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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by jim rozen View Post
    "Any disease that takes away your ability to breath is horrible. Not trying to make lite of it. I saw some awful cases of COPD and in the old days we tried harder to keep people going. Now days the medical world lets go of people faster and often does not keep them lingering so long. Not out of compassion but out of "who's going to pay for this". This has been my experience. Also lost one uncle to Asbestosis worked in power house in Milw. Our great industrial past came at a cost that is for sure, some of it great and some of it down right shady. "

    FAKE NEWS!

    Asbestos is good for you, we need more of it. Industries have been hamstrung by excessive Gooberment regulations! Costs too much, holds down profit.
    Don't like asbestos, stop breathing. It.

    Our glorious leader is taking rapid steps to be sure mr. pruitt is rectifying the problem!

    FACT CHECK: Is the EPA Allowing for the Approval of New Asbestos-Containing Products?
    Yoou can bet your bottom dollar, That your worthy president and his family + his cronies will not be within fifty miles of the factories in which the poor wage slaves are working with his wonderful asbestos products, guess he will not be around to see their suffering in their dying breaths, Don't worry, Our lot over here will join in the happy bandwagon if they think they will get off with importing it,

    As a youngster I worked in a plant and had in my occupation nice asbestos gloves, when I handled the components from the stove, (Sand cores ) I used to arrange them on the plate to apply core wash, Guess what to move the little things, I cllamped the glove between my teeth , till I was ready to lift the next plate in or out of the stove, That was in 1960, God be praised I have not so far had any after effects.
    I hope I am luckier than a lady doctor mentioned in a law suit in the Scottish courts within the last six months, She had passed away about two years ago, In the first day of her starting work in one of the Glasgow hospitals thirty years ago , Some idiot showed her to her new office in a corridor where asbestos was being removed, That first and one day, was enough to seal her fate No way should that stuff be remotely considered, Old Turner of Turner and Newell where Tyrone worked in Manchester, had a sin to answer for in his home town

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  3. #22
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    An interesting quote from Wikipedia:

    "An audit of the Manville Trust conducted in the late 1990s determined that 41 percent of its claimants either had no disease or a less severe condition than alleged on their claim form. The doctors used most often by claimants had false claims rates of 63 percent.[11]"

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  5. #23
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    Tyrone:

    There is a youtube which mentions that a woman working at Turner Brothers was the first documented death due to the effects of asbestos. The death certificate listed "asbestos poisoning" as cause of death. The dead woman's husband appealed to Turner Brothers for funds to bury his wife and they refused him. As the youtube tells it, the British medical community was aware of asbestos causing serious illness and death prior to 1900. The industry ignored this fact and when laws about exposure of workers to asbestos were enacted, the industry had a hand in drafting them. The result was any protection under the laws was limited to workers with the most extreme exposure in factories manufacturing asbestos. It narrowly limited workers who would be entitled to any sort of benefits for disease resulting from exposure to asbestos.

    Asbestos did find its way into all sorts of uses and products. In an extreme case here in the USA, a fellow had a house fire. The insurance company paid out on the claim and contractors were set to work demolishing the house. The contractors put in a claim for "asbestos abatement", citing vinyl floor tiles in the kitchen of the house as "asbestos containing material". The "abatement" cost an extra $11,000.00. The truth is the asbestos in the floor tiles was contained or encapsulated, and was "non friable" and not likely to release fibers into the air. I am not sure of the laws, but I believe homeowners have some sort of exemption allowing them to remove small quantities of non-friable asbestos. This is done using "amended water"- fancy term for soap solution- to "wet" the asbestos containing material and keep down any dust or stray fibers. The material is then bagged for disposal. Not sure how a homeowner gets rid of asbestos if they are doing it by the book.

    I agree that no really good replacement for asbestos used in friction linings such as clutch facings and brakes has really come along. The so-called "organic" friction materials leave something to be desired. Modern automotive brakes use disc brakes with a vacuum booster, so the difference is really negligible. On something like drum brakes without any power assist, it is more noticeable.

