Chemical Exposure Discussion

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Rataplan

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I thought I was the only one that thought that. Never seen a true engine mechanic that was uncomfortable of a little oil on their hands.
Maybe should go back to the keyboard. Its clean and neat.
When as student I worked on my car engines I never succeeded keeping oil free hands (and face) Only when I did (under supervision) little service on my late fathers plane engine I kept kind of clean, only because it had no inverted oil system cleaning the belly of it made me again dirty and smelling of oil and fuel LOL.
But I think it is personal , I know people who work with gloves and have no problem with little nuts and bolts but thats just not me
 

wsimpso1

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I thought I was the only one that thought that. Never seen a true engine mechanic that was uncomfortable of a little oil on their hands.
Maybe should go back to the keyboard. Its clean and neat.
23 years as a transmission engineer with Ford and Chrysler. Worked with mechanics who tore down and put together our stuff all day long. At the beginning, the guys would work sometimes bare handed, but then our oil tech specialist put the word out that used engine oil was loaded with stuff considered to be carcinogenic, while new oil was fine. By the time I retired, all of the mechanics worked with gloves on engines and transmissions that had been run, and almost all used gloves even on new builds with new oil, and extended it to almost all work on the cars too.

So, another part of the world has become averse to a little bit of grease and oil. Sigh.

Billski
 

Jay Kempf

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I thought I was the only one that thought that. Never seen a true engine mechanic that was uncomfortable of a little oil on their hands.
Maybe should go back to the keyboard. Its clean and neat.
Everyone that wrenches on cars uses surgical gloves now. I keep several hundred in both my shops. It's the new world. Everyone seems to be ditching their air tools for electric now too.
 

TFF

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Wearing gloves started a couple of years ago on some TV shows. It started to be a signature and signify safety for the safety police. I will agree some things shouldn’t have finger prints on and should be clean. Everything is a little much. A buddy was on a date and the fan belt came off. Handy, he fixed it. The girl was horrified his hands were dirty. He stopped working on cars after that. She should have been dumped way before she dumped him. Exposure to chemicals is a hard subject. If you are not a professional and are getting exposed daily like a professional, something is wrong.
 

ImperfectSense

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Yea yea, everyone's "tough". I wish someone at the warbird museum I volunteer at had set an example for me to wear nitrile gloves while I work on dirty, oily airplanes, particularly while cleaning them. Because they didn't, and I wanted to be "tough" too, the stoddard solvent (mineral spirits) we used for cleaning up all the oil that leaks out of the round engines literally ate/destroyed the nervous system in my hands and arms. Any exposure to mineral spirits or a whole host of other chemicals now (even raw chicken) results in a hot/cold/tingling sensation, and if prolonged can result in fingers or hands going numb or becoming non-functional. And no, I wasn't dipping my arms into baths of the stuff, we just used it in spray bottles to spray down the airplanes and then wipe it off, which I usually did in a t-shirt and no other PPE. No, that sort of reaction isn't gonna happen to everyone, maybe not even most people. But **** I wish it hadn't happened to me, and preventing it would have been so **** easy. FYI, it took about 6-7 years for me to accumulate enough damage from the stuff for the reaction to get scary, so don't think that just because you've been "ok" so far that it'll never happen to you. First warning sign I remember, after using the stoddard and washing my hands, the temperature of the water would feel "off", like it would feel either way hotter or way colder than I knew it was. I shoulda stopped then, but I didn't realize what was happening.
 
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Voidhawk9

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Chemical exposure is no joke. Some people will never be any worse off, others can be severely affected. I know examples of both.
I don't hesitate to glove-up, even going as far as using cotton liners now. I'm also building in composite, so that much more potential for exposure.
Ditto for hearing protection, eye protection, etc. For just a little effort and expense, you could save yourself a lot of problems later in life.
 

Toobuilder

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I distinctly remember my HS Auto Shop teacher's first aid remedy for an open wound - clean with MEK and wrap a shop towel around the wound to soak up the blood.

Times have changed!
 

Victor Bravo

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tore down and put together our stuff all day long.
but then our oil tech specialist put the word out that used engine oil was loaded with stuff considered to be carcinogenic,
By the time I retired,
almost all used gloves even on new builds
So, another part of the world has become averse to a little bit of grease and oil.
Well, yes, but to be honest when I was first starting to play around with airplanes the old mechanic who mentored me had me cleaning engine parts and stuff with 1,1,1 Trichlorethylene. Most of those guys are now gone, and they departed quite a bit earlier than their originally scheduled expiration date.

Then there is the current hot topic of RoundUp weed killer, the artist formerly known as Agent Orange. What they have learned about that stuff is pretty awful, military and now civilian. I have more than one Viet Nam era friend who has cancer from that.

Don't get me started discussing cigarettes, the original version of "30 Seconds Over Tokyo" had Van Johnson referring to them as "coffin nails"... in 1943.

So as much as I really like to poke fun at a lot of the modern frou-frou PC stuff, knowledge about what is harmful does in fact progress over time.

The world is no longer flat, lightning is no longer caused by some guy named Thor, cigarettes will kill your a** dead, defoliants are also de-humanants, and don't use tri-chlor to wash your airplane parts.
 

BJC

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I have a friend who restored airplanes professionally for many years. He has serious health problems from exposure to chemicals, especially urethane paint, because he eschewed the use of PPE.

Now, about all my pilot friends who need hearing aids, ...


BJC
 

AdrianS

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Wearing gloves started a couple of years ago on some TV shows. It started to be a signature and signify safety for the safety police. I will agree some things shouldn’t have finger prints on and should be clean. Everything is a little much. A buddy was on a date and the fan belt came off. Handy, he fixed it. The girl was horrified his hands were dirty. He stopped working on cars after that. She should have been dumped way before she dumped him. Exposure to chemicals is a hard subject. If you are not a professional and are getting exposed daily like a professional, something is wrong.
My father worked most of his life in the oil industry. He ended up allergic to petrol fumes, which gave him terrible sinus trouble.

