Sandblasting Safety

Sandblasting is Dangerous

When it comes to sandblasting safety, you must take it seriously.  Whether you are new to the process or a seasoned professional, the process is very dangerous.  Combining pressure and projectiles is inherently dangerous.  Users should always refer to their instruction manual and use all necessary safety measures. It is always up to the user to understand the dangers and take responsibility when using any abrasive blaster.

What’s in a Name

Sandblasting is a popular term and is in fact not that relevant anymore. The “sand” in the name is what was once used in blasting equipment. The operation is just like sandpaper on a board.  The abrasive smooths and removes surface imperfections.  We use the term because of the familiarity – not because of the media in the cabinet. Sandblast safety is most frequently discussed when it comes to silicosis.

Abrasive Blast Hazards | Sandblast Safety

Silica, a mineral, discovered in sand used by many to sandblast.  Exposure to this mineral causes severe or fatal damage to lung tissue. DO NOT use sand in abrasive blast equipment. Some may argue it is safe – Cyclone does not endorse/recommend and has never endorsed and never recommended sand of any kind. The risk is too high. Silicosis is a very real thing and can kill you.  You may see the terms sandblaster, sandblast cabinet, or bead blast cabinet on our site.  But Cyclone absolutely DOES NOT RECOMMEND the use of any sand in any kind of abrasive blast equipment.  There are too many risks and too many safer alternatives.

Abrasive Blasting – A Better Name

Better known as abrasive blasting, the process is also known by many other names. Some people refer to these blast cabinets as glass bead blasters or garnet blasters. You can see the confusion. Abrasive blast cabinets are also known as bead or media blasting cabinets, spelled in various ways: media blasting, sandblast, sand blast, abrasive blasting, the list goes on.  Just remember to be careful, read the instructions on any equipment, and contact us if you have questions.  Your safety is important to us but your safety is ultimately up to you!

Safer Alternatives to Sand & Sandblasting Safety

Glass beads, silicon carbide, white or brown aluminum oxide, and blasting garnet are just a few options.  Notice we said “Safer” not “Safe”. Anytime you expose yourself to airborne particulate you are at risk. Ensure that you put your safety first and understand the risks and take all precautions before your sandblasting adventure begins. Abrasive media should always be accompanied by an “MSDS” (Material Data Safety Sheet). These explain the composition of the media, and any specific dangers and precautions that accompany the particular media type.