    An interesting note to this discussion: many years ago, when movies were made requiring winter scenes with snow falling, shredded asbestos was often sprinkled down onto the set and onto the actors. Supposedly, in the movie "It's a Wonderful Life", the winter scenes where snow was falling were done in this manner. Most of the cast (Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed had the lead roles) lived to ripe old ages, so either they had good genes, or got lucky.

    As the posts on this thread have stated, there are plenty of stories of people who broke every rule as far as taking care of themselves and reached ripe old ages, while people who took precautions and ate the right foods died young. I think genetics has a good bit to do with it, and then there is luck. A person might be exposed to asbestos fibers in the air and somehow the fibers did not damage their lungs and start mesothelioma (the cancer typical of asbestos exposure). Unfortunately, these sorts of cases are the rare exception, and the majority of people exposed to airborne asbestos fibers wind up with asbestosis or malignant mesothelioma. We had to go thru asbestos handler training at the powerplant years ago, so I learned a little bit about asbestos.
    The amount of asbestos still in use for things like asbestos-cement home siding, or for "transite" insulating board, or as pipe insulation and fireproofing in older buildings is staggering. Sometimes, I think more harm is done in attempting to remove this asbestos than leaving it alone or encapsulating it.

    When the liner "SS United States" was built in the 1950's, the boast was none of the furnishings and equipment on the ship could burn with the exception of the butcher blocks in the galleys and the pianos. The ship had wallboard and ceiling liners made of an asbestos containing material called "Marinite". Asbestos-cement was used for water cisterns and for drainage pipe and some types of electrical conduits. It was also used to make siding for houses. Another application was as chopped asbestos fiber mixed into a heavy bodied paint for re-coating and sealing metal roofing, particularly on mobil homes. We used to buy that kind of paint in 5 gallon pails and the crew used to mop it onto older metal roofs on some of the buildings on the powerhouse grounds. Asbestos was all over the place. I remember the fabric-jacketed cords on home appliances such as electric irons, electric broilers, soldering irons, and similar which drew a lot of current. The jacketing was woven cotton fabric, usually black with a spiral stripe. The insulation was a kind of flaky asbestos which surrounded the wires. If you went to strip this sort of wire or put on a new electrical plug, you had asbestos fibers crumbling from the wire. Add valve packings which were braided with asbestos fiber, and any number of old gaskets still in place and the amount of asbestos still in use or at least still out there for people to be exposed to is staggering. I doubt that it will ever be entirely removed and disposed of properly. A favorite stunt done by some contractors in NY City was known as "rip and skip". If a jobsite such as renovating an older building had asbestos, the general contractor and/or the owner or construction managers had a habit of keeping it quiet. They would bring in laborers who were usually from Eastern Europe on "green cards" and assign them the job of demolition and removal of the asbestos containing materials. These workers were given disposable particle masks at best, and the asbestos was dumped into the rollback containers (aka "skips" in the UK), with no effort made to bag it up, identify it or handle it properly. The management on these jobs knew what they had to do and ignored it, and slid the matter off onto immigrant labor on short term work visas. Often, the actual portions of the work in which the asbestos containing material had to removed were subcontracted to shadowy firms which existed only on paper and only long enough for the asbestos removal. If there was any attempt at followup by inspectors, they hit dead ends and no entity in existence to take responsibility, along with immigrant labor who did not speak English and had no clue about what they were into. When the asbestos removal ended on those jobs, so did the existence of the "subcontractor" doing it. In 90 days or thereabouts, the laborers were back in their home countries, so they were out of the equation as well. In the industry, this became known as "rip and skip".

