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Safety -- Make sure you are safe!

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  #1  
Old 2007-05-26, 5:27pm
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Default fuming- the real dangers

okay, I know I am stupid but I wanted to share my experience. Maybe it will help someone else to not be so dumb.

I fumed. Without ventilation. I thought I would try it once and just couldnt wait. Cause I am dumb. I knew the risks and dangers. and because I hadnt fumed before, I ended up using alot of silver. I really didnt realize just how bad it was.

Almost immediately I felt my chest closing up. I started coughing and it felt like I was breathing through a straw. I stopped and went outside. (I do have asthma) From that time on, I have been sick. Coughing and weezing for the last 4 days.

I went to the ER last night and they do see some kind of "interruption??"- yep, infiltrate, in my chest. They admitted they knew nothing about silver and glass use and consequences but said it looked like pneumonia in my left lung. They want me to have it checked out further by a pulmonary doc.

I cant definetly say that it is a direct result of the fuming or just a result of inadequate ventilation for the last year and a half. but I feel like shit and it didnt start until I fumed.

So hopefully my ignorance will help someone else. I dont expect sympathy but since I already know that I was stupid, I also dont expect any shit for this either. I just wanted to warn anyone else who thinks they can squeek by without it. If that isnt enough to convince you, the doc also recommended that I stop torching until we find out what is wrong in my lungs.

I didnt have ventilation because the house was being reappraised. Believe me, my ventilation fan is in the mail now. How dumb can I get?


they gave me a breathing treatment and then had to put me on a continuous one for 45 minutes. That sucked.
They prescribed albuterol for my nebulizer, prednisone and zithromax.
I need to call my regular doctor and get an appointment with the pulmonologist.

So if it directly from the fumes, will it get better or is there likely permanent damage?

I felt fine before I fumed. well normal anyway
I have never had pneumonia before but I do have chronic bronchitis. (which adds to how dumb I was. ) I dont have any type of fever or any other symptoms besides the cough, tight chest, and I am a bit more tired than usual. Oh, my blood pressure was elevated. It is usually 120/60 and was 148/89 didnt quite understand what caused that.
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  #2  
Old 2007-05-26, 7:43pm
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Thank you for posting your experience. Hope you feel better soon.

Me
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  #3  
Old 2007-05-26, 8:18pm
Carols Glass Carols Glass is offline
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Default Get Well Soon!

Brandie,
Yes, thank you for telling others so they will not do the same thing, and I really hope you are able to torch lots soon!
I'm sayin a prayer for your speedy recovery so you can use all that boro I know you bought recently
Carol
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  #4  
Old 2007-05-26, 8:41pm
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That's really scary. I wonder if the fuming exacerbated and underlying condition or something. Do you have asthma?
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  #5  
Old 2007-05-26, 9:14pm
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Get better quick and thanks for the info you really could've saved someones life!!! ~ Michelle SunDoorBeads
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  #6  
Old 2007-05-28, 6:30am
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I think what may have happened here is relative to flameworker-torch position, and more specifically, the breathing zone relative to the thermal plume created by the torch, containing the combustion products.

First, when we use new techniques there is a natural tendency to physically move our bodies, and more specifically our face, closer to the work being done. This closes the 'safety gap' between our breathing zone and the thermal plume, potentially increasing our exposure to high concentrations of combustion products.

Second, the process of fuming requires inserting an object into the flame very close the face of the torch. The object perturbates the thermal plume which results in a backward curving plume which places it even closer to a flameworker's breathing zone - even if ergonomic postioning may be adequate for normal flamework operations.

These two factors, coupled together, can result in combustion products being respirated by a flameworker - at concentrations far greater than 'normal'.

Unfortunately, this is difficult to solve by ventilation alone. If a flameworker's breathing zone overlaps the thermal plume (or vice versa) before the plume can reach the exhaust system, then combustion products will be inhaled by the flameworker. If the concentration and time of exposure exceeds the permissible exposure limits, it can result in acute and chronic physical effects.

So... what to do? We should maintain a 'safety gap' between our breathing zone and the thermal plume. It is difficult to clearly define this gap because the thermal plume is colorless and odorless, and is not easily discerned by sight or smell - but some research has been done to define the thermal plume's 'envelope'. Additionally, it is difficult to clearly define the breathing zone, but it is relative to the nose and mouth, and can be described as a hemisphere centered on the nose tip, of nominally 6"-12" radius. Since the head is often in motion, so also is the breathing zone.

