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Hi everybody,
I have the chance to buy an old metal link, coming from the ‘60 and totally missing the gold laquer. Not a special edition, just normal wear or a previous player had it unlaquer.
I am worried about the kind of metal it might be made of, lead content etc.
How do you guys clean the rust?
Relaquer is not an option on MP I think

Thanks
 

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The mouthpieces are not lacquered, they are typically plated. An old metal link is probably gold plated. You can get the mouthpiece re-plated. Exposing your mouth to bare brass is not a great idea. While it might not provide an acute health risk, my guess is long-term exposure isn't great for your health.

Plenty of options for replating. I think Matt Marantz does plating on mouthpieces; you might consider sending it to him.

- Saxaholic
 

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FYI an information on the web site of JodyJazz:

Why is there a warning label on Metal Mouthpieces?
Almost all metal mouthpieces in the past and at the present time are made out of brass which can contain up to 3% lead. The lead in the brass is one of the components that give this particular brass it ’s hardness or rather it’s softness which makes it have a particularly pleasing sound to musicians. Proposition 65 from the state of California requires manufactures to label any products that have compounds in them that have been found to cause Cancer or Reproductive Harm. Lead is one of these Compounds. JodyJazz mouthpieces are electroplated with a layer of copper, then a layer of Nickel, Silver or Rhodium, and then a layer of Gold or Silver. This electroplating ensures that the raw brass is never in contact with the player.

I'm currently interested in a (new!) raw brass mouthpiece.
But I assume I will not buy this mpc because it seems there is some risk.
 

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Hi everybody,
I have the chance to buy an old metal link, coming from the '60 and totally missing the gold laquer. Not a special edition, just normal wear or a previous player had it unlaquer.
I am worried about the kind of metal it might be made of, lead content etc.
How do you guys clean the rust?
Relaquer is not an option on MP I think

Thanks
Why do these things come back regularly to haunt the people on the forum?

There are Many threads already which debunk this myth, here there is even a second myth, the hardness of the metal (or softness) has nothing to do with its sound. Read this https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?174236-Does-mouthpiece-material-matter

Incidentally, there is no RUST on brass or any other metal. Oxidation with pitting is not rust.

Anyway, back to serious science ( the one which actually is based on facts, kowledge and experiments), we have a real material scientist among us, one whom actually knows what he talks about.

Much as I respect Paul Coats for his saxophonic contributions, I was dismayed to read this. Does Paul give any scientific basis (or references) for his statement?

I have investigated this issue myself in the past and have found no reason to worry. You may do similar searches yourself - look for MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheets) for brass. The greatest hazard, as I interpret the data, is from free-maching brass - brass that contains lead to make chips release more easily when turned or drilled. Even for that instance, if one performs diffusivity calculations for lead diffusing to the surface, it is very difficult to generate detectable amounts of lead in anything less than a geological period of time.

That said, some people are sensitive to brass. You'll know if you are one because you will probably have already suffered blisters or similar outbreaks on your skin from casual contact with bare brass on a hardward fitting or musical instrument.

Please let us know if you find anyone with hard facts to the contrary. I've been watching this issue with interest for a great many years because I am both a saxophone player and a materials scientist.
No its not. The lead content of the brass is pretty low (<4%), and even if you were to absorb some of it (you would have to have pretty acidic saliva), it would only leach out of the top most surface of the exposed brass. The actual amounts of lead you could ingest are trivially low. Remember...you are blowing through a mouthpiece, not sucking on it like a straw, so even if your spit was leaching lead out of the brass, you are not likely to be swallowing very much of it anyway.