    In a hamlet near where we live, a little war between two property owners used asbestos removal as a weapon. One property owner had bought a firetrap of an old hotel on the main street. It was supposedly historic, but over the years with endless and poorly done alterations, it was hardly what a historic building should have been. One owner had applied for a grant to restore the building and misapplied the grant to be polite. This owner then sold the building to a fellow who wanted to restore it as a small hotel and put in an Irish Pub. The building was grandfathered in, as the lot it was on is "unbuildable" under current regulations for septic fields and setbacks from lot lines. About the time the fellow wanting to build the Irish Pub closed on the property, the old hotel on it caught fire. This was attributed to homeless people or kids partying in it. The building was a total loss, and the new owner called an excavating contractor to demolish and dispose of the debris. He applied for the right permits and work began. No sooner did work begin that the professional rabble rouser who has been trying to kill our railroad- a person who is constantly looking for "causes" got into the act. She got in league with a man who owns and operates all the other restaurants in that hamlet. This restaurant czar called in a complaint, claiming asbestos containing material was being illegally and improperly removed. Inspectors arrived and shut the job down. Pretty soon, air sampling equipment was in place, guys in "moon suits" were on the job, and it turned into a pretty sizeable abatement job. Since the demolition site was out in the open, the job was mainly a matter of spraying stuff down with soapy water and bagging it and drumming it got disposal. It was done with fairly quickly.

    The fellow who wanted to build the Irish Pub got told he could not rebuild anything on that site since there was nothing left to grandfather in (we call this the "one wall standing" policy). The fellow was left with an unbuildable lot on the main street of the hamlet.

    About that same time, the restaurant czar bought the one remaining restaurant he did not already own as its owner was retiring. He could not let this other restaurant go to another competitor. His plan was to demolish most of that restaurant and leave enough to grandfather in a new extravaganza. Work got underway. Predictably, as the partial demolition of the old restaurant started, a complaint of improper asbestos removal got called in. The inspectors arrived. The restaurant czar got hit with fines, stop work orders, and since the building was still standing, it turned into a real abatement job. Airlocks, negative air machines with HEPA filters, building sealed in plastic and duct-tape and plywood, special trailers for the abatement crews to change clothing, and umpteen sealed drums of asbestos containing waste... and signs warning everyone of the asbestos hazard along with air sampling equipment setup outside the building.

    The restaurant czar spent a bit over 1 million dollars altering, building onto and bringing his greatest restaurant into being. Karma acts in strange ways, and the restaurant czar's new palace is not meeting expectation of diners, nor its owner. To add to the matter, the restaurant czar must have treated his help on the order of Ivan the Terrible, because he now has huge signs about 4' x 8' posted on his restaurants screaming at the public: "Help Wanted... waitstaff, cooks..."

    If ever there was a case of quid pro quo, the "asbestos war" in that hamlet exemplified it.

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    Joe, I don't think this is true:
    " Unfortunately, these sorts of cases are the rare exception, and the majority of people exposed to airborne asbestos fibers wind up with asbestosis or malignant mesothelioma. "

    In fact I think the data supports the opposite, only a small percentage, less than 10%, became ill. Not that it isn't a big deal, the material is shown to be dangerous to some people. Of course it's popular to demonize the management, some investigation returns the following: "Henry Ward Johns started experimenting with asbestos in 1879, at age 21. His work laid the foundation of Johns Manville, a great American business. It also killed him." He died at the age of 40.

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    I remember a place that made telephone co pits from asbestos cement.....the street outside was white for a hundred yards,and the guys working there were called ghosts......and they often had snowball fights with the fibre,which came in paper sacks......But my brother and I grew up in a house of fibro sheet,and lived thru alterations and additions........but the old man had enough sense to use fibro shears,not a power saw as became popular in the building trade.........Anyhoo,my brother is a senior medico,and he used to say that only smokers were likely to be affected.......but last ten years he has changed his tune somewhat......Lots of guys I knew have died of asbestos disease,some never smoked...........His theory is that dust from sheet is bad because of the highly alkaline cement that is with it dissolves the lung surface protection layers.

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    There are probably places where asbestos can be safely used, but you can never tell what the future will bring. Sooner or later somebody is going tear down or recycle the item, maybe grinding it up. Safer to just maintain the status quo and not use it.

