Is Alginate Safe?
Alginate is incredibly safe. Dental alginate, essentially the same as prosthetic alginate, has been used hundreds of millions of times IN people's mouths by dentists all over the world during the past 70 years. To our knowledge, there has never been a verified instance of any allergic reaction to alginate. Neither have there been any verified cases of long-term injury from the use of alginate, even when used on a daily basis in a dental office.
Some of our competitors have developed alginate formulas that they claim to be "Silica Free". They claim some huge SAFETY advantages with their formulas. Never do they claim that their Silica Free alginates are better than more traditional formulas. Here's the story.
FEAR SELLS- "If you make your customers fear your competitor's product they will buy yours- right?"
Alginate is a fairly complex blend of between 7 and 15 ingredients. One or more of these are "Functional Fillers". They add nothing to the chemical reactions going on inside the alginate, but they do help regulate the mixing, working and setting properties. Without these fillers, alginate would be a useless mess.
The most commonly used of these fillers is diatomaceous earth (DE). DE is comprised of the microscopic shells and skeletal remains of miniscule animals that lived in prehistoric shallow seas. These shells have extremely complex shapes and lots of holes in and through them. They absorb a great deal of water.
In the processing of DE (from a mined product that contains lots of other dirts and organic materials), it is "Calcined" or heated to a very high temperature. This burns off the organic materials and helps purify the DE. In this heating process, a small percentage (less than 1%) of the DE melts and recrystallizes. These crystals are found in any dust that is generated by the DE in an alginate formula. OSHA and other safety organizations have found that breathing large amounts of "Crystalline Silica" over an extended period of time can cause lung cancer.
This is why most alginate manufacturers (including us) have developed "Dust Free" Formulas that reduce the amount of dust produced by alginate by over 95%.
This combined with the fact that the DE is one of the LEAST dusty components in our alginate formulas and the fact that most people do not spend their lives working in and around alginate- makes modern alginate very, very safe even without the "Silica Free" formula.
To our knowledge, no one has ever contracted ANY lung disease from working with alginate- and it is much safer today than it was just 10 years ago.
We invite you to try our competitor's "Silica Free" alginate formulas for yourself. Many of our best customers have.
Now you know.