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  1. #21
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    Reading of all the various things that can kill you I am not surprised that in some of the industrial areas anyone was left!
    Joe mentions steam oil, I must concur with him, I although mentioning the "Tenuous link to locomotive steam oil & cancer , I have always had my doubts on that one I like Joe have always liked the sweet smell of steam oil, And next week I will be back at the Model engineering club helping the guys with their little steam engines, and I will be have any hazard risk low down on my "concern list"
    Joe mentions Love Canal, & the effects of its industries on the folks around it, It is a place I have never heard about and would be interested to know what sort of industries were in the area, Is it near Niagara Falls ? As Sip6A,s mention of Corporate Greed has came into the discussion, I would like add a sting on to the tail of that blighter ! In this town I live in we had up until about 20 years ago Scotland's biggest steel plant, It was an integrated works consisting of blast furnaces and big L.D.Converter,s to convert the molten iron into steel, the material never cooled down until after it was rolled into sheet steel Well as can be imagined the dust and fumes from the coke oven plant was appalling, I am more than delighted I did not live down wind of it, Only when we had an East wind did we get affected, The folks who lived to the East of the damned place were not so fortunate, A farmer with a little farm adjacent to it could not keep cattle his land was blighted, and housewife's hanging out their linen found frequently the cloth was more like a sheet of rusty boiler plate than bed linen.
    Came the day it finally rolled over and died, which was disaster for the folks who worked in the plant the Steel corporation decided to blow up the big power station cooling tower and the two big Thyssen gas holders (It was a Sunday morning) My wife and I decided to cross the river Clyde to a high ground above the neighbouring town to witness the demolition, Loud bangs down they came and the dust was spectacular in the extreme.

    The following day I went up to the neighbouring street to survey the wreckage of these large landmarks, I had a word with an elderly lady who dwelt in one of the row of houses on that street, and said "You will be saddened to see it all gone" I was rocked back on my heels with her reply "For the folks who lived in this street and also the men who worked in it, I wish I had never seen it" My husband died of liver cancer, " and then she proceeded to point out the houses of similar victims, some of them who never worked in the plant All cancer sufferers
    It is now I come to Corporate arrogance, as can be imagined such a large plant produces a fair amount of liquid contaminates, many of which were extremely poisonous , How did some of those genius managers dispatch them, Simple It was most fortuitous that an extremely handy old coal mine vertical shaft, was conveniently awaiting their services, Got it in one dear readers! Down went the nasties, No doubt for future generations making its way into the aquifers, Talk about caring for mother earth, If we have a world in another fifty years it will be miracle
    During the initial clean up of that plant, a mass of nasty stuff was laid to rest in a heavily reinforced pit, lined with some sort of membrane and covered over with a small mountain of waste and soil, We are lucky we do not live in an area of volcanic activity, Still the local kids have a nice little hill to sledge down in the winter snow, It is an ill wind that blows no one good.

    A great many of my past relatives worked in the smaller steel plants in this area, I do not recall hearing of them dying from cancer or similar ailments, Only two unfortunate souls one a long time ago killed with molten steel, and another killed blowing up solidified slag , He was taking cover behind a barrier , everything should have been safe but for a sharp piece of slag which flew up and deflected off a steel beam and doubled back All things considered I do not think big is beautiful

    Joe mentions Bhopal The news footage of the suffering of the folks in that city was heart rending. They ended up getting a raw deal.

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    The first day at the printing company in 1974 my eyes watered and burned. After several months I couldn't even smell the solvents. We thinned inks with MEK (methyl ethyl ketone), xylene ,toluene and some I never knew because we had barrels labeled 4s 6s and so on.
    In my mid twentys a doctor was stiching up my thumb and asked what I had my hands in. I named the solvents and he shook his head and warned me. I worked around those chemicals for around 20 years and used other chemicals at new jobs. MSD Sheets weren't given to employees in the 70,s. At least not where I worked.
    I survived squamoscellcarsonoma. stage 4a. I dont expect to see my 80's. 63 now.
    It's actually in our food and in every part of our lives. That 1960's new car smell was probably toxic.
    I've spent enough time in a machine shop to know you guys get a wide variety of exposures. That sticky film on everything came floating down from the airborne oils.
    In today's world there may be no escape.
    It's a little safer today than what JHolland just described. Well maybe not. Time brings out the consequences .