One simple guideline can help: If the nose extends over any part of the torch body... then the breathing zone and the thermal plume will overlap, and inhalation of combustion products is certain.

Me
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  #7  
Old 2007-06-13, 2:36am
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Wow this is timely.
I just got back from the doctor who tells me I have bronchitas at the least but most likely pnemonia. She thought it odd that I had it, maybe because the time of year? And I didn't think to tell her I torched. But later I wondered....

I am very small so sit very close to the torch. Especially when I do the first wrap of a base bead. Drat, I was afraid of this. I was going to post about it then I found this.

Brandie, thanks for posting this. I have some silver that I just bought!
You asked if you will get better or not. I am of the belief that the body can recover from anything. We just don't know how to allow it to happen. Try to spend a lot of time thinking about how good it feels to feel healthy. How it was before this, and remember times when you were sick but you did recover. Or got hurt physically but recovered. Our bodies are so amazing. How about smokers who have lungs of non-smokers if they quit for 5 or however many years it is! What about all the so called Miracles?

You wondered about the high blood pressure. I know if I was experiencing symptoms like that I would be pretty scared which can cause higher blood pressure just like stress can. Just a thought.

BHHCO thanks for the information. I'll try to work out the space as best I can. I work outside on a small balcony. I know deep down that ventilation even outside would be a good thing for me but it's not an option here. Torching makes me healthy in so many ways I simply can't not do it!
Angela

Last edited by ziggys; 2007-06-13 at 2:44am.
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  #8  
Old 2007-06-15, 9:57am
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Great thread, and hope you are feeling much better Brandie!
It's great that you are being safe now!

I think most people who read GLDG know about Daniel Trilli, but for those who don't :
http://p104.ezboard.com/fglasswizzar...cID=1334.topic
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Old 2007-06-15, 10:10am
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Brandie,

I am so sorry. Hope you feel better soon! Thank you very much for sharing your story - I think it's important that we learn from each other's experiences. I have a ventilation system and usually wear a respirator whenever I use silver - be it glass, foil/leaf, frit, but I must confess sometimes I don't bother (respirators are uncomfortable!). After reading your post, I will definitely wear one every time I use silver from now on!
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  #10  
Old 2007-06-15, 10:57am
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Brandie,

I have asthma and have to take medicine every single day for it (not a result of lampworking for those of you wondering - had it since I was six months old)! Thus, when your breathing is bad your blood pressure goes up. It takes more to pump oxygen around when your airways are tightening/closing up. At least that is the way I look at it. The last really bad attack I had (oxygen tubes up my nose and the whole nine yards) my blood pressure was so high they thought I was having a heart attack and declined to listen to me that it was an asthma attack not heart attack! They didn't treat my asthma at first even though I knew what it was .

Just for your information I only have 75% lung compacity and I do just fine (just have to up my meds when I am feeling a bit under the weather). I was told it was a result of having such bad asthma throughout my life. Once again, I had not even started lampworking when all of these tests were run on me regarding my lung capacity.

You will do just fine but take it easy until your breathing gets back to normal and stay on the medicine they give you!
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Last edited by mintleaf; 2007-06-15 at 10:59am.
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  #11  
Old 2007-06-16, 10:06am
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Best thoughts & health to you right now Brandie. Your experience and willingness to share is huge...very valuable. Lets remember folks, we're dealing with toxic materials and processes.
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Old 2007-06-27, 3:09pm
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A little off track as far as lampworking goes......I was in a goldsmiths shop a while back picking up some gold pelt. ~There he was at the bench with torch in hand working on a gold ring with a little bits of gold drops everywhere from melting off the excess.

I asked him if he used exhaust and his answer was NO.

I reduce the amounts of fuming I do with silver or gold and have made sure exhaust and make up air is all good. ~just remember the is negative side effects from working color as well. Too bad the soft glass manufacturers dont have the paperwork out there like Glass Alchemy does for the boro workers
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Old 2007-06-27, 3:16pm
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A fellow marble maker, Daniel Trilli, was killed from heavy metal poisoning earlier this year.

http://p104.ezboard.com/Very-Sad-New...cID=1334.topic
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Old 2007-06-29, 8:42am
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Really scary stuff! I used both stories as an example for my husband and now I think he truly understands the importance of proper ventilation. I don't think he's going to fuss about it anymore as we build the new studio.
Hope you get better soon Brandie!
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Old 2007-07-07, 10:35am
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Thumbs up Thank you all for sharing! Great posts.

