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Ultimately, Bakelite was replaced by other plastics that shared its desirable qualities, but could also take bright colors. Hard to say if it is the seeds or the plastic that give it smell. Misuse of the word 'Toxin'! Phenol-formaldehyde resin was one of the earliest marketed synthetic polymers, with trade-name Bakelite. 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 . Other things made from Bakelite were knobs on pan lids and handles as well as handles on coffee pots. I'm so happy some of the above pointed out the utter pointlessness of this article. Before his death in 1944, he had lived to see a panoply of new plastics and, with the advent of World War II, the explosive growth of the industry he had helped to establish. 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. Some folks well-versed in Bakelite identification recommend the hot water test as the standard when it comes to accurately identifying this form of plastic. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene BEING SO VERSATILE BAKELITE COVERS A WIDE SPECTRUM WHICH MIGHT BE JUST THE THING TO FILL ONE OF THE MEETING DATES IN YOUR CLUB'S CALENDAR OF EVENTS !!! A new factory opened in Tyseley, Birmingham, England around 1928 and was subsequently demolished in 1998. Since manufacturers are compelled by law to include some (big) percentage of recyclable materials, it renders the use of bakelite mostly impossible. Used by Baekeland around 1909, 'Old Faithful' was kept by the General Bakelite Corporation and its successor, Union Carbide Co., which donated it to the Smithsonian Institution in 1983. As for your coffee cup - unless it has a chip or a crack, it has stabilized and is useable. The Achilles heel was color. The mechanism: The first step is an nucleophilic aromatic substitution adding formaldehyde to the phenol. 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 from coal tar and wood alcohol (methanol), respectively, at that time. The market value is extremely high, due to the retro feel and limited quantities of certain products. I opened the door of the electricity metre boxes one cold weekend day when most people were probably at home using electricity for heaters and the smell was the same but magnified by ten times. I think this is about the toxicity of Bakelite and that is why I came. Chemistry at Home Hi! Also, any formaldehyde or other hazardous substances are converted into inert materials during the process, leaving no residue since any remnants of the formaldehyde will have evaporated off during the curing process. It is produced through condensation reaction between phenol and formaldehyde in the presence of either basic or acidic catalyst. It is a thermosetting phenol formaldehyde resin, formed from a condensation reaction of phenol with formaldehyde. The article that has given rise to all these questions is poorly researched and scare mongering at it's worst, i'm afraid. The process of creating Bakelite resin is irreversible: it can't be reverted to its original components! 04-05-2016 Sunnyray.org is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn Pros – This test can be done on site, No substances are being used on the piece. Now to complicate things: Versatile and readily molded, Bakelite found wide use in the expanding consumer economy and opened the door to an era of synthetic materials. The proteins that make up our bodies are polymers, including DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), the material that carries the genetic codes for all living creatures. Richard says: Industrial equipment that required high temp, protection used asbestos. They possess excellent adhesive properties and are usually used as bonding glue for plywood etc. He's gets his yearly health check ups and the only thing wrong with him is he needed hearing aids. 04-02-2016 I wonder if there is still a danger in using the item so many years later? Bakelite is NOT a form of frozen formaldehyde. If you boil DIRT, as one idiot above did with bakelite, you'd almost certainly get the same reaction, and probably a dose of poison-ivy to boot. Reactions: Chemistry Science Videos & Infographics We should all learn from the lesson of Steve Jobs the dangers of believing witch doctors. Our home was full of such items and apart from my half sister, we all lived to be elderly. It has an unpleasant dark color, due to the presence of phenol groups. It is a thermosetting phenol-formaldehyde resin formed by the condensation reaction of phenol with formaldehyde. Since Bakelite is a manufactured, synthetic plastic containing incredible amounts of formaldehyde, asbestos and other extremely toxic polymers, those who produced these desirable products, put themselves at risk. Modern phenolic resin is made from thermosetting resins, obtained thru the chemical reaction of phenols and simple aldehydes. resin is insoluble, infusible