If it still bothers you, you could always laquer the mouthpiece, you can but spray cans of clearcoat at any hardware store....
Anyway, as stated before there are LOTS of previous threads on this matter

https://forum.saxontheweb.net/archive/index.php/t-61367.html
https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showt...in-Metal-MPc’s-Mayer-Otto-Link-and-Theo-Wanne
https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?99947-Mouthpiece-Safety
https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?62057-Poison-Mouthpieces
https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?350642-%93Avoid-brass-mouthpieces%94-(lead-content)
https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?226055-leaded-crystal-in-mouthpiece
https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?93837-Bare-BRASS-on-mouthpiece-a-health-hazard
 

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Your water pipes are assembled with lead.

Lead fixtures on your sink can contain up to 20 percent lead in the brass.

While there is stuff on the internet about this I have yet to fine even one article that has determined that a metal mouthpiece contributes anything to heavy metals in the blood stream.

IMHO there are a lot more things to fear.
 

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this is an age where scaremongers have find the perfect medium, the internet, to spread all kinds of hoaxes, false myths and legends ( to say nothing of beliefs ).

It doesn’t matter what, it’s out there in a second and some people will believe in it and carry the torch on.
 
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I'm a physicist who also does a lot of old house restoration, and lead is no joke. I have known that for 25 years, and always took RRP type precautions well before the RRP laws were passed (it only takes a couple of micrograms per deciliter of blood to cause brain damage). I know someone who used a heat gun on moulding in one room, and the vapors changed his child's life forever. Yes, there is propaganda, but there is also a generational gap in the understanding of lead's dangers. To me this is the unfortunate influence of industry in this country on previous generations. A major source of lead exposure was lead in gasoline, used as an anti-knock agent from before 1900 until about 1978 (fascinating to read about Sloan's crazy lead advocacy, driven by profits). Lead is everywhere because of this, but there is a lot less in the air now. England outlawed lead paint in 1922, but the US didn't until 1978. Lead in plumbing has only recently been reduced (last 15 years or so), and too gradually. The town I live in replaced the solid 3' long lead pigtail that connected our house to the water main in the street only last year! I knew it was there and always used water filters that reduce lead.

Anyway, lead is added to brass as a machining lubricant. It does not alloy with the brass, it is interspersed throughout the brass in the form of lead globules. I imagine these get smeared all over the surface during any cutting/machining/polishing/etc. So your mouth is in direct contact with lead if you are using a bare brass mouthpiece. Not something I want in my mouth for hours per day. There are just now some studies being done, but they are not published and they are being used to try to prevent lead from being used in mouthpieces (after all, it is just a machining convenience) through lawsuits. Not sure this is the best tactic, but I fully agree lead should be banned from mouthpieces. It is not really needed!

That said, I have a bare brass LeBayle soprano mouthpiece that I need to get plated. Can you guys suggest a good vendor to send it to?

Thanks for any replies.
 

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I'm a physicist who also does a lot of old house restoration, and lead is no joke. I have known that for 25 years, and always took RRP type precautions well before the RRP laws were passed (it only takes a couple of micrograms per deciliter of blood to cause brain damage). I know someone who used a heat gun on moulding in one room, and the vapors changed his child's life forever. Yes, there is propaganda, but there is also a generational gap in the understanding of lead's dangers. To me this is the unfortunate influence of industry in this country on previous generations. A major source of lead exposure was lead in gasoline, used as an anti-knock agent from before 1900 until about 1978 (fascinating to read about Sloan's crazy lead advocacy, driven by profits). Lead is everywhere because of this, but there is a lot less in the air now. England outlawed lead paint in 1922, but the US didn't until 1978. Lead in plumbing has only recently been reduced (last 15 years or so), and too gradually. The town I live in replaced the solid 3' long lead pigtail that connected our house to the water main in the street only last year! I knew it was there and always used water filters that reduce lead.

Anyway, lead is added to brass as a machining lubricant. It does not alloy with the brass, it is interspersed throughout the brass in the form of lead globules. I imagine these get smeared all over the surface during any cutting/machining/polishing/etc. So your mouth is in direct contact with lead if you are using a bare brass mouthpiece. Not something I want in my mouth for hours per day. There are just now some studies being done, but they are not published and they are being used to try to prevent lead from being used in mouthpieces (after all, it is just a machining convenience) through lawsuits. Not sure this is the best tactic, but I fully agree lead should be banned from mouthpieces. It is not really needed!