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  5. #23
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    I reckon living in a house saturated with pentachlorphenol toughened me up......so never been touched by asbestos,agent orange,lead ,herbicides,pesticides,chrome salts ,cyanide,paint solvents ,oil,gasoline .....etc ..etc...

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  7. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by cutting oil Mac View Post
    Joe mentions Love Canal, & the effects of its industries on the folks around it, It is a place I have never heard about and would be interested to know what sort of industries were in the area, Is it near Niagara Falls ?
    Love Canal was one of the first massive environmental disasters to come in to public view. The Wiki entry isn't too bad, there is lots of other reading on it. It is interesting to some extent in that the chemical waste dump was there long before anything else. People and their houses and even a school came later and encroached on the dump. It's not like they were dumping chemicals in the night, everyone knew. So what were people thinking? Who knows. And the unbelievable stupidity of the local school board. Those people should have been locked up. Who builds a school on top of a toxic dump? Unreal. In hind sight I agree with the judge, if you're in the chemical business you can't just dump waste in un-populated areas. Hooker should clean up the mess, which they've now done, finally.

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  9. #25
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    The town I live in had what was acknowledged to be the biggest Asbestos factory in the world. Half of it was demolished before a halt was called because of health issues. The site lies abandoned now with the owners of the site, the local council and national government involved in a 3 way argument as to who is going to pay for further demolition and site clean up.

    It's been like this for years with the site slowly deteriorating due to vandals with a death wish and scrap metal thieves.

    One of my local GP's, a young bloke with kids, lived in a lovely house not far from me. When he realised he was living downwind from the factory he sold up and moved house.

    Regards Tyrone.

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  11. #26
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    Tyrone:

    If I recall correctly, in a past thread, I had mentioned having seen a roll of "Firefly" compressed cork sheet gasketing at the powerplant, made in England. I believe you had identified the makers of the "Firefly" (sheet packing material as it may be known in England) as being the Turner asbestos company. I forget how I came to read a series of on-line articles about how the health hazards to asbestos workers came to light with the death of a young woman who worked in that plant. This was in the 'twenties, I believe. The doctors who performed the autopsy saw enough in the cadaver to be firmly convinced the root cause of the young woman's death was the asbestos she was exposed to (and breathed in). The findings of the doctors were disregarded, and nothing came of it. People kept working (and living downwind) of that asbestos plant, and people kept developing asbestosis and malignant mesothelioma ( a 3-dollar word for a type of lung cancer caused by asbestos fibers).

    The expression: "Our polluted planet" comes to mind as I follow this thread. The world existed, such as it was, for eons until the industrial revolution. With a relatively small human population and no real factories or heavy manufacturing industries, the world was a fairly unpolluted place. Never mind how hard life was in the pre-industrial revolution times. It was more a matter of subsistence and survival. Comes the industrial revolution and all manner of inventions with mills and factories to use those inventions, and the result has been heavy pollution ever since. Unregulated dumping or discharge of highly toxic substances went on for many years in the USA. The result are what came to be known as "Superfund Sites"- sites of former industry or waste dumps where the polluters are long defunct so the US Government has set up funds for the cleanup/remediation. Down on Long Island (now a suburb or appendage to NY City), the soil is quite sandy. In the time leading up to WWII, aircraft factories located on Long Island. These included Grumman, who produced fighter aircraft for the US Navy during WWII in large numbers. With the aircraft industry came anodizing of aluminum parts, zinc chromate priming against corrosion, and electroplating of other parts. These industries dumped their wastes and effluent into pits in the ground. With the sandy soil, the leachate quickly got into the aquifers.

    Post WWII, Long Island went from a semi rural place with potato and duck farms along with the aircraft industry to endless suburban subdivisions with new houses. Long after the various industries including Grumman closed down on Long Island, the population in the suburban subdivisions has clusters of people who develop various illnesses or cancers for now apparent reason. The irony is that another big industry on Long Island is cemeteries. Every religious denomination along with the US War Veterans has a large cemetery or two on Long Island. The sandy soil is easy digging, flat terrain, and years ago it was cheap real estate in close reach of NY City. Now, the cemeteries are in close reach of a population affected by the pollutants in the ground and in the aquifer. A soil remediation might well dig up half of Long Island, so it is an issue which, beyond local activists, gets short shrift.

