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  #26   IP: 24.152.131.220
Old 05-30-2011, 10:34 AM
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The dear wife of a cruising friend was lost to the cancer caused by asbestos a couple of years ago. The belief is she came in contact with it as a result of handling/laundering her husband's contaminated work clothes, a 'secondary smoke' exposure for sure.
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  #27   IP: 76.106.2.171
Old 05-30-2011, 08:31 PM
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Originally Posted by joe_db View Post
I did delivery work for a law firm suing Baltimore area shipyards for asbestos related illness once as a summer job back in the 80s. It is NASTY stuff, especially if you smoke. Working with asbestos + smoking =
Yes, but "working with asbestos" does not equal "taking 10 feet of asbestos wrap off your hot section once in your life."

You don't need special clean-up procedures if you're working on your boat. Just bag it and trash it.
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  #28   IP: 76.106.2.171
Old 05-30-2011, 08:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ndutton View Post
The dear wife of a cruising friend was lost to the cancer caused by asbestos a couple of years ago. The belief is she came in contact with it as a result of handling/laundering her husband's contaminated work clothes, a 'secondary smoke' exposure for sure.
But that's not the same as a one-time removal of a few feet of asbestos wrap out of your boat. Let's not confuse a one-time exposure to something with a career of working around it.
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  #29   IP: 99.50.221.233
Old 05-30-2011, 08:48 PM
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I didn't mean to equate the two. What will minimize any exposure though is to wet the wrap before handling it. The moisture keeps the fibers from becoming airborne. A decent respirator would be prudent too. A particle mask is better than nothing.

It's true that repeated exposure greatly increases the risk as does a lifetime of smoking. Further, I understand that asbestos comes in a wide range of microscopic fiber lengths and only one particular length is known to cause the problem. And different people have different susceptibilities. (Whew, six syllables!) There's also about a 20 year latency period before health problems emerge.

Why would I be interested in such things? My tenure in the boatbuilding industry included working with open sacks of powdered asbestos. Every physical exam includes a chest X-ray for this reason. My last exposure was 39 years ago so it looks like I beat the grim reaper. I have lost work friends from those days to it though. Last one I knew of was in 1992, fitting the 20 year model.
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  #30   IP: 74.110.198.83
Old 05-30-2011, 10:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baltimore Sailor View Post
But that's not the same as a one-time removal of a few feet of asbestos wrap out of your boat. Let's not confuse a one-time exposure to something with a career of working around it.

Quite likely not a "one-time" exposure. By pulling off that wrap, unless you used wet methods (e.g., a glove bag and surfactant), you quite likely caused a fiber release. The pipe wrap is gone, but asbestos fibers quite likely remain behind.

Although the well-known studies regarding asbestos exposure and rates of asbestosis and mesothelioma were based on shipyard workers and boilermakers exposed to the stuff for decades, there is a theory that all it takes is a single fiber.

I agree that a one-time removal of 10 feet of pipe wrap is very different from working with raw asbestos for 30 years, but I also would not downplay its hazards. Nor would I simply rip the pipe wrap off and toss it in a trash bag. If the insulation is in good condition, tearing it off in that manner almost certainly will make the situation much worse and actually create an asbestos exposure where there wasn't one before.

Make a solution of dish liquid and water, spray it down well to keep it wet, wear a HEPA filter respirator, and put it directly into heavy plastic bags (6 mil preferred).

Yeah, it's not kryptonite - but it's also not totally harmless and I would not fool around with it lightly.
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  #31   IP: 216.6.173.89
Old 05-31-2011, 10:49 AM
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Hot Section Insulation

I'm surprised at the angst about finding appropriate insulation for exhaust hot sections. MMI sells just the thing - give Don and Brenda some business in appreciation for their services to us Afourians.

I used the MMI woven glass tape on our Tartan 30 exhaust which runs within two inches of the plywood mid-ship bulkhead for about 18 inches (as well as within inches of most of the important electrical wiring on the boat). Being a "belt-and-suspenders" engineer, I used two layer of the wrap, and the resulting surface temperature is low enough that the tape can be touched (briefly) during operation. If you get the MMI product, discard the supplied clamps which are worse than useless: use SS worm clamps instead. The insulation will smoke for the first few hours, but not to worry.

An alternative for the very wary is molded magnesite insulation which comes as two half-cylinders which are clamped around the metal pipe. If you want to go that route (and I don't know why you would want to unless you had an installation where the hot section runs very close to a flammable surface), a few minutes on Google will find you a local supplier.

Any glass wool insulating product is something I would keep as far from my A4as possible, preferably not on the boat at all. It's not good for machinery, it's not good for skin, and it's not good for the lungs.

The advice that we have already heard on asbestos is good. Asbestos, particularly long-fibered white asbestos as was most common in North American insulation products, is innocuous unless you snort the dry dust into your lungs. Keep it wet, and it won't fly around. It's not poisonous, nor is it carcinogenic in the chemical sense. However, those tiny fibers (blue asbestos is tinier, hence worse) stick in the lungs and cause irritation which can become cancerous, particlarly when chemical carcinogins (e.g. tobacco tars) are present. This mechanism may also apply to finer-fibered grades of glass wool.
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  #32   IP: 76.28.45.109
Old 11-30-2014, 09:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baltimore Sailor View Post
My old wrap was probably asbestos. I took it off, threw it in the trash and washed my hands real well.

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral. If one worked around it a lot to the point where one could inhale the mineral fibers over a long period of time, you might want to wear a dust mask. But the amount you'll pull off your hot section and the length of time you'll be around it are inconsequential to any health issues. It's not poisonous and it's not radioactive.
Baltimore is correct. The danger asbestos poses is the inhalation of its smallest particles into the deep lung. It occurs over time in environments contaminated with asbestos dust. Coarse asbestos is not toxic to handle. The problem with asbestos is its mineral structure. It can bifricate endlessly and be reduced to such tiny fibers they can penetrate to the deep lung. Tiny irritating spicules that get stuck there. If you suspect something is asbestos wrapped just contain the dust, wrap it up and toss it. Wet it if that will help.

George
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  #33   IP: 76.167.223.243
Old 11-30-2014, 10:00 AM
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To further George's excellent information, having been exposed myself I've done quite a bit of research on the subject.
  • Microscopic fiber length seems to be a factor. There is a narrow range of fiber length that results in health problems, others not so. How can you tell if your asbestos is of the dangerous length? You can't so to err on the side of safety all asbestos is considered dangerous.
  • Of the friends from my boatbuilding days that have passed from Mesothelioma, smoking was a common and perhaps aggravating factor.
  • There is a gestation period from exposure to the onset of symptoms, around 20 years. Once symptomatic, it progresses rapidly. One friend fought it for a couple of years, another was gone in 6 months.
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Last edited by ndutton; 11-30-2014 at 10:02 AM.
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  #34   IP: 184.254.5.201
Old 11-30-2014, 11:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ndutton View Post
...Every physical exam includes a chest X-ray for this reason. My last exposure was 39 years ago so it looks like I beat the grim reaper.
Hopefully, still all good!
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