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Make sure that you choose the correct abrasive to get the proper finish to the surface you are working on. Sandblasting is sometimes referred to as bead blasting, so don't become confused as you search for the materials to meet your needs. Some sandblasting abrasives are made to remove debris and coatings and can be collected so that they can be reused.
Sandblasting got its name because the process usually involved using sand as the abrasive. Safer materials than sand are now available that give off less dust. The dust, when inhaled, can cause silicosis, a disease of the lung.
No matter what type of sandblasting abrasive you choose, make sure that proper ventilation and protective gear is worn, especially to keep the material from getting into the eyes or nasal passages.
Sandblasting abrasives popular in today's applications include those made up of walnut and coconut shells as well as copper slag and steel grit. In fact, the abrasives can consist of almost any substance that can be processed into tiny uniform particles.
If you want to take off old paint or rust, the fine abrasives will blast it away and it will be ready for a new finish. Sandblasting is also a good way to get rid of graffiti. Brick can be brought back to its original color with sandblasting.