    "Political Termites"- look it up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by adh2000 View Post
    An interesting quote from Wikipedia:

    "An audit of the Manville Trust conducted in the late 1990s determined that 41 percent of its claimants either had no disease or a less severe condition than alleged on their claim form. The doctors used most often by claimants had false claims rates of 63 percent.[11]"
    Cmon man I know of at least one case where a wife got money because she washed her husband's clothes and got it.. I also know another guy who got checked and was clean as he said he didn't work around asbestos but when he died guess what the cause of death was? You guessed it.. "Pulmonary fibrosis".. I know his widow got money after he died...Now what are you talking about? LOL Ramsay 1

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    I could write a book about it all Joe. TBA was an enormous organisation. The Rochdale site was the headquarters but they had other factories all over the country and in Northern Ireland. Towards the end they tried diversifying into other products like fibre glass and PTFE but it was a losing battle. I left in about 1972 but 30 years later I ended up going back there. A guy I knew had been stripping a huge gearbox down, he had a heart attack and died. I got the job of picking up the reins and putting it all back together again. This was in an asbestos free zone but I was still pretty glad to finish the job and get out.

    Hospitals in the Rochdale area obviously have a lot of expertise in the detection and " treatment " of asbestosis and related diseases. A teacher friend of my wife's was having trouble with his breathing, he'd been a smoker all his life. To cut a long story short he was diagnosed with mesothelioma. He could have come into contact with asbestos during several school refurbishments over the years.

    He was given 12 months to live. So he retired from teaching right away and went to live with his sister down on our South Coast near Brighton.
    We went down to see him a couple of times and he was getting worse each time. One Thursday his sister phoned to say that he was on his last legs and if we wanted to see him we better come down quickly. We went on the Saturday, saw him in a hospice briefly, he was unconscious. We went to find a hotel room to stay overnight. While we were booking in we got another call, he'd just passed away.

    When they did the autopsy they found that he didn't have mesothelioma at all but emphysema ! He could have lived another 15- 20 years with treatment.

    His sister then arranged to come to Rochdale to speak to the consultant who was responsible for the original diagnosis. My wife went with her.

    The Doctor was really upset about the case and he explained that all the symptoms pointed to mesothelioma, he could have done a biopsy but from his experience opening up mesothelioma patients for biopsy's inevitably speeded up their deaths. Contact with the air seemed to have a bad effect on the disease.

    The point I took from all that is if it ever happens to me I'd ask for a second opinion.

    Regards Tyrone.
    Last edited by Tyrone Shoelaces; 08-22-2018 at 01:50 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cutting oil Mac View Post
    Yoou can bet your bottom dollar, That your worthy president and his family + his cronies will not be within fifty miles of the factories in which the poor wage slaves are working with his wonderful asbestos products, guess he will not be around to see their suffering in their dying breaths, Don't worry, Our lot over here will join in the happy bandwagon if they think they will get off with importing it,

    As a youngster I worked in a plant and had in my occupation nice asbestos gloves, when I handled the components from the stove, (Sand cores ) I used to arrange them on the plate to apply core wash, Guess what to move the little things, I cllamped the glove between my teeth , till I was ready to lift the next plate in or out of the stove, That was in 1960, God be praised I have not so far had any after effects.
    I hope I am luckier than a lady doctor mentioned in a law suit in the Scottish courts within the last six months, She had passed away about two years ago, In the first day of her starting work in one of the Glasgow hospitals thirty years ago , Some idiot showed her to her new office in a corridor where asbestos was being removed, That first and one day, was enough to seal her fate No way should that stuff be remotely considered, Old Turner of Turner and Newell where Tyrone worked in Manchester, had a sin to answer for in his home town
    You mean Sir Samuel Turner Mac. At least he got a knighthood out of it and we all got a very nice park in the centre of town.

    Regards Tyrone

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    As far as finding replacement materials, I am hearing that they posses the same
    bad (spike like shapes that damage the lungs) that asbestos does.

