in all, he took out more than 400 patents related to the manufacture and applications of Bakelite. Baekeland called these machines "Bakelizers. says: Dr. Baekeland's new material opened the door to the Age of Plastics and seeded the growth of a worldwide industry that today employs more than 60 million people. I'm not claiming to be an expert either, but I have personal and family experience and a three-hour asbestos training course that I have to take every year to back up what I've written here. Occasionally a manufacturer trots out the name and associates it with durability due to its early development (i.e. 07-26-2014 http://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/education/whatischemistry/landmarks/bakelite.html (accessed Month Day, Year). 20g phenol and 36-40 percent of 25g formaldehyde. Truth says: Bakelite Limited, a merger of three phenol formaldehyde resin suppliers (Damard Lacquer Company Limited of Birmingham; Mouldensite Limited of Darley Dale and Redmanol Chemical Products Company of London) was formed in 1926. Paul Littrell, Jr. says: I am not an expert in this matter, so Bakelite is still manufactured, however, and is used for pot handles and jewelry. Julie Rinard says: With older home renovations at its peak, many people are unintentionally exposed to Bakelite from replacing ceiling or floor tiles. Now to complicate things: The links you may find within Bakelite and Catalin are both phenol formaldehyde resin plastics. Cynthia says: And no, my hands don't break out in blisters or cancer, and I have no thought of either tossing the set or stopping using it. Phenol and formaldehyde reacted under pressure at high temperature in this sealed autoclave -known affectionately as 'Old Faithful' by early operators - to form the thermosetting resin Bakelite. Beautifully designed and handcrafted, these items fetch a reasonable price on the collectors' market. This led in turn to his first major successful invention, Velox, a new type of photographic paper that would take images using artificial light. An enthusiast who also makes jewelry started making beautiful rings out of Bakelite from old magazines. The Bakelizer, a steam pressure vessel used by Leo Hendrik Baekeland to commercialize his discovery of Bakelite - the world's first completely synthetic plastic. and symptoms have only become worse. 07-26-2014 I'm looking for a greener saucepan set, so will go for a ceramic coating. Another scare mongering article, only partially based in reality, written by someone who seemingly has no scientific background or basis or evidence to prove the outlandish claims made in the article. Even having UV exposure from the cloth with the vapour can cause a photo chemical reaction. At the same time, I am sorry to hear about your trouble. Versatile and readily molded, Bakelite found wide use in the expanding consumer economy and opened the door to an era of synthetic materials. The people most at risk (just like with asbestos) were those who manufactured it. Thanks for this wealth of information! The synthetic components present in Bakelite are phenol and formaldehyde. Phenol formaldehyde Many people date the beginning of the modern plastics industry to 1907, when Leo Hendrik Baekeland, a Belgian-born American chemist, applied for a patent on a phenol-formaldehyde thermoset that eventually became known by the trademarked name Bakelite. Sandra says: Alexander says: The American Chemical Society designated Leo Hendrik Baekeland’s original Bakelizer as a National Historic Chemical Landmark at the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C., on November 9, 1993. Formaldehyde is commonly kept as a liquid dissolved in water, and is a precursor to PF resins such as Bakelite. 04-06-2012 Do you think there was a chemical reaction in my closet? You can go outside you house, anywhere on earth, and if you expose yourself to enough DIRT, you will be exposed to untold zillions of bacteria, viruses, and yes, RADIOACTIVE elements too many to list! Bakelite has been mostly ruled out because of recycling regulations. Alibaba.com offers 372 formaldehyde bakelite products. Anyway, long story short: if you're having mysetrious health problems, see at least two board-certified doctors and a perhaps a specialist. The condensation reaction of phenol and formaldehyde results in the product Bakelite. 12-31-2012 Wonder if bakelite was produce in Africa. There is no cure! Plainly speaking, it’s plastic. Constructed of iron alloys and still structurally sound, the Bakelizer is 35 inches wide, 40 inches deep, and nearly six feet tall. Some 5,000 years ago, we learned how to make alloys of copper, and the Bronze Age began. The bakelite is made from phenol and formaldehyde. 07-26-2014 More importantly, Catalin was transparent allowing the use of color or mixture of colors during the manufacturing process. Or a mixture of it all? Luca Torsello says: 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. Chiming in as a chemical engineer, there are persistent rumors that bakelite was forbidden because of its supposed toxicity, it's false. Another reason that in some cases you get discolouration of items next to this product is that Dye's were added to the wood and chemical mix to give them that Brown and other colours . 06-03-2014 But when I hear I am going to use this Bakelite no matter the toxicity I think of smoking. Certainly boiling bakelite is going to cause some problems, but that can be said of just about any chemical that you expose to extreme heat (remember when we found out that BPA leaches much more readily if you, say, leave a water bottle in your car?). I never get headaches. Patented in 1909, two years after its creation, Bakelite quickly became a revolutionary product for … Sherry says: He settled in New York City, where the patronage of Columbia University professor Charles F. Chandler led him to a position at a local photographic supply company. Teresa- You should see a doctor. It has an unpleasant dark color, due to the presence of phenol groups. But as early as 1861, the British chemist Thomas Graham had noted that when he dissolved organic compounds in solutions, some of them—cellulose, for instance—would not pass through even the finest filter paper without leaving sticky residues. Swarts guided Baekeland through his student years and beyond. They never received the money. Find awards and scholarships advancing diversity in the chemical sciences. Thanks Phil But Baekeland never returned to pure chemistry, or to his roots in Belgium. Dedicated November 9, 1993, at the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. History is shaped by the materials we develop and use. In the present world, we are all surrounded by the stuff - eating and breathing it. Secured the thread knots behind the buttons with Fray check was napping by 10 in. Day States: all these tests were conducted in concentrated horizontal digester and the electrical boards are Bakerlite some! 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