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Topic: Nano-particle Aluminum Oxide in Flooring  (Read 1748 times)

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Offline cluelesswonderer

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Nano-particle Aluminum Oxide in Flooring
« on: March 09, 2023, 11:20:29 AM »
Hello again. Yes, I'm back with another very strange question, but will ask it nonetheless!
I figured, why not, and no better place to ask!

I'm very curious about materials and safety of.

Hardwood flooring - very commonly, since the late 90s, contains nano-particle aluminum oxide in the urethane coating, in order to make it less prone to scratches and damage.

Here is my odd question, similar to another one I asked regarding lithium silicate. In a finished floor product, IS there any health risk from the nano-particle aluminum oxide? Such as touching/walking on it barefoot, or breathing in any particles?

Bare with me here. My other question: Is there any risk of aluminum oxide being radioactive? I've heard of radioactive isotopes from certain materials and metals, or based on certain reactions, etc.. so I want to ask if this could be a possibility from this material in a hardwood floor....???

Thanks again. Obviously, as you can see.....absolutely NO science background here...lol

Offline Corribus

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Re: Nano-particle Aluminum Oxide in Flooring
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2023, 12:26:24 PM »
There has actually been a lot of research done on this sort of thing (mechanical abrasion of composites and other construction materials containing nanomaterials). The amount of released material depends as you can imagine quite a bit on the nature of the material, the nature of the abrasion, etc. So it's hard to answer that generally except to say that material does get released in certain quantities under certain conditions. Whether that released material constitutes a hazard is a completely different question, but aluminum oxide is not known to be a particularly hazardous substance in most situations and has numerous consumer product applications. Aluminum is also not known to be a particularly hazardous transition metal, despite having few if any biological roles.

Aluminum does have many known radioactive isotopes but the non-radioactive isotope 27Al has almost overwhelming natural abundance on earth. Plus with one exception radioactive aluminum isotopes have half-lives of only a few minutes or less. Aluminum is everywhere in your environment, so any radioactivity from aluminum would probably just be part of the natural background radiation you are exposed to on a daily basis. (You probably get a far higher radiation dose from radioactive potassium when you eat a banana.)
What men are poets who can speak of Jupiter if he were like a man, but if he is an immense spinning sphere of methane and ammonia must be silent?  - Richard P. Feynman

Offline cluelesswonderer

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Re: Nano-particle Aluminum Oxide in Flooring
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2023, 12:55:20 PM »
Radioactive aluminum isotopes...what exactly does that mean, and how would it apply to a residential setting, such as with aluminum oxide finished flooring....would it even apply in this case? How is one exposed to radioactive aluminum isotopes, and is it rare?

And with regards to bananas.....yes I probably do! Thank you for your answer.

A bit off topic, but radiation related - water softener containing potassium chloride....is that a significant source of radiation in the home and drinking water? I'm on a radioactive products research binge...lol

Offline Borek

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Re: Nano-particle Aluminum Oxide in Flooring
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2023, 02:12:14 PM »
When you take a sample of any element - like aluminium - it is actually many atoms of that element. Atoms of any element always come in a bit different versions that we call isotopes. Some of isotopes are radioactive, some are not. In every typical material non radioactive isotopes are much, much more common, and the amount of radioactive ones is negligible.

While the radioactive isotopes are present in very minute amounts they do exist around us, in every material, and we are constantly bathed in some low level radiation. We call it natural background radiation, and a. there is no way to get rid of it, b. it actually doesn't make sense to worry, as we evolved to live with it and we are quite good at that.

No, none of the things you mention is a significant source of radiation.
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Offline cluelesswonderer

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Re: Nano-particle Aluminum Oxide in Flooring
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2023, 03:36:03 PM »
When you take a sample of any element - like aluminium - it is actually many atoms of that element. Atoms of any element always come in a bit different versions that we call isotopes. Some of isotopes are radioactive, some are not. In every typical material non radioactive isotopes are much, much more common, and the amount of radioactive ones is negligible.

While the radioactive isotopes are present in very minute amounts they do exist around us, in every material, and we are constantly bathed in some low level radiation. We call it natural background radiation, and a. there is no way to get rid of it, b. it actually doesn't make sense to worry, as we evolved to live with it and we are quite good at that.

No, none of the things you mention is a significant source of radiation.

Thank you for making sense of that for me :) I appreciate it.

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