    Rumblings are that fiberglass is going to be condemned the same way,
    the lawyers are holding it off.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Michaels View Post
    Tyrone:

    I am not sure of the laws, but I believe homeowners have some sort of exemption allowing them to remove small quantities of non-friable asbestos. This is done using "amended water"- fancy term for soap solution- to "wet" the asbestos containing material and keep down any dust or stray fibers. The material is then bagged for disposal. Not sure how a homeowner gets rid of asbestos if they are doing it by the book.
    Homeowners can remove asbestos themselves, friable or not. Family member or friends can help, just no compensation allowed, only a contractor can accept compensation. Disposal varies by location, legal disposal for me was 3 layers of plastic bag and into the local landfill it went, no extra fees required.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dalmatiangirl61 View Post
    Homeowners can remove asbestos themselves, friable or not. Family member or friends can help, just no compensation allowed, only a contractor can accept compensation. Disposal varies by location, legal disposal for me was 3 layers of plastic bag and into the local landfill it went, no extra fees required.
    I removed a whole bunch of asbestos siding.. Put it in the truck and sent it to the dump....Still alive even lol.. Knock on wood....Ramsay 1

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyrone Shoelaces View Post
    You mean Sir Samuel Turner Mac. At least he got a knighthood out of it and we all got a very nice park in the centre of town.

    Regards Tyrone
    Tyrone,
    some time ago I watched a television programme about Rochdale, It showed a lovely big cemetary with row upon row of graves and a nice monumental grave to Sir Samuel Turner I would hazhard a guess He was about the only one who did not die of Asbestosis, Industry can be a dangerous place to spend ones time in, Heavens only knows what will crop up next, One thing for sure man in his infinite wisdom is the only species I know who does not suss out how to live in harmony with his world,
    Somewhere amongst my treasures I have a book published by the Thomas W. Ward group of companies in 1962, It was a trip through all the many branches of this great concern, One photograph taken in one of their plants, Dicks Asbestos & Insulation Co, Show a young girl forming Asbestos sleeves for around pipes, I wonder how long she lived? No doubt her uncle Bert or her dad got her started in the plant when she left school, "Moneys Good Lass, Will help you Mum with the housekeeping!"
    not wishing to take away from the asbestos horrors, My daughter purchased me a book for Chrismas two years ago called The Radium Girls by Kate Moore, What a horror story that was, The producers of radium products were not unlike the asbestos barons, where the workforce were concerned, Basically, They did not give a Rats Arse for their welfare.

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    I have a hunch we all had asbestos exposure in our lives, plenty of it and more than we care to think about. I crawled through tons of it mixed with fiberglass and glue along with ground up newspaper and glue, mandated to be sprayed on certain steel in municipal buildings. The tonnage of asbestos sprayed and packed onto pipes and steel in this town will never be known. 20+ years back when the first Lawyer scored a bullseye on an asbestos case the town went nuts. Union Halls arranged testing for construction workers and employers did as well, and after thousands of tests nobody came up positive for Lawyer Nunc Pro Tunc Disease.

    The little bit of sanity in phase 1 was Kodak along with others developing a coating that could be sprayed on items containing asbestos, and offered it for cost to public buildings containing asbestos mandated by Government regulation.

    Bausch & Lomb was full of the crap and they pretty much gave their former manufacturing buildings to anyone who would take them to slide off the hook.
    Those buildings had been empty for a few years, and many windows broken out by indigenous lifeforms entertaining themselves and insulation hadn't fared well. The new owner rounded up drunks & junkies and set them about removal using snow shovels and hooks to get the insulation from pipes and floors to roloff containers. Somebody alerted the DEC cops and they set about doing their duty. After a month of munching pastry and drinking coffee they finally issued a few $25 citations for loads dumped in the wrong Landfill. Big whoop!

    Schools went to doing what schools do, flushing tax $$$ down the dumper "abating" asbestos. Millions of square feet of plastic and truckloads of duct tape along with giant baggies were consumed by men from lands I can't pronounce let alone spell ripped out what some college kid said was asbestos on Summer break. Schools even ripped up asbestos floor tile and replaced it, hell it's only money and they know how to spend money.

