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Asbestos washers in miners lamps
Miners lamp washers before 2000 (when they were banned) were all made from asbestos. From the 1970’s they were a composite as the two on the right of the picture. Prior to that the bottom washer was white asbestos, bottom left, and the top was blue asbestos, top left.
The ones in the picture have been safely removed from lamps and bagged and sealed for disposal.
If you plan to open a lamp please be aware and take precautions. The use,sale or distribution of asbestos has been illegal since 2000.
Since 2000 all lamps were supplied with non asbestos washers, like the beige coloured ones in the picture. The current washers we supply are green one side and black the other, for easy identification
2015 marked the bicentenary of the invention of the Davy Lamp. But should credit for the first miners’ safety lamp be shared?
Almost two hundred years ago, on 9 November 1815, Humphry Davy, formerly Professor of Chemistry at the Royal Institution, presented to the Royal Society the paper he later published as ‘On the Fire-damp of Coal Mines, and on Methods of Lighting the Mines so as to Prevent its Explosion’. In it, Davy described his researches into the chemical composition of “fire-damp” – the common name given to the naturally occurring mixture of flammable gases, mostly methane, that had caused several horrific mining disasters – and outlined several designs of lamp that might be used safely in the presence of the gas.