Chemical Exposure Discussion

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Aesquire

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News from 2025... The death toll from hand sanitizer exposure continues to rise!

Or the classic George Carlin joke. "Scientists have just discovered that saliva causes stomach cancer, but only when swallowed in small amounts, over a long period of time.".

Seriously, some stuff will have lifetime cumulative effects, others sudden change in tolerance. Lead poisoning among the moderately wealthy was once a big killer. The very rich drank wine from Gold cups. The poor from wood. The folk in the high middle to low rich wanted to feel rich, so lead, then pewter with lead, more affordable...

I'm not worried about dirty fingers. I'm trying to prevent "I can't go in my shop anymore" .
 

wktaylor

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Years ago I got this 2-Vol manual-set 'Working Healthy' ... since I worked with fuels, oils, cleaners/solvents, acids, adhesives, heavy/toxic metals, vibrations, noise, arc-flashes, fumes, flammability, etc, etc... the truth about this 'hidden aspect of our work' is rarely presented in realistic detail. KNOWLEDGE can prevent uninformed... 'stupid'... exposure to these hazards.

WORKING HEALTHY. A Manual on Health Techniques for Aviators, Maintainers and Aircraft Builders
James W. Allen, MD, MPH Aviation Medical Examiner - Environmental Health Physician
Working Healthy Working Healthy Solvents eBook
Aircraft Technical Book Company
PO Box 270
Tabernash, CO 80478
 

Vigilant1

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Random memory: When I was in 6th grade one of my classmates brought in some mercury for show-and-tell. It was from a few broken thermometers (I think her mom was a nurse, so she cleaned up a lot of broken thermometers). She brought it inside a well sealed container--a shoebox. We took off the lid, passed it around, poked at it with our pencils and fingers, etc. Our (great) teacher didn't know that this might be a problem. I'm sure today they would evacuate the classroom, have the fire department ventilate the room, send notes home with all the kids, etc. At the time (1973 or so) nobody said or did anything.
I'm glad I got to play with the little mercury beads. I think most kids probably got a chance to do that at some time back then. Sure, not a good practice and probably not a good idea to keep an open tub of it on your bedroom.
Another thing: Warnings from public officials that we should stay inside when outdoor air quality is poor. I'd like to see the science supporting that. Homes are far from being sealed off from outside air, they typically have air exchange rates ("turnover") of about 1-2 per hour. Over the course of a day, the air inside a home and outside a home have identical amounts of gaseous pollutants (NO2, O3, SO2, CO, etc), and typical HVAC filter won't be removing many fine particulates that would be the most hazardous. Overall, indoor air quality is normally far worse than outdoor air quality. Maybe they just tell kids to go inside so they are less likely to be running around and respiring a lot.
With regard to exposure to toxic substances, I'm not pining for the good old days. We've made a lot of progress in reducing public exposure to a lot of nasty stuff, and that is good.
 

Hot Wings

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Yep...here's the SDS.
But what isomer(s)? Much like thalidomide not all of the isomers cause the problems.
I would presume that MMO does not contain the ortho?
Would be nice to know for sure. I've used the stuff for years in my air tools.:eek:
 

Pops

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If you want life without risk, stay in bed. But, better put the mattress on the floor so you wouldn't have far to fall when you fall out of bed. But then you have to think of a tornado, flood, house catching on fire, asteroid, etc, etc. :)

Like a relative of mine used to say, " you will never get out of this world alive unless you are an astronaut". He didn't.
Sometimes living can be harder than dying.
 

wktaylor

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V1...

Mercury is a persistent environmental toxin... and is only mildly toxic to skin... as is. But young kids have a bad habit of not washing their hands often... and these mercury residues will transfer to clothing and whatever-else they touch... especially lips, noses and eyes kids are prone to rub and poke-into. Obviously a small amount of mercury, like you mentioned, for a short exposure, can be treated as incidental. but that incidental contact has a way of remaining in the environment. Where mercury is most hazardous is when mercury vapor fumes are inhaled [broken mercury vapor lights] and prolonged exposure or ingestion. Knowledge is crucial. H*ll, back in the, 1960s and into the 1970s lead based paints and asbestos were common... and now we know why kids suffered the worst... scale of intake was so relatively larger than adults.

OH yeah... in the 1960s, while dad was building his T-18, I remember dad and I holding cad/chromate coated steel bolts, nuts and washers in our mouths when we needed an extra hand. If I recall correctly, John Thorp explained the basic health problem due to cadmium and chromates... used on parts and in paints for corrosion protection. STOP IT!