    Oddly, the State that MANDATED asbestos in those buildings and now Mandated removal didn't offer any $$$ for the removal. Just more college kids on break to inspect the job who knew asbestos can't be seen unless you have a lab to look at it with a special light.

    Other "schools" sprung up to train and Certify asbestos workers; Mostly rooms filled with seats and a large screen TV where videos were played, but somebody with the right connection made money.

    Asbestos became a whole new industry, and a lot of the RIGHT people made a load of money from it. Garloc sat on the hill in Palmyra tripling prices on their Non-Asbestos products grinning from wall to wall. Hey, they tried to tell everybody, and why not raise the price weekly?

    Funny part is, nobody bothered to pick a book up or turn any memory on. Nunc Pro Tunc, you can't judge what was done 50 years ago by today's Laws and standards. There was just too damn much money on the table to not grab a fist full. TV ads, Radio Commercials, bulk mailings and even phone calls mined more clients who Might have once ridden in a convertible with asbestos containing brakes. Hey, ya wanna get rich? I happened to know a couple Lawyers, good ones who cost money to talk to most of the time and I asked why they weren't grabbing onto any of the potential lake of money. They said it wasn't worth the effort, there were too many ambulance chasers already surrounding the lake, and the Lawyers would grab all the money leaving nothing for the real victims. One even pointed out the whole deal would go down in flames with a Bankruptcy filing.

    Being Rochester was also a large clothing manufacturing town I asked why nobody ever went after the clothing companies for Brown Lung, well known in the workers who breathed lint all day. No money to be had, clothing manufacturers were going broke and the industry was going off shore. It worked out that way.
    Same pretty much applied to farm workers who breathed dust all day and coal miners.

    Bottom line, asbestos was the only place where there was money to be had, until it ran out.

    Got doing a little thinking and remembered a lot of people left this area for Arizona when they retired. They all said the air was much cleaner there and maybe they'd have less lung problems as they aged. As I recall most of them were heavy smokers of baccy. I do recall damn few lasted long. Guess what is known to occur in the air of Arizona.

    Bottom line, people worked with asbestos either because it was the best job they could get, or because no other industry was around. Nobody knows when the first Doctor PROVED asbestos was or is the culprit, but you can sure google up a book full of "Doctors" who will testify, FOR A FEE. I'm also pretty much sure it don't much matter which foreign matter you suck into your lungs is going to kill you, be it water, lint, cement dust or tobacco smoke.

    Only creature breathing asbestos is known to be good for is a Lawyer.

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    I watched a really nice brick Army National Guard Armory torn down and rebuilt because of asbestos.. Never saw them remove any asbestos though.. Strange isn't it? Ramsay 1

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    There was a big racket back around 1990, schools got grant money to take the asbestos out. The district that I was working at was torn apart one summer doing removal, plastic sheeting hanging everywhere. Big money, the guy doing it said, that he had a list of schools to do, then he was retiring, he wasn't that old.
    I remember one of their strange rules............if a piece of asbestos board was cracked or broken, it was no good, but if it wasn't, then it was ok.

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    "I'm also pretty much sure it don't much matter which foreign matter you suck into your lungs is going to kill you, be it water, lint, cement dust or tobacco smoke.

    Only creature breathing asbestos is known to be good for is a Lawyer".



    This sums it up about as good as I can see it. With good genes you might wave off lung disease or disease related to lung infections, but in the long run no foreign material belongs in the lungs. Prolonged exposure to foreign substances will probably kill you. Ramsey1 you and I seemed to have lived parallel lives with all the bad juju we inflicted on our bodies. I too did both steel shot blasting and sand blasting. In fact this spring I bought a #300 sand blasting tank with hoses, just can't stop tempting "the reaper". Got a good little 3rd degree burn from welding overhead when a glob went through my shirt, down my bibs into my boot and melted my sock into my calf. Something will kill us all that is almost a given. I wonder how long it will take me to figure out I am gone already. I see no advantage to playing the victim and blaming industry or God and country for my choices to strip boilers, weld for a living or being a nurse working with all sorts of ill and diseased people. Have no use for corporates attitude towards the help they hire {most corporations anyway} but every job I took from welding to wound care I did by choice. If I choose to work on steam engines which includes welding, grinding, sand blasting,painting and travel and it kills me in the end. I think I shall be happy I chose to do it. If I died at 25 because of these choices maybe not.