And I can't preach - 30 years in the dyno industry and a fair bit of most motorsport, and I can't hear high frequencies any more.

Which is a shame.
 

Vigilant1

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Then there is the current hot topic of RoundUp weed killer, the artist formerly known as Agent Orange. What they have learned about that stuff is pretty awful, military and now civilian. I have more than one Viet Nam era friend who has cancer from that.
Just to clear things up: the active ingredient in RoundUp is glyphosate, it was invented in 1970 so was not an ingredient in Agent Orange (or the other rainbow of agents used in Vietnam). There are some safety issues with glyphosate which are mainly evident if you are exposed to a lot of it.

There were several active ingredients in Agent Orange, the primary ones being the herbicides 2,4-D and 2,4,5-T. Most folks who have studied this a lot believe the 2,4-D was not a significant factor in the Agent Orange related illnesses. It is still sold as a broadleaf weed killer and is generally safe, long term and short term, if normal precautions are taken. 2,4,5-T was also, by itself, relatively safe, though it is toxic enough that it is no longer sold. The problem was that 2,4,5-T frequently also contained a lot of the contaminant TCDD. That last "D" is for "dioxin". The problem with Agent Orange was the large amount of that dioxin contaminant/by-product that was present in the Agent Orange. Dioxin is very nasty stuff, even in tiny doses, and the maladies it causes are pretty well congruent with the many caused by exposure to Agent Orange.
(Edited to include info on 2,4,5-T)
 
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Pops

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No chemicals on my skin including gasoline, but a little dirty oil on my hands don't set me off in a panic. I also have never smoked, last time I tasted anything with alcohol was 55 years ago. No coffee or tea, just one can of RC cola a day at the most. Least amount of modern day processed FAKE foods as possible. That is going to bite people in the a** now and in the future.
At 80 years old, Doc says I'm a young 70 year old and can get a class 2 med if I want.

Crazy neighbor wants to use Roundup each summer. Used to be a lot of wild bee's hives in the area, not now. He says, "But its so easy".
 

TFF

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At the regional airline I worked at, winter time meany deice boot problems. Getting the boots off meant drawing off 5 gal of MEK in a bucket and soaking rags to blister and then scrub the rest off with said MEK. Gloves did not last 10 seconds. After two winters an inspection job opened up and I did that. I knew MEK baths were bad and I wanted out. 9/11 hit and I was back on the floor but the turbo prop planes were gone by then.

When coal mining is the only job in town, you are stuck. When you want to do something you love and you don’t care the consequences, you are also stuck. I am not interested in buying gallons of epoxy and building a plane, even with safety equipment. A couple of small bottles , yes. I painted my airplane in the grass behind the hangar because I did not care about a perfect finish and I was not interested into pulling out others airplanes making a booth that has to fold up and reverse it every part or coat.

I’m not defending the dangers, I’m not also going to defend someone who knew it was not cool and kept doing it because because. A friend just had sulfuric acid poured on their leg from a 55 gal drum, yet they still go back to work there. A friend lost the tip of is finger with the choice to have it reattached , the $5000 amputation bonus sealed that decision. I once ran a steel decoiling machine, my first day, a kid let a 5,000 lb chunk of steel bump into his leg; double compound fracture. A couple of years after I left running that machine, the guy that took over lost one hand in the sheer. Almost a year to the day, he lost the other. I got more, everyone has more of these stories. One of the saddest was a kid sitting on the wheel of a jet bridge during a break. They decided to adjust it and ran over him. Crushed his leg off at the pelvis.
The point is if you decided to swim in crude oil for the betterment of your family and you know it’s bad but the only choice, my hat is off to you. I understand. If you really had no clue, like really had no clue, I’m sad and hopefully those mistakes are learned. Anything in between meant you could do something about it. Help fix the safety or get out of that job. I’m not defending man up take the poison, I’m saying man up to the wrong and sometimes the only way to fix it is to quit.
 

PPLOnly

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Everyone that wrenches on cars uses surgical gloves now. I keep several hundred in both my shops. It's the new world. Everyone seems to be ditching their air tools for electric now too.
Neither of these things are hard to figure out. Air tools have a hose and a compressor...electric are now just as powerful with neither limitation.
 

Aesquire

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I discovered while visiting the SAC museum in Nebraska, that I was allergic to something that they use.. And no, I didn't fondle the Blackbird! It's on the stair hand rails too. Swollen hands, creeping breath problem, classic reaction. Took Benadryl and it cleared up. Then same reaction at a buddy's bicycle shop. Some solvent, still not sure which. ( it's not Simple Green )

I'm sure I had plenty of earlier exposure, just one day, the body said... Nope!

I know multiple people who got sensitivity to epoxy products. There's never to be finished projects all over in garages. Anaphylactic reactions are no joke.

Tri tri tri chloroethylene! Awesome stuff. Cleans great. Guys in the machine shop used to have squirt bottles of it and would remove machine blue with a wet rag.

Miss those guys.
 

Vigilant1

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In many cases we don't know how problematic a chemical can be until decades later. And who has time to research all the things we are exposed to? Since dose makes the poison, I try to take the easy steps to reduce the dose. Gloves are cheap, respirators are, too, and ventilation can go a long way.
I am concerned about the growing presence of new nanoparticles. These don't generally exist in nature, readily breach normal barriers our bodies have (down to the cellular level) and have properties that can be a lot different than larger particles of the same stuff. Not well understood yet, and not well regulated (IMO). Should we really be including them in shampoo, etc? But, I'm certainly no expert.
 
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