That said, I have a bare brass LeBayle soprano mouthpiece that I need to get plated. Can you guys suggest a good vendor to send it to?

Thanks for any replies.
Lead in pipes is wildly different that lead in casting brass - and yes, it does form an alloy. It precipitates at grain boundaries and triple points upon cooling.

Rather than speculate about it, do the experiment for yourself on your bare brass mouthpiece - perform a qualitative analysis of whether there is detectable lead on the surface.

There have been considerable discussions about this in the years since you joined SotW. I encourage you to search for those threads and read them in depth. There is a lot of good information there - including science-based evidence and research.

Matt Marantz is one resource to plate your ‘piece. He is a player and mouthpiece technician, so he knows how to do it right without compromising your mouthpiece by polishing the wrong parts and destroying the dimensions that matter.

I am happy to carry on this conversation with you in greater depth if you find questions remaining after you review the previous conversations. I have background in physics and materials science so we should have a solid common ground.
 

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Lead in pipes is wildly different that lead in casting brass - and yes, it does form an alloy. It precipitates at grain boundaries and triple points upon cooling.

Rather than speculate about it, do the experiment for yourself on your bare brass mouthpiece - perform a qualitative analysis of whether there is detectable lead on the surface.

There have been considerable discussions about this in the years since you joined SotW. I encourage you to search for those threads and read them in depth. There is a lot of good information there - including science-based evidence and research.

Matt Marantz is one resource to plate your ‘piece. He is a player and mouthpiece technician, so he knows how to do it right without compromising your mouthpiece by polishing the wrong parts and destroying the dimensions that matter.

I am happy to carry on this conversation with you in greater depth if you find questions remaining after you review the previous conversations. I have background in physics and materials science so we should have a solid common ground.
Thanks -- I have read through many of the older posts prior to posting. Lots of opinions, mostly dismissive, on the potential dangers of lead in mouthpieces -- hence the generational and often business-motivated bias I was referring to. I do not think there are good scientific ways to determine whether lead in mouthpieces is absorbed to the extent that it can cause neurological damage, but why take chances? It takes an incredibly small amount of lead in the body to cause permanent damage, and it is cumulative. The solution is easy enough!

I have tested my mouthpiece and the test lit up more red than any lead paint from the 1800's. I know there is plenty of lead on the surface, available for absorption. We don't know the extent of absorption. Common sense suggests not using this until it is plated. And yes, the description of the LeBayle mouthpiece I bought from WWBW said it was gold plated -- a convenient falsehood.

Regarding the alloying, I will need to review literature as this is not my specialty. But it seems to me that if the lead precipitates at grain boundaries, as you said, then we are describing the same situation. I would think it would need to be in the form of globules to be an effective machining lubricant. I have read some articles on lead in brass in the past which state this. In any case, the lead is present in significant concentrations on the surface of my mouthpiece based on the deep red color of the lead test I did with a cotton swab. I would imagine this is universal for brass mouthpieces not heavily oxidized.

The point of my posting is to emphasize that there is a century of industry-driven cultural bias aimed at dismissing the not well quantified, but potentially very significant dangers of lead. We all know this, but it is like a political argument where there are opposing viewpoints that will never reconcile. I know what I think, anyway.

Also, I wanted to find a good plater -- thanks for that.

The test result is below. These test swabs are available on Amazon and are much more cost-effective than the kits at big box stores.
lebayle_lead_test.jpg
 

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:)
Bill Bryson......Always good for a laugh
"A Short History of Nearly Everything" Part 3 Chapter 10

GETTING THE LEAD OUT

In the late 1940s, a graduate student at the University of Chicago named Clair Patterson (who was, first name notwithstanding, an Iowa farm boy by origin) was using a new method of lead isotope measurement to try to get a definitive age for the Earth at last. Unfortunately, all his rock samples became contaminated—unusually wildly so. Most contained something like two hundred times the levels of lead that would normally be expected to occur. Many years would pass before Patterson realized that the reason for this lay with a regrettable Ohio inventor named Thomas Midgley, Junior.