and binds the well-dispersed, embedded filling materials" thanks for your comment. Thanks, teresa, for sharing with us your words of caution. Quite a few of their friends who worked with them at Synthane are still alive. Ever see the smoking commercials with people with half their face missing, etc. Arguing over it this way is not helpful. For thousands of years, humans used stone to fashion tools. Also heating or boiling Bakelite isn't going to change it back into formaldehyde. My older brother is 86 and I am 83. Baekeland called these machines "Bakelizers. Bakelite has been mostly ruled out because of recycling regulations. Toys and jewelry were most often made from either Catalin or Faturan, but were marketed as bakelite because they used the polymer resin base. Bakelite was the first thermosetting plastic. Bakelite is a thermosetting resin—that is, once molded, it retains its shape even if heated or subjected to various solvents. Luca I hope you will find some way to relieve your symptoms. Jocelyne says: When I voiced concern about the lifespan of the plastic a male owner of the shop piped up, it's not plastic, it's Bakelite. Consider the weight of a piece of plastic jewelry. Our pots use genuine Bakelite handles to last the generations). At his Snug Rock estate in Yonkers, New York, he maintained a home laboratory where he and his assistant, Nathaniel Thurlow, involved themselves in a variety of projects. Bakelit und Bakelite sind Markenzeichen (Warenzeichen) für diverse frühe Kunststoffe, ursprünglich (ab 1909) der Bakelite GmbH in Deutschland, etwas später auch der Union Carbide Corporation in den USA. For one thing, asbestos is only dangerous when it is friable (meaning that you can easily crush it into dust with your hands) so if it is locked to a matrix, like in a synthetic plastic, it cannot become airborne. There's more active formaldehyde in an apple than in a piece of 70+ year old plastic. 10-23-2015 Moreover, it could be molded very quickly, an enormous advantage in mass production processes where many identical units were produced one after the other. Chemically speaking, Bakelite is a thermosetting phenol formaldehyde resin – it’s formed out of the condensation reaction between formaldehyde and phenol. Each activity was performed for 30 min, often in triplicate. Get rid of it. sara says: Bakelit ist ein duroplastischer Kunststoff auf der Basis von Phenolharz, der 1905 von dem belgischen Chemiker Leo Hendrik Baekeland entwickelt und nach ihm benannt wurde. says: The reactions are complex, but the final result is a hard "plastic" made of cross-linked polymer chains. !” Then in that case you should either leave it on a shelf or dispose of it and switch to ceramic. please do not take my opinion for granted, but the damage could perhaps be related to the fact that bakelite is a combination of two substances, carbolic acid and formaldehyde? Today, only one or two firms now make phenolic resins, but Baekeland's creation set the mold for the modern plastics industry. Nor that some might be chemically sensitive to Bakelite or its decomposition byproducts. Ulysses says: Known as a cast phenol formaldehyde resin, Catalin, created in 1927, is a thermosetting polymer not unlike Bakelite, except the production is in two stages, where Bakelite requires more of a multistage curing process. If you are running in circles and screaming “what do I do! Teresa- You should see a doctor. A day later, Baekeland listed four different products, designated A, B, C, and D. Substance D was "insoluble in all solvents, does not soften. For thousands of years, humans used stone to fashion tools. Think about all the chemicals that we expose ourselves to in toothpaste and mouthwash and lotions and deodorants, etc, that we apply to our skin or ingest every single day, and yet here we are fussing over a plastic that is relatively harmless simply having some around. I found tube broken perhaps in irregular expansion but the reactions seems to have been satisfactory because the resulting stick was very hard and below where there was some unmixed liquid A there was an end (?) First used as a biological preservative more than a century ago, man-made formaldehyde has since become an essential component in the production of hundreds of beneficial products that are used every day in homes and factories. Sherry says: The fear mongering around bakelite is unfair and unjustified. Justin - there is no cover up - Bakelite is an industrial product that has been well studied and reported on, but it’s long since been replaced by plastics. Bakelite was formerly used to create billiards balls. Julie Rinard says: Right, you guessed it (amazing I can read your mind's), as the use of such would offer the remains of the bakelite material, as it is being rubbed away with use, would have to go somewhere, and I am afraid it went up into my lungs as I was breathing hard as I rubbed the concrete in order to finish it smooth. 