    Much of the "developed" world tends to outlaw the use of numerous toxic substances. These same nations have stringent laws as to the handling and disposal of these substances. Once again, we touch on the greed of business. Rather than remove and dispose of controlled or regulated toxic substances like asbestos and PCB's per their country's regulations, "exporting the pollutants" is quite popular. Ocean going and even Great Lakes vessels wind up in places like Alang, India. The ship breaking yards there have had a record of no regard for the health and safety of their workers, and no control of pollution is done. The result is the "developed world" exports ships which are no longer profitable to the breakers' yards in Alang. For years, the area was sealed to anyone not have business there, and reporters and photographers and documentary film crews could not get near the place. It has now been exposed for what it is, and is said to be "the most polluted place on the planet", with a cost in human lives and suffering that is incalculable. The guys who work in those breakers' yards are right in the midst of asbestos, PCB oils, lead based paints on the ship's plating they cut up with torches, and not even basic safety measures to protect life and limb for the immediate. The poverty of the population is so extreme that boys and men flock to the breakers' yards as it is the only chance at making a little money to survive.

    We live in an age where we identify the pollutants and toxins, and maybe some firms legitimately act to protect the health and safety of their workers and the public. On balance, I think the normal M.0. for business and governmental agencies when handed an environmental "hot potato" is to "pass the buck" and try to stick someone else with the cleanup, or to deny responsibility and weasel out by declaring bankruptcy and dissolving the companies. Same old story, old as recorded human history.

    The effects of pollution were known as far back as Biblical times. I believe it is in the Old Testament, in Deuteronomy, there are a set of laws governing health and hygiene. One snipped in Deuteronomy sticks with me. It goes something like: "If you go forth from the camp at night, take a paddle and cover over that what was within you..." In delicate old Biblical language, this passage is saying: "don't s--t where you eat" and bury your pile. I sit in services sometimes when we get around to that part of things and marvel at the wisdom and comprehensive nature of the Old Testament. I also marvel at the same time at how developed the world has become from Biblical times, let alone what the population of the world has grown to. Plainly, we have been past the point of simply burying our piles of pollutants for some time, and have to confront remediation and proper disposal.

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  13. #27
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    Hi Joe, yes the Turner Brothers Asbestos Co trade mark was " Firefly " . They used it extensively for all sorts of reasons, my first wife came second in a beauty pageant, as you call them over, this was before we were married. It was for the title of " Miss Firefly 1969 ".

    One of the judges was Cyril Smith MP and she always blamed him for not winning. Look him up on the Internet and you may be able to figure out why.

    The company magazine was called the " Firefly " also.

    Regards Tyrone.

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    Tyrone:

    I did look up Cyril Smith, MP. Slimy and vile are about the only printable adjectives that come to mind. A pedophile is one of the lowest forms of life, and if hunting licenses were sold to legally kill them, I'd be on line to take out a hunting license. Smith, aside from his pedophilia, was a major shareholder in Turner Asbestos and gave a speech in Parliament claiming there were no known hazards or risks associated with working with asbestos or exposure to it. Smith had better have packed plenty of asbestos with him into the hereafter, since where he (hopefully) has wound up for all eternity, he will need all the asbestos he could bring with him.

    It always gets my blood boiling when I read of these sorts of people. Smith apparently kept his honors and decorations despite the knowledge he was a pedophile. What does it take for a low life to be stripped of his honors and fancy letters after his name ?

    At least Smith died of cancer, which was sort of Karma. He shared the fate of countless victims of asbestos exposure. A fitting end for a very deserving wretch.

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    Funny how our country operates:
    Way back when at the "hole saw factory" if a exhaust fan and duct system
    was being considered the answer would be "it takes too much heat from the building"

    Now a days, the excuse would be "We can't put that outside, the EPA won't allow
    releasing it".

    I noticed that no one has commented on all the "government loopholes"
    Like transit workers, local municipal workers, military civilian workers, etc.

    Apparently they are immune to the chemicals and hazards much more
    than the workers in regular factories.....

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  18. #30
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    He was my local MP for years. He was a sort of Huey Long type of gladhanding politician that you don't often get in UK politics, the party was an irrelevance, it was all about Cyril.

    I worked for a company called " Whipp & Bourne " they were into industrial size electrical switchgear. They had a place in Glasgow that closed down in the mid 1960's. Some of the apprentices moved down to Rochdale to finish their training. The company put the young guys up in a place called Cambridge House. Smith was involved with the running of Cambridge House and tried it on with some of the younger kids. He picked on the wrong guys though because they soon told him where to get off.


