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Safety -- Make sure you are safe!

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  #31  
Old 2009-12-30, 10:02am
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you got my attention, Im going to pawn one of my guitars for a few months and head to lowes and get me a real vent today. thanks for the possible life saving advice.

Pete aka worlds worst spelker
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  #32  
Old 2009-12-30, 3:07pm
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What about being outside (basically, I'm in a screened in porch) when torching, is that good enuf to not need exhaust fan? I have a fan beside me that blows on me and the flame area. Scared now after reading this !

Last edited by absinthestudio; 2009-12-30 at 4:20pm. Reason: added
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  #33  
Old 2009-12-30, 3:09pm
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One other thing that you can do is to install a carbon monoxide detector in your work area. Symptoms of CO poisoning are reduced dizziness, shortness of breath, headache and feeling lightheaded. You can buy pulse-oximeters which monitor the oxygen content in your blood stream. Most healthy people should be 98% or higher. Some with chronic lung problems (like cystic fibrosis, which I have) may have oxygen saturation around 95%. I got CO poisoning at a lampworking class several years ago. At the time my oxygen sats were 88%. FWIW, at that level one qualifies for medical oxygen - ironically, the original intended use of our concentrators!! It took me about a week to get over the carbon monoxide poisoning - during that time I was using my oxycon intermittently to help with my oxysats.

Also during my investigation I learned that there are 2 basic tests for heavy metals. One is a simple, but not very accurate, hair test. You mail in several strands and they test it for metals. (I didn't do that). The second is a 24 hour urine test (which BTW is a royal PITA). You pee into a container for a full 24 hours. Yup. All of it. Then send it to the lab. My tests were normal BTW.

Back when I started this thread I had a 550 CFM ventilation system which didn't have a very good collector. About a year ago I did a major upgrade to a 650 CFM system with a better collector. The collector is the part above the flame that actually 'catches' the gasses and funnels them to the fan to be exhausted outdoors. With my cystic fibrosis I'm the canary in the coalmine