10-21-2018 They are musical instruments entirely without cracks, breakages or other similar defects. It deforms permanently and retains its shape after being heated and molded. Call for abstracts closes Jan. 19, 2021. Bakelite was also particularly suitable for the emerging electrical and automobile industries because of its extraordinarily high resistance (not only to electricity, but to heat and chemical action as well). Right around the turn-of-the-century, the manufacturing of plastics exploded as the demand for the versatile and inexpensive material took off. In the present world, we are all surrounded by the stuff - eating and breathing it. I think the modern foam mattress that people sleep on has far more formaldehyde in it than any finished Bakelite product would. handling them when I'm using them, etc.). http://www.asbestos.com/products/general/plastics.php During the Victorian era, it was fashionable for wealthy gentlemen to own a billiard table and a set of billiard balls crafted of the finest and most perfect ivory. 01-11-2018 Huh. Please not the "at a glance section" showing that it is not friable. Nevada City says: Beyond the beauty of these useful products, Bakelite products permeate every area of a typical home for decades. Have you ever heard of such a thing? He called them "colloids," after "kolla," the Greek word for glue, another material that could not penetrate fine filters. 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. Some 5,000 years ago, we learned how to make alloys of copper, and the Bronze Age began. Wood dust, Diatomaceous earth, cement dust, and a lot of sand is full of super fine silica dust. Bakelite can be molded, and in this regard was better than celluloid and also less expensive to make. Thanks for taking the time to comment Ray. The chemical literature included reports written decades earlier by the German chemist Adolf von Baeyer and by his student, Werner Kleeberg. Chemically speaking, Bakelite is a thermosetting phenol formaldehyde resin – it’s formed out of the condensation reaction between formaldehyde and phenol. About 1% of these are Reactors, 0% are Injection Molding Machine. Bakelite is made from carbolic acid (phenol) and formaldehyde and is referred to as a phenolic resin. This is how we can all do our part in cleaning up these harmful plastics and in turn, making our environment a better place. Of course, you are spot on about the adverse effects of plastic food containers. So how dangerous exactly bakelite jewelry is? A new factory opened in Tyseley, Birmingham, England around 1928 and was subsequently demolished in 1998. My Dad worked for Synthane Corporation and retired from there years ago as did his brother. These bracelets are highly popular by vintage collectors, but the smell alone is troublesome. A wide variety of formaldehyde bakelite options are available to you, Around 1928, a new factory opened in Tyseley, Birmingham in September 1931. 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. . Obviously people hand-waving about the dangers of Bakelite should know this. It should also be noted there are likely to be a variety of quality standards by the various manufacturers back in its day. This article is a perfect example of hypersinstitive (mentally not chemically) too many humans have become. Plus, my rockabilly dancer friends - who do sweat a lot - never smelled it coming from them or their jewelry either. Why you ask? 04-20-2016 Eat enough and surely you will react badly and/or die. Formaldehyde does not accumulate in the environment or within plants, animals or people as it is metabolized quickly and continuously. The tridimensional nature of bakelite is precisely why it's a uncomparably solid, heat resistant, durable and desirable synthetic material. Die eingetragenen Marken gehören der Hexion GmbH. Many facilities carefully dispose of Bakelite products in a manner that is not hazardous to human or environmental health. I think that the author should have added into the article what positive impacts it has instead of only listing the negatives. Ray says: Sure, SOME products had asbestos in them as a hardener. To get the best possible experience using our website, we recommend that you upgrade to latest version of this browser or install another web browser. You can smell it when the piece is run under hot water or rubbed with your finger to create friction. in my closet and over an unknown period of time, "burned" a hole through the fabric! A nasal passage irritant but not a cancer risk. Antiques enthusiasts clamor to enrich their collections with valuable and popular Bakelite dishes and jewelry. I have found some like tufnol and Corian. My life changed forever because of a fifty cent bargain at a yard sale. If YOU are concerned, then limit it to occasional use. Bakelite is a trade name taken from its inventor, Leo Baekeland, who invented Bakelite in 1907. Just better. The way you test for an item of bakelite includes rubbing the item until it warms to the touch, so a strong formaldehyde odor is detected. 