edennis

Brass Cookware Safety

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Hello,

I'm wondering about the safety of using a brass spatula in the kitchen. I generally avoid brass due to its zinc content, but I'm unsure if the temperatures reached during, say, cooking an egg pose a danger in terms of ingesting zinc. Anyone with more knowledge of the "fine" metals? Thanks in advance.

-Eric

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Eric: Zinc isn't what you should be concerned about in brass for a couple reasons. Ingesting what little might scrape off in a pan won't even cover a small % of the minimum daily requirement in your diet. But there's no telling what alloy is being called brass a number contain lead, some contain: cadmium, beryllium, silicon, etc. It's the same story for bronze, you have to specify and pay the $ to get a copper tin alloy.

Shop the alloys and look into the alloying metal for one that doesn't bother you. Seriously, copper is a more serious health factor than zinc. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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Thanks for the reply:

This is what I've been using from McMaster-Carr: Lead free, but hard to find other information on complete composition.

Brushed Weldable Marine-Grade 464 Brass Sheets

9758k11p1-j01-digitals.png?ver=147791354
 
  • Yield Strength: 58,000 psi
  • Hardness: Rockwell B80 (Medium)
  • Temper: H01 (1/4 Hard)
  • Heat Treatable: No
  • Specifications Met: ASTM B171

One side of these sheets has a brushed finish with grain lines running in one direction to mask fingerprints. The brushed side comes covered with a protective peel-off film. A lead-free alternative to 485 brass, 464 brass offers good weldability, strength, and wear resistance. It’s widely used for marine hardware, pump and propeller shafts, and rivets.

 

 

This site: https://elginfasteners.com/resources/materials/material-specifications/naval-brass-464/

is showing the following composition for 464 brass: Hopefully similar to what Mcmaster is selling...

Component Wt. %
Cu 59 – 62
Fe Max 0.1
Pb Max 0.2
Sn 0.5 – 1
Zn 39.25

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I practiced a little Yahoofu using (food grade brass) as terms. According to this site copper alloys aren't allowed in commercial food contact if the ph is lower than that of milk. The following site seems to cover it pretty well though I didn't look at any others. I don't think it advertises but if it gets pulled . . . Sorry guys.

https://www.marlinwire.com/blog/food-safe-metals-for-sheet-metal-wire-forms

Frosty The Lucky.

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Thanks for looking into it more.

It makes me wonder how fast copper will dissolve to dangerous levels in acidic food (obviously PH dependent somewhat). Obviously i'm not going to can tomatoes in a copper vessel, but what about using a copper ladle to scoop warm tomato soup? It appears that the recommended daily maximum intake is 900 micrograms. I wonder how fast this quantity will accumulate in food? 

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260 brass is lead free.

Straight copper can be used for non acidic items, and if those are done the items are tin plated. But as with brass, copper alloys can contain lead, nickel,etc..

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Tin coating copper cookware is both easy and traditional and then you avoid the issue all together!

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I'll look into it. I know very little about tin coating. Thanks!

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