I appreciate you sharing your experience Brandie... and I hope for your quick recovery! You encouraged a very helpful and informative thread
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  #16  
Old 2007-07-07, 2:05pm
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Yes, fuming is dangerous without proper ventilation. Just torching is dangerous without proper ventilation!
One thing many people do not realize is that having a hood in front of you may not be enough because of the "downstream eddy" effect. Think of a large rock (your head ) in a stream (the airflow from behind you). Behind the rock are eddies, actually going upstream, into your face.
I have attempted to remedy this with a small fan in a flexible duct that blows a flow of air between me and my torch. Its position is adjustable depending on what I am working on.
Since these pictures were taken, the main exhaust has been extended closer to the torch and has a large scoop on it.





I will post this in the studio forum also.

-Don-
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Old 2007-07-07, 6:13pm
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Don I LOVE your studio! Is there a nice view out the window? *by nice, i mean trees, yard, basically anything besides buildings or a dump
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Old 2007-07-09, 1:30am
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Thank you Patrice,

Yes, in the summer I have a view over my neighbor's garden to a lake where I can see various kinds of waterbirds depending on the season. Canadian geese, ducks, even swans occasionally. In the winter I see my reflection in the dark glass

-Don-
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  #19  
Old 2007-07-10, 2:22am
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Brandie,

i'm so sorry to hear about this (and hope you're feeling better) but at the same time thanks so much for sharing. This thread really got me thinking... Here are some links i found helpful.

an interesting (and fairly recent) medical paper on the effects/symptoms of long term metal poisoning: http://www.aaem.pl/pdf/aaem0009.htm

metal fume fever (often confused with acute bronchitis): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metal_fume_fever

a blacksmith who died under similar circumstances: http://www.anvilfire.com/iForge/tutor/safety3/index.htm

this link includes a list of chemicals and the symptoms caused by each:
http://www.weldguru.com/metal-fume-fever.html

the downdraft diagram here looks interesting: http://www.safetyoffice.uwaterloo.ca...ng/welding.htm

this info is specifically for glass artists: http://www.ci.tucson.az.us/arthazards/glass.html

wow, a ceramicist actually wrote a book about this for other artists!: http://www.flickr.com/photos/potier/237216472/
here's the author's bio (he was previously a surgeon): http://www.pshcanada.com/Toxicology.htm

2002 safety info from the ISGB: www.isgb.org/info/safety/uploads/swsafety.pdf

After reading all this, that respirator i had on the bottom of my buy list just jumped up to the top as a requirment.
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  #20  
Old 2016-06-17, 1:28am
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Default welder health protection

during welding, flux, wire or electrode, they all release something under high temperature. some are poisonous to your nervous system, respiration system. they get into your body through inhalation.
fume extraction is necessary.
check this for more details:
http://www.lincolnelectric.com/en-us...y-hazards.aspx
https://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/safe.../overview.html
http://www.ylflux.com/
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Old 2016-06-25, 1:20am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ewdb View Post
Brandie,

i'm so sorry to hear about this (and hope you're feeling better) but at the same time thanks so much for sharing. This thread really got me thinking... Here are some links i found helpful.

.....



wow, a ceramicist actually wrote a book about this for other artists!: http://www.flickr.com/photos/potier/237216472/
here's the author's bio (he was previously a surgeon): http://www.pshcanada.com/Toxicology.htm

I just ordered this book.

The title is ; Toxicology: Ceramics Glass and Metallurgy by Edouard Bastarache.

I found it at http://thepottersshop.com/ but I feel I have to warn you the website is a little convoluted to navigate and then tracking down an order form was a just a little troublesome as well.

I suggest opening several tabs while you find your way through the site because back tracking won't always hold on to the some of the side braches of the web pages.

I found it under the -Books-Videos-Tools-
heading in the upper right and had to use my web browser search function to find the book itself in the -Search Full Catalog-
sub heading under the picture of the book shelf.

The price was $53 and the shipping was some $7 or so. They mention something about a 10 or 15 % discount but I will have to wait for the paypal invoice to see how that works out.

I then had to go back to the Books-Videos-Tools page where I cut and pasted the title into the comment area of the order form.

Phoning would probably have been easier but as I am a bit of a night owl most of the time I figured out how to get around trying to remember to order it later. (Remembering is not one of my strong suits.)

I guess I think the knowledge is worth the effort but I will probably let them know how much trouble it is to buy from them when I send the
payment in.



Anyway, I think this particular page has a wealth of information and should be added as a sticky when the moderators get some time.


It doesn't take but a half a dozen breaths of the wrong stuff to change a persons life forever.
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