    I found out about this later on straight from the lads involved. Both " RAP " and " Private Eye " ran the story but nothing came of it. He had friends in high places so he got away with all sorts of abuse. There are stories of MI 5 officers coming to our local police station and removing evidence the local police had accumulated.

    My second wife was the Chair of the Governing Body of a Primary School in his neighbourhood and she had him banned from ever setting foot in the school ! There's a massive enquiry going on over here at the moment regarding the whole subject of child abuse but it all seems to have gone quiet for now.

    Regards Tyrone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Michaels View Post
    Tyrone:

    I did look up Cyril Smith, MP. Slimy and vile are about the only printable adjectives that come to mind. A pedophile is one of the lowest forms of life, and if hunting licenses were sold to legally kill them, I'd be on line to take out a hunting license. Smith, aside from his pedophilia, was a major shareholder in Turner Asbestos and gave a speech in Parliament claiming there were no known hazards or risks associated with working with asbestos or exposure to it. Smith had better have packed plenty of asbestos with him into the hereafter, since where he (hopefully) has wound up for all eternity, he will need all the asbestos he could bring with him.

    It always gets my blood boiling when I read of these sorts of people. Smith apparently kept his honors and decorations despite the knowledge he was a pedophile. What does it take for a low life to be stripped of his honors and fancy letters after his name ?

    At least Smith died of cancer, which was sort of Karma. He shared the fate of countless victims of asbestos exposure. A fitting end for a very deserving wretch.
    The podofile's would gravitate to things like beauty pageants. Look at that doctor that molested all of those athletes. They worked so hard to achieve their goals and this lowlife took their innocence and caused mental torment in many of them. There is nothing more selfish than taking the innocence of the young for some perverted gratification. A case of prison HIV and a slow painful death would be appropriate but not severe enough. Sorry for going off topic but it strikes a nerve.

  21. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Michaels View Post
    Taking Sip6A's post: Corporate greed is as old and common as dirt. Probably the worst example of a toxic chemical release and the machinations of big business has to be the Bhopal disaster. This was at a chemical plant which produced substances used in pesticides, if I recall correctly. Union Carbide's CEO from the USA was actually in India following the release of the toxic chemicals and was sought by the Indian authorities. Knowing he was being sought for prosecution, Union Carbide's CEO weaseled out of India and back to the USA and neither him nor any of the other brass were ever taken to task for the disaster at Bhopal. Status quo for this sort of thing, unfortunately.
    If I remember correctly, the release was caused by operator error. I don't agree that CEO should have been arrested and skinned alive for an error made by one of the plant's workers and poor maintenance practices. Was it deliberate? Is what happened there any different than any of the toxic releases that have happened in the USA? Are chemical plants and refineries not located near large center of population in the US as well?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyrone Shoelaces View Post
    He was my local MP for years. He was a sort of Huey Long type of gladhanding politician that you don't often get in UK politics, the party was an irrelevance, it was all about Cyril.

    I worked for a company called " Whipp & Bourne " they were into industrial size electrical switchgear. They had a place in Glasgow that closed down in the mid 1960's. Some of the apprentices moved down to Rochdale to finish their training. The company put the young guys up in a place called Cambridge House. Smith was involved with the running of Cambridge House and tried it on with some of the younger kids. He picked on the wrong guys though because they soon told him where to get off.


    I found out about this later on straight from the lads involved. Both " RAP " and " Private Eye " ran the story but nothing came of it. He had friends in high places so he got away with all sorts of abuse. There are stories of MI 5 officers coming to our local police station and removing evidence the local police had accumulated.

    My second wife was the Chair of the Governing Body of a Primary School in his neighbourhood and she had him banned from ever setting foot in the school ! There's a massive enquiry going on over here at the moment regarding the whole subject of child abuse but it all seems to have gone quiet for now.

    Regards Tyrone.
    It is really unbelievable what crimes Smith carried out all over England ,He was an evil fat greasy slob , A detective in your kneck of the woods Tyrone had a sizeable dossier on him, and it went to special branch and was lost, I think the detective was warned off the case Even more appalling was the great golden entertainer at that time Jimmie Saville , a friend of Smith another paedophile he was totally untouchable, He was the darling of our great British "Leaderette" at the time Margaret Hildegard Thatcher, Who stated that what was going on with Smith "Was no different from what happens in the British Public School system" Saville even had a set of keys to access Broadmoor high Security hospital for the criminally insane, At any time of the day or night, Mrs T put him on a "Special Taskforce" to oversee the running of the hospital, In other words to destroy the conditions of the prison staff. Funny thing, I have heard, How it has come to light our present prime minister has had all the papers on this sad time destroyed in recent times

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    Quote Originally Posted by reggie_obe View Post
    If I remember correctly, the release was caused by operator error. I don't agree that CEO should have been arrested and skinned alive for an error made by one of the plant's workers and poor maintenance practices. Was it deliberate? Is what happened there any different than any of the toxic releases that have happened in the USA? Are chemical plants and refineries not located near large center of population in the US as well?
    A multitude of errors, and design changes (different from the same plant in West Virginia).
    Also cover up work as well.