    I don't mean to sound all manly like I enjoy tempting fate as I do try to be more careful these days. I am not near as resilient as I once was. Most of the time I had jobs that were that toxic I didn't really know better like people of early industrial
    times. Most of the time I would choose differently today. Not informed or not conscious of the dangers it all comes out of the wash looking the same to me.

    How many people have given up oral sex because of disease potentially transmitted? The EPA and OSHA hasn't touched that one yet have they. Ok I am drifting here........

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    Quote Originally Posted by BillE View Post
    Over in the west of this continent, they have a town that's declared too dangerous to live in due to blue asbestos, not surprising with big tailings dumps and the stuff was used for the roads too.

    Do have some misgivings now about sawing up asbestos sheeting over 40 years ago when ignorant of the risks, the old man had spots on his lungs probably from the same practice....working on ships and plumbing wouldn't have helped him either. They've gone crazy overboard now, second hand cars imported here now require asbestos inspection and declaration - if that's not done offshore, there's a strip down of all gaskets, brakes, windscreens, body sealant that can run tens of thousands, of course some of the new Chinese vehicles get a free pass, despite the presence of the material!
    I couldn't believe just how much fibro was about in Australia, and most of it containing a recognisable amount of blue asbestos. No question that exposure will go on for decades.

    In regards to the COPD, as a woodworker it's an occupational hazard and it's never pleasant working in a dusty workshop. The early research into wood related diseases started in the 1930s and a fair bit was known by the 1970s; even then it was known and noted that smoking was a co-factor in the development of COPD and especially throat and lung cancers.
    Surprisingly little is published about the risks specifically relating to plantation softwoods; most of the recognised risk relates to hardwood dust exposure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greenwud View Post
    I couldn't believe just how much fibro was about in Australia, and most of it containing a recognisable amount of blue asbestos. No question that exposure will go on for decades.

    In regards to the COPD, as a woodworker it's an occupational hazard and it's never pleasant working in a dusty workshop. The early research into wood related diseases started in the 1930s and a fair bit was known by the 1970s; even then it was known and noted that smoking was a co-factor in the development of COPD and especially throat and lung cancers.
    Surprisingly little is published about the risks specifically relating to plantation softwoods; most of the recognised risk relates to hardwood dust exposure.
    Class action lawyers haven't gotten around to wood yet... Just give them time and wood will be a money cow as well.. Ramsay 1

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    More everyday and "benign" substances are capable of causing some sort of pulmonary disease than not. Even "playground sand" used in sandboxes for children to play in has warnings about the danger of silicosis from breathing in the dust from it. Add talcum powder, flour, sugar, and even the dust from the earth itself to the list of items which can cause some form of pulmonary disease.

    When I worked in Wyoming, years ago, I was friends with the owners of the machine shop in the town near where the powerplant was being built. In addition to their machine shop business, they sold welding gases as well as medical oxygen. A few days a week, they made deliveries of small bottles of medical oxygen to households in the area. When I asked why the big demand for household medical oxygen, I was made aware of "brown lung" or "farmer's lung". Dust from working the land, inhaled over time, produced a lung disease. I never learned the formal name for it, but locally, it was known as "brown lung" or "farmer's lung". I began to take notice of changes in farm equipment. Engines on newer tractors and things like combines were fitted with "pre cleaners" which used a cyclone action to knock the heavier particulate out of the air breathed in by the engine and get longer life on the paper filter elements. It took things a bit to catch up as far as the farmers running the equipment was concerned. Air conditioned cabs with good cabin air filters came along for a bigger reason than the comfort of the farmers. Farmer's lung or brown lung disease was never really publicized to the extent asbestosis and asbestos-caused cancers was.