Midgley was an engineer by training and the world would no doubt have been a safer place if he had stayed so. Instead, he developed an interest in the industrial applications of chemistry. In 1921, while working for the General Motors Research Corporation in Dayton, Ohio, he investigated a compound called tetraethyl lead (also known, confusingly, as lead tetraethyl), and discovered that it significantly reduced the juddering condition known as engine knock.


Even though lead was widely known to be dangerous, by the early years of the twentieth century it could be found in all manner of consumer products. Food came in cans sealed with lead solder. Water was often stored in lead-lined tanks. Lead arsenate was sprayed onto fruit as a pesticide. Lead even came as part of the composition of toothpaste tubes. Hardly a product existed that didn’t bring a little lead into consumers’ lives.
Lead is a neurotoxin. Get too much of it and you can irreparably damage the brain and central nervous system. Among the many symptoms associated with over-exposure are blindness, insomnia, kidney failure, hearing loss, cancer, palsies and convulsions. In its most acute form it produces abrupt and terrifying hallucinations, disturbing to victims and onlookers alike, which generally then give way to coma and death. You really don’t want to get too much lead into your system.
On the other hand, lead was easy to extract and work, and almost embarrassingly profitable to produce industrially—and tetraethyl lead did indubitably stop engines from knocking. So in 1923 three of America’s largest corporations, General Motors, Du Pont and Standard Oil of New Jersey, formed a joint enterprise called the Ethyl Gasoline Corporation (later shortened to simply Ethyl Corporation) with a view to making as much tetraethyl lead as the world was willing to buy, and that proved to be a very great deal. They called their additive “ethyl” because it sounded friendlier and less toxic than “lead,” and introduced it for public consumption (in more ways than most people realized) on 1 February 1923.


Almost at once production workers began to exhibit the staggered gait and confused faculties that mark the recently poisoned. Also almost at once, the Ethyl Corporation embarked on a policy of calm but unyielding denial that would serve it well for decades. As Sharon Bertsch McGrayne notes in her absorbing history of industrial chemistry, Prometheans in the Lab, when employees at one plant developed irreversible delusions, a spokesman blandly informed reporters: “These men probably went insane because they worked too hard.” Altogether, at least fifteen workers died in the early days of production of leaded gasoline, and untold numbers of others became ill, often violently so; the exact numbers are unknown because the company nearly always managed to hush up news of embarrassing leakages, spills and poisonings. At times, however, suppressing the news became impossible—most notably in 1924 when, in a matter of days, five production workers died and thirty-five more were turned into permanent staggering wrecks at a single ill-ventilated facAs rumours circulated about the dangers of the new product, ethyl’s ebullient inventor, Thomas Midgley, decided to hold a demonstration for reporters to allay their concerns. As he chatted away about the company’s commitment to safety, he poured tetraethyl lead over his hands, then held a beaker of it to his nose for sixty seconds, claiming all the while that he could repeat the procedure daily without harm. In fact, Midgley knew only too well the perils of lead poisoning: he had himself been made seriously ill from over-exposure a few months earlier and now, except when reassuring journalists, never went near the stuff if he could help it.


Buoyed by the success of leaded petrol, Midgley now turned to another technological problem of the age. Refrigerators in the 1920s were often appallingly risky because they used insidious and dangerous gases that sometimes seeped out. One leak from a refrigerator at a hospital in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1929 killed more than a hundred people. Midgley set out to create a gas that was stable, non-flammable, non-corrosive and safe to breathe. With an instinct for the regrettable that was almost uncanny, he invented chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs.