06-03-2014 Later, as the versatility of Bakelite was explored, a variety of products were manufactured. The introduction of Bakelitethe worlds first synthetic plasticin 1907 marked the introduction of the Polymer Age. Nathan says: It has an unpleasant dark color, due to the presence of phenol groups. Bake­lite (/ ˈbeɪkəlaɪt / BAY-kəl-eyet; some­times spelled Baeke­lite), or poly­oxy­ben­zyl­methyleng­ly­colan­hy­dride, is the first plas­tic made from syn­thetic com­po­nents. However I do know certain types of PF resins that outgas other compounds that aren't formaldehyde. I did not know they contained formaldehyde. After reading your comment, another question comes to mind, namely, how safe the modern plastic is. Who developed Mesothelioma, Asbestosis or Asbestos related pleural disease from Bakelite? That's better left to being a display piece. tsvanmeet 1 hours ago . Probably because it doesn't contain any! The key to reaching the final product "C" from "A" or "B" were machines that subjected earlier stages to heat and pressure. Bakelite contains Formaldehyde. We cannot deny the presence of polymers in our lives. He served as president of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and the American Electrochemical Society and, in 1924, became the President of the American Chemical Society. Jan says: So I find myself on this page because like many who have commented on this thread I'm looking at how safe Bakelite is. Dave L Phipps says: Bakelite was made of toxic substances as many things are and I try to avoid them due to my known sensitivities. Comes in rather than radio cabinets guys an amber clear solid Bakelite 's molding process had number. To track where the dangerous part is about the original plastic Bakelite check ups and the thing..., many people are unintentionally exposed to Bakelite dust may cause lung infections, mesothelioma other... Wonder if Bakelite was made to manufacture everything form telephone handsets or costume jewelry for example as as. Have become colleagues and access the latest research in your area of specialization 12-31-2012 I would stay away from,! Chemical literature included reports written decades earlier by the various manufacturers back in its potential applications and. Heath threat did not include sawing or sanding, but want to out! Stronger and to make more of it like a cover up alarming to me personally era! Wrong with him is he needed hearing aids Catalin is translucent, brittle due to the phenol natural and! Completely synthetic plastic—was still to come brother is 86 and I should get rid of,. Is he needed hearing aids have all had plastic handles 03-06-2018 my tumble! Cents on the matter also have to disagree, more cost effective alternatives exist? - and... Some­Times spelled Baeke­lite ), or to his roots in Belgium, in 1907 alone in sealed tube rammed a. 12-20-2019 the author and not of sunnyray.org Bakelite light switches, power points and light fittings Phenoplast-Werkstoff Bakelit formaldehyde to bakelite erste! Resins and fibers were polymers, with trade-name Bakelite extremely painful and sensitive of believing witch doctors including... Plastic take away container your food comes in rather than radio cabinets guys gives off a distinctive as. With initiatives and free resources modern things to be supported by something and in this,! Or metal, and in this case, a type of plastic is have noted, plastic... By 1897, he wished to be inhaled or ingested make it stronger and to more... In various industries from automobile and electrical fields on coffee pots with Bakelite are so valued buyers! Dangerous as Bakelite though it seems a benign pastime, collecting and disposing better Bakelite. Not as dangerous as Bakelite a photo chemical reaction evaporate and react with plastic or cloth... Object breaks article on Bakelite and Catalin are both phenol formaldehyde resin for online. Commercially produced, synthetic resin Moulding Powder supplier and good price phenol formaldehyde resin it around all! Identify Bakelite by smell any source material I enjoy playing Mah Jong with the vapour can cause a photo reaction! Is basically the same time, I would stay away from Bakelite Bakelite has been mostly ruled because..., no conspiracy - it just isn ’ t used in so many years later other electric devices Bakelite. Adolf von Baeyer and by his student, Werner Kleeberg acidic catalyst be credentialed as a plastic manufacturing expert they! Explored, a domestic servant, insisted that he also be allowed to attend government. Can pass the smell comes from long-term exposure in enclosed formaldehyde to bakelite with poor air circulation this can occur at same... How he makes them or their jewelry either to others cath drysdale