    I suspect the next big target for cleanup will be fiberglass insulation, of the type used in countless homes. No substance or material is without hazards of some sort, no matter how benign. Recognizing the hazards and taking proper precautions is about all we can do.

    Years ago, I read a factual story written during the Great Depression. I believe it was called "Man on a Road". It is the story in which the writer picks up a man hitchhiking in a rainstorm. The hitch-hiker is illiterate and looking for work, and over a cup of coffee, asks the author of the story to write a letter for him. The author writes the letter on the counter of the diner they have stopped at. The letter is to the man's wife, and describes the fact that the man is coughing, knows he has some sort of fatal lung disease, and is looking for work elsewhere as no one locally in his home area will hire anyone with that kind of cough. The man had been working on a tunnel job and along with many other workers, contracted silicosis. The management on the job made no effort to provide the men with respirators or do anything to mitigate the problem, and according to the letter, nearly all the men on the job have contracted this lung disease. It goes un-named in the letter, but the man had been given the news by a doctor that he had an incurable lung disease and was laid off from the tunnel job. The letter goes on to tell the man's wife that when he stops sending money from his next job, it means he has died, and she is to take their kids and go join other relatives and try to find another husband.

    The story stuck in my mind, and I eventually found out that the tunnel was driven as part of some plant operation in Virginia or West Virginia, and the men contracted silicosis. A study was done after the fact, some corpses were exhumed and autopsied (if that is the right word). The number of men put into the ground by working conditions on that one job has never been established, but it was said to run into the hundreds. The sad part is the employers had knowledge of the problem and chose not to do anything to protect the workers.

    Closer to home, back in the 1980's, IBM was cleaning up one of their manufacturing facility buildings in East Fishkill, NY. An acquaintance was on the job as a laborer. The job consisted of gutting an entire building in which some large tanks and process equipment had been housed. Whatever had been in the tanks was highly toxic, and had leaked out of the tanks and gotten into the underlying soil. Locally, there were clusters of people who came down with assorted ailments and cancers. IBM denied any knowledge or responsibility. To gut the building of the tanks and process equipment without attracting the public's attention, they had the contractors remove the roof and dismantle the equipment and tanks and lift them out with a crane. Once this was done, the floor slabs were broken out and removed. The underlying soil was then excavated and hauled away for off site disposal. The fellow who told me about the job said that anyone working within that building was wearing a "moon suit"- slang for Tyvek coverall, and a full face respirator mask along with boots and gloves. This particular fellow was assigned to stand on what was left of the roof to pass signals from the men working down inside the building to the crane operators down in his cab. Standing on the roof at the edge of the hole, this fellow said he was getting a skin irritation, having breathing difficulties, and knew whatever was in the building was getting to him. He went down from the roof and got a "Moon suit" and put it on. He was standing on the roof with the Tyvek coveralls, respirator mask, and all else on when he got a tap on the shoulder. He said it was a "suit" (man wearing a business suit with necktie) from IBM. The "suit" hollered at him to take off the protective gear. The fellow said he wouldn't and that the fumes coming up from inside the building were getting to him otherwise and he needed the protective gear to do his job. The suit hollered for the fellow to take the protective gear off and work without it. The fellow said he could not handle being in the fumes and said his exposed flesh had been reddened and irritated, and he was coughing and having breathing difficulty without the respirator. The suit said that IBM did not want the public passing along the local roads to catch sight of someone in protective gear working on top of one of their buildings. With that, the laborer told the IBM suit exactly what he and IBM could go and do. He then went to his shop steward (union representative) and said IBM was forcing men to work in unsafe and unhealthy conditions. Rather than wait around for a grievance to be filed and resolved, this particular fellow quit on the spot and went back "on the bench" at the local union hall.

    It is typical of large firms to minimize, or totally deny hazards from substances that they work with. In IBM's case, people in the vicinity of that plant were complaining about clusters of cancers and other ailments in areas which got water from an aquifer passing under the IBM property. Things got so bad that IBM had to put in a water supply system for a nearby school. Despite this, I do not think they ever formally took responsibility.

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