    You really need to read the book (I did).
    Bhopal disaster - Wikipedia
    BTW the product in question is the farm chemical called "Sevin"

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    Quote Originally Posted by digger doug View Post
    A multitude of errors, and design changes (different from the same plant in West Virginia).
    Also cover up work as well.

    You really need to read the book (I did).
    Bhopal disaster - Wikipedia
    BTW the product in question is the farm chemical called "Sevin"
    I have (had) family in the chemical production industry in the US. Heard about and saw first hand at Calco/American Cyanamid in Bridgewater, NJ, some of the measures done to insure financial success. While they did create waste problem that had to be cleaned up decades later, they didn't deliberately kill anyone through negligence or bad practices.

    A cover-up, possibly, but not by Union Carbide.

    Did you read the Wiki pages in support of the argument that the workers and government of India directly or indirectly brought about this disaster? Seems pretty clear to me. Yes, I am familiar with Sevin, I don't have my pesticide certification, but have amassed quite a few credits toward obtaining it.
    Last edited by reggie_obe; 04-23-2019 at 05:45 PM.

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    Reading that link was a real eye-opener. Much more information than I had known before.

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    In H.S. I had a summer job acid-washing pools at the start of each season. One of us would roll a 55 gal drum of muriatic acid to the edge of the pool and dribble some down the sides, while the other person would scrub the acid into the pool walls with a stiff brush. Took a fair to clean each pool since whomever had the job of scrubbing could last only so long inside the empty pool before the acid fumes became unbearable.

    Tried to clean a pair of jeans in the drum once. Pulled them out after less than 5 minutes and they fell apart into individual segments. Ate clean through the stitching.

    That seemed pretty awful until an acquaintance told me about his summer job. He was tasked with cleaning the air filters at an asbestos plant. Management sent him inside the industrial filter housings to 'beat' the filter fabric clean with a broom.

    Needless to say, neither of us was issued any PPE. We were kids and didn't know better. In hindsight...outrageous.

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    I worked in Waltham, MA during the early 1980s. At the time workers who lived in certain areas used to bring home gallons of water
    from the plant, because the knew the public water supply in Woburn, MA was contaminated by Trichlor. They knew this because the
    man who did GCA mass spec at the plant, took some of his water from his house and ran it through his system. Yep, TCE.

    Turns out that WR Grace had been buying 55 gallons drums of TCE, and no invoices for how it was disposed. Yep, dig a pit, dump that
    in there. Contaminated the entire aquifer that the town drew its water from.

    Aberjona River - Wikipedia

    I've said this here before but it bears repeating. My mom was an oncology nurse at sloan kettering, and cared for many people who had
    parts removed from them as a result of cancer. Many of those she helped were industrial workers, painters, folks who had a high incidence
    of solvent exposure. You don't want to know what sort of parts were removed and what had to be done to allow them to live as long
    as possible after those operations.

    Minimize your exposure to solvents as much as possible. Minimize your exposure to industrial chemicals as much as possible. Use
    engineering controls and proper protective gear as much as you can. Your employer does not care about you, as much as you do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank R View Post
    Reading that link was a real eye-opener. Much more information than I had known before.
    This is also kind of telling....

    and began to look for a leak. One was found by 11:45 p.m., and reported to the MIC supervisor on duty at the time. The decision was made to address the problem after a 12:15 a.m. tea break,

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    Quote Originally Posted by reggie_obe View Post
    I have (had) family in the chemical production industry in the US. Heard about and saw first hand at Calco/American Cyanamid in Bridgewater, NJ, some of the measures done to insure financial success. While they did create waste problem that had to be cleaned up decades later, they didn't deliberately kill anyone through negligence or bad practices.

    A cover-up, possibly, but not by Union Carbide.
    If you read the book, you'll see the cover up sir.


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