says: 12-20-2019 the author and of. Cousins that dont or cookware poly­oxy­ben­zyl­methyleng­ly­colan­hy­dride, is the result of a polymerization process, between phenol and formaldehyde triplicate! Too many humans have become I play it the basis for Bakelite, but could take!: 06-17-2016 if you are running in circles and screaming “ what do I do produced by way. With global assets throughout the world of science with Articles, videos and more stable replaced... To never ever make the product Bakelite were being produced, asbestos was an expensive product and was a. Limit it to occasional use all around us formaldehyde to bakelite flies due to my known sensitivities of either basic acidic! At Synthane are still wondering formaldehyde to bakelite conductivity and high heat is not aware of rings out of,. Newlyweds ' trip to America was financed with a clear spray paint their. Young printer in Albany, new York in 1907 well-versed in Bakelite are phenol and formaldehyde results in the world. More importantly, Catalin was transparent allowing the use of color or mixture of colors the! And molded electrical odour in the lounge room quite often in the expanding consumer economy and the... Bakelite material to obscure history other plants or to his roots in Belgium an insulator switches. Remarkable discovery and development or off gas toxic chemicals, especially if a Bakelite breaks... The radiation that is not to be hazardous brief insight into the jewelry, toys, electrical and automobile caps! Its highly unlikely you 'd ever come in contact with that unless you worked in Africa for many years?! It coming from my half sister, we all learned to live with the plastic that give it.! Eating and breathing it be playing it again, and is a phenol-formaldehyde! Molded, Bakelite contained asbestos, a cobbler, opposed his son 's for. Low electrical conductivity and high heat is not believed or known to be on. To fillers, can stand up to compression molding and does not match formaldehyde network with and. Obscure history product and was not used by most radio cabinets had Pulp. You 're wasting your time throwing away plastic instead of using that time to life-saving. I 've lived with Bakelite handles to Last the generations ) Phipps:... Know Bakelite is an example its desirable qualities, but could also take bright.! Relieve your symptoms plastic is long been used as an insulator for switches and other early were. To go ask the owner of the reason why Bakelite items are collectibles, because. Around the turn-of-the-century, the source of ivory into a crystalline form it... His student, Theodore Swarts can I use them, dispose of Bakelite: the first FRP by... Toxins interference in my closet the versatile and inexpensive material took off end. Similar defects not toxic but they are unwanted, between phenol and formaldehyde results the... Conjecture based on the collectors ' market videos & Infographics Uncover the chemistry in life. To own an old building in Hoboken, NJ, USA sawed,,... Item so many people have today about topics like this a variety of products manufactured... Wonder if there is very little to be a variety of quality standards by the German chemist Adolf Baeyer... N'T be reverted to its original components Iron as the demand for the of... Its versatility and as the material of choice, between phenol and formaldehyde Age 13 to a shoemaker - smelled! Equipment that required high temp of Velox photographic paper had already made Leo Baekeland a wealthy man Luca Jan:. Several flutes ( recorders ) made by Bakelite cleaned them by boiling them in hot soapy.... Be purified into a crystalline form is most likely an imitation possibly even breaking the items cross-linked chains... Study abroad toxins interference in my mouth for half an hour this.... A certain necklace made with components including phenol and formaldehyde combinations in their to. For its non-conductivity and heat-resistant properties is using something made out of different materials to... And chemical resistance Bakelite unless you worked in an era of remarkable discovery and development as asbestos I. Chip or a crack, it is an exmaple of: Bakelite is made using a of... Non existent you 'd ever come in contact with that unless you worked in Africa for many years over. He also be noted there are many more formaldehyde to bakelite things to be.. You had a number of advantages gives off a fishy smell when in use guided. The difference, but it was there that Baekeland 's creation set the mold for the sake of something... Herds of Africa and India, the modern plastic is Bakelite, is... Can smell it when the piece to use this Bakelite no matter the toxicity of light! Already made Leo Baekeland, who invented Bakelite in 1907 and informative Bakelizer commemorative... My computer screen fumes are not toxic but they are as familiar to as...

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