I think the summer of 1975, I was looking for a job, engineering related. Unfortunately at the height of the aerospace crash of the 1970 there was nothing. EXCEPT I found an industrial battery manufacture/rebuild/recycle company in LA looking for young guys like me. During the interview, when they mentioned I would need to have wear special clothing and take a blood test every month for lead toxicity... I went... Huhhhhhhh... then declined the job.

V1... I'll take a swing... even though You were [obviously] a very young child during the 1970s, you lived in a region of the US during these times, that was relatively unaffected by air pollution... including acid rain. In the succeeding years, air and water quality improved dramatically due to environmental regulations with teeth.

I'm an early 1950s-year-model who experienced Jr-High thru High school in SoCal [LA basin] during the 1960s and 1970s and suffered thru weeks-long Stage 3 SMOG conditions. People who did NOT experience these conditions simply cannot understand how they were truly terrible due to extended poor air quality.

The dirty 'smoky/sooty' air with visibility less than 2-miles was common... and my young lungs hurt constantly by burning and congestion... and I remember the coughing and sneezing from tight-chests and constant sinus problems... and also eye irritation and watering... that went along with it all. OH YEAH... Everything outdoors developed a fine film of adherent sooty-grime. Indoor pollution was barely noticeable because it was overall better and safer to us kids... since the heavier-sooty-grime stayed mostly outside of buildings/homes. Mom was constantly cleaning this grime from entry ways and telling-us to bathe/shower every day. Dammm, even remembering SMOG from the 1960s and 1970s makes me remember it was NOT so great times. Outdoor sports were often delayed/postponed for health.

NOTE.
THE ABSOLUTE WORST SMOG I ever encountered was at Yokota AB, Kanto Plain, Japan, summertime, 1995 or 1996... Far worse than stage 3 SMOG conditions in SoCal. IT was indescribably bad air quality. Even the GIs I worked with would rotate for short outdoor duty on jets to avoid prolonged exposure... except for supervisors [poor b*stards]. Visibility was down to less-than a 1/4-mile and running outdoors for more than a few minutes was completely impossible... drained everything from You and left You gasping.

I’m Kinda wondering how many of You have really lived in heavy SMOG. Hmmmm, it has been forever that I’ve heard the term ‘SMOG’ on the news or weather. I guess the term now is simply ‘poor air quality’. SMOG is a 4-letter word.
 

Vigilant1

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V1... I'll take a swing... even though You were [obviously] a very young child during the 1970s, you lived in a region of the US during these times, that was relatively unaffected by air pollution...
Nope--swing and a miss.😉 I lived in the San Gabriel Valley (SoCal), the stuff from LA blew in there and settled, and/or we got treated to the smoke from Kaiser Steel in Fontana. Pedalled my bike through it every day delivering newspapers. When the infrequent Santa Ana winds blew through it was amazing- we saw features on Mt Baldy that we never knew existed.
There's no doubt it is much better now (the air quality, not everything).
So you remember being told to stay inside during the smog alerts, just as I was. I don't think the indoor air was any cleaner, but I understand why we might be told to stay inside.
 

Marc W

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I started a family on the north edge of Burbank in the early 70's. On bad smog days the Verdugo Hills would disappear and they were only a couple miles away. My oldest daughter developed asthma and I believe the smog contributed to that.

I was working in boat shops doing fiberglass at the time. We used a mix of resin and asbestos fibers for a putty to fill corners,etc. I remember grinding on the stuff where we used it to fill low areas on plugs. We did use the cheap paper masks when grinding or spraying. Better than nothing, I guess. I never developed lung cancer so I guess I wasn't over exposed.

We used polyester resin and occasionally vinylester resin, catalyzed with MEKP and acetone for cleanup. By 1980 I was developing an allergy to the resin, which ultimately required me to find a different line of work. I am now careful whenever I do any fiberglass.

The collapse of the aerospace industry at the time dealt a near death blow to the pleasure boat industry in Socal. Those well paid Lockheed engineers that formed a large customer base were suddenly out of work!
 

ImperfectSense

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I don't think the indoor air was any cleaner, but I understand why we might be told to stay inside.
I have a Dyson fan/filter in my apartment which measures PM10 and PM2.5 counts, as well as several other components of poor air quality. When we had some really bad fires in this area, I was absolutely astonished to watch the PM counts spike if I opened a door even for just a second. My apartment building is old and not well sealed or insulated, but the air inside was MUCH MUCH MUCH cleaner than the air outside. Helped, of course, by the fan/filter I was running 24/7, but even when I had it off I could still get readings, and would still see the same spikes. Have no doubt that indoor air is much cleaner than outdoor air. For one thing, usually the source of the "smog" is outside, and usually our living spaces are "positive pressure" ventilated, we blow air in (through a device that has a filter on it) and air exits through all the cracks and holes. For another, the air inside is much more still than air outside, so particles will eventually fall out of suspension and settle on the floor/surfaces (hence our need to dust and vacuum).
 

Aesquire

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Healthy food and exercise don't change the problem of getting allergic to the chemicals used in a project you may have invested months or years, not to mention boatloads of income, in. I suspect that year working as a spray painter of industrial mixers cut some time off my potential.

But I never expected to live to 55 anyway. Treated my body as, not a temple, but an amusement park.

But, hey, you want to wash your parts in gasoline? Feel free. Not that many people blew themselves up. But be aware the toxic stuff in modern gas isn't the friendly poisons of yesteryear. And of course, Everything causes cancer in California, it's on the label.

I'm used to being the Safety Nazi for the college skydiving club. Volunteer first aid in a martial arts group. I'm the last guy to tell you not to risk your life, and the first to tell you not to do it stupidly.
 

Hephaestus

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Can't eliminate all risks... Control the risks you can.

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, “Wow what a ride!" - Hunter S Thompson
 

Tiger Tim

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When it comes to excessive health warnings, one that now bothers me to see is “this substance has been known to cause cancer in rats.” I’ve had rats, they all lived cushy lives with the finest food and accommodations. Wonderful pets, actually, I was genuinely surprised by how clean and domesticated they were. They all died of the same thing, cancer. My conclusion: existence causes cancer in rats.
 

pwood66889

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Late to the party, but...
Well remember a story (believe it was in the Readers Digest) about an A/C Mech that died a cruel cancer death. But the fuel injectors, when he got `em clean using something nasty, had a spray pattern to die for...
Every one has to respect the risks in what they are doing. If it pays well enough, we all "drink the Kool-Aid." Hell, I dang near died from a tick bite - the ones that are indigenous to my property!
 

Hephaestus

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When it comes to excessive health warnings, one that now bothers me to see is “this substance has been known to cause cancer in rats.”
I prefer the causes cancer in california labels :)

It's nice the cancer stops at the state borders.

Well remember a story (believe it was in the Readers Digest) about an A/C Mech that died a cruel cancer death. But the fuel injectors, when he got `em clean using something nasty, had a spray pattern to die for...
Some friends and I were just talking about this, after an old school mate passed...

Anyone know an old brake man? You know the started at 18-20 opened his own brake shop at 22-28... Seems like they don't make it to 50 amongst my network, seems like all we knew - met early ends.
 

reo12

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I worked recently with developing an automotive component that uses an ultra low viscosity hydraulic fluid. The fluid was so new that the auto maker supplied it to us in bulk cans. No SDS. No printed label. Just an ID number. A year of working with the stuff we started getting some that was in commercial packaging. The warning that it was poisonous was accented with a prominent skull and cross bones. "Oh wonderful" said one of the tech's - "after we've been bathing in the **** for a year - now they tell us not to have contact with it".
 

Yellowhammer

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I like to wear the black nitrile glove when working. Especially with my epoxy. However, I can't find any anywhere. All the stores are out of every type glove imaginable due to this Covid-19 business.

I guess I will have to order some online. I have a rash from epoxy as we speak.


Protect!

Yellowhammer
 

Bill-Higdon

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News from 2025... The death toll from hand sanitizer exposure continues to rise!

Or the classic George Carlin joke. "Scientists have just discovered that saliva causes stomach cancer, but only when swallowed in small amounts, over a long period of time.".

Seriously, some stuff will have lifetime cumulative effects, others sudden change in tolerance. Lead poisoning among the moderately wealthy was once a big killer. The very rich drank wine from Gold cups. The poor from wood. The folk in the high middle to low rich wanted to feel rich, so lead, then pewter with lead, more affordable...

I'm not worried about dirty fingers. I'm trying to prevent "I can't go in my shop anymore" .
Leap poisoning has also been implicated as helping in the fall of the Roman Empire
 

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