Seldom has an industrial product been more swiftly or unfortunately embraced. CFCs went into production in the early 1930s and found a thousand applications in everything from car air-conditioners to deodorant sprays before it was noticed, half a century later, that they were devouring the ozone in the stratosphere. As you will be aware, this was not a good thing.


Ozone is a form of oxygen in which each molecule bears three atoms of oxygen instead of the normal two. It is a bit of a chemical oddity in that at ground level it is a pollutant, while way up in the stratosphere it is beneficial since it soaks up dangerous ultraviolet radiation. Beneficial ozone is not terribly abundant, however. If it were distributed evenly throughout the stratosphere, it would form a layer just 2 millimetres or so thick. That is why it is so easily disturbed.


Chlorofluorocarbons are also not very abundant—they constitute only about one part per billion of the atmosphere as a whole—but they are extravagantly destructive. A single kilogram of CFCs can capture and annihilate 70,000 kilograms of atmospheric ozone. CFCs also hang around for a long time—about a century on average—wreaking havoc all the while. And they are great heat sponges. A single CFC molecule is about ten thousand times more efficient at exacerbating greenhouse effects than a molecule of carbon dioxide—and carbon dioxide is of course no slouch itself as a greenhouse gas. In short, chlorofluorocarbons may ultimately prove to be just about the worst invention of the twentieth century.

Midgley never knew this because he died long before anyone realized how destructive CFCs were. His death was itself memorably unusual. After becoming crippled with polio, Midgley invented a contraption involving a series of motorized pulleys that automatically raised or turned him in bed. In 1944, he became entangled in the cords as the machine went into action and was strangled.
 

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Whatever. Clean the mouthpiece with 'Lime-Away' or 'CLR', both found at the grocery store or hardware. Scrub it inside and out with a toothbrush. Rinse well and then wash with soap and water. I use it to remove the lime build-up in mouthpieces and to remove tarnish on brass or plated metals. Its okay for plastics and rubber too. I have an alto Guardala that has about half its gold plating left and that's how I clean it. It looks like this afterwards:


The brass isn't polished, just has a gold/tan patina.
 

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This thread causes me anguish. Send any darn unplated piece(s) to Anderson plating, and be done with it. They do a great job—they do all of Babbitt’s brass pieces. If you think these lead levels are a concern, try competitive shooting and reloading. 🤦‍♂️
 

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Gnerally, brass contain minuscule amounts of lead. This lead is encapsulated as part of an alloy. There is evidence of lead leaching from brass fittings in plumbing fixtures. This is most likely caused by PH conditions that create a catalyst for chemical reactions. Given that a 1000s gallons are going to flow through those pipes every years and they are in constant contact with water it is no surprise that this leaching occurs.

I doubt that little lead would leach from a mouth piece while playing and if it did the flow direction is down the horn. I do not find it much a health concern. If you do the then then replying an old mouthpiece is the best way to address.

if you are concerned with lead ingestion your primary concern should be your own house. Any plumbing work before 1986 is likely to contain lead solder. In most houses the connection to the city water main was made using molten lead. Most cities say that YOU own the connection to the water main onward. As such measurements of lead in city water do not mean much if your house is built before 1986. It also means that abating any lead issues are your problem.
 

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As Ive said before. Many or most brass faucets have a much higher lead content than the brass used in mouthpieces. You are going to have to replace all of those as well if you are going to properly obsess.

Also, dont let your old brilhart pieces burn or melt. They let off cyanide gas.
 

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One of the most important side effect of playing artifact containing minute amount of lead is that we may become forgetful of things happened in the past, such as previous threads about lead content.

This forum has many threads where lead content has been discussed in many way, but of course this is yet faucet ( or a facet ? ;) ).


Poison Mouthpieces

Brass Mpc health hazard?

Bare BRASS on mouthpiece, a health hazard?

Brass poisoning?

 
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