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Old 07-17-2019, 04:57 PM
Greg Vriethoff's Avatar
Greg Vriethoff Greg Vriethoff is offline
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Originally Posted by Don Geiger View Post
The rule of thumb I found was to spend no less on a ventilation system than on a torch. Back in the day before certain things were classified as carcinogenic I got zonked out of my mind on fumes cleaning optics from what is not classified as carcinogenic. I don't care how safe it is supposed to be. I am not about to break decades of training to be a dirty old man for want of a proper ventilation system; ever.
This triggered a memory for me, Don.

Twenty years ago I had a job living in Seattle as a metal finisher for blacksmith/fabrication operation. I spent my days in a spray booth in coveralls wearing a respirator, and rubber boots and gloves. Acids for patinas, and solvents and lacquers for clear coating, etc. Most of the hazmat stuff was in my area, so I ended-up being the safety person for the entire shop. One of the fab guys approached me one day, and wanted to make sure we had the right filters for his respirator as he was going to be welding a bronze gate all day. I assured him we did. He came back to me the next day pissed-off because he still had zinc fever the night after. I then asked about ventilation, and he said he didn't think he needed any due to the respirator. He was shoved in the corner of the shop all day without even a fan to blow the fumes away from his face. I think he simply saw my response as a deflection.

There were certain chemicals I refused to touch. They often used epoxy coatings for exterior applications. Those things are nasty, and require special equipment. An air purifying respirator doesn't work for these fumes, so you need to use a supplied air unit. The one they had was ill-equipped, and also broken. I think I caved once, and did some small parts. I tried my best to get out of the booth between each coat.

I'm not here to shoot anyone down, or get into a "pissing match." There's nothing wrong with being challenged on ones knowledge. Arguing is part of the process of moving the ball forward. Fighting is another issue. There are healthy and unhealthy ways of arguing.

I have a tendency to err on the side of caution (esp. when it comes to what I breathe). Having been born with a chronic lung disease has led me to learn as much as I can about proper protection. What I have found to be the case is that most people don't even know the basics (case in point; welder I talked about above). Filters have different levels of efficiency, and they all have thresholds. I would be surprised if anyone reading this knows what those letters and numbers on your filters actually mean (N,R,P,95,100, etc.). You'll get a gold star if you can do it without the googles. Know the difference between organic and inorganic fumes? What does particulate mean?

As to the question of long-term effects you could say I'm living proof. Even with all the precautions I took at the job I have developed contact allergies to certain chemicals. I think the job coupled with my early use of HXTAL has led to epoxy sensitivity. This allergic reaction is developed through overexposure (which can be found on the SDS). I had a skin test done a year and a half ago, and I'm allergic to that and several other chemicals. I had it done after I broke out in a rash sleeping on one of our new sofas that has some special new stain resist chemical. Still don't know what the exact chemical is, but now I just don't touch that sofa.

It's easy to become complacent in these matters just because what you've always done seems to be working. Again, I'm overly cautious. I don't recommend anyone go out a buy a bunch of expensive equipment they don't really need, but doing your homework is always a good idea.

Thanks for reading my rant. I've gone off about this several times here, but it's an important issue for me.

Anyone wanna buy a sofa?
Temperature and time.

Last edited by Greg Vriethoff; 07-18-2019 at 08:54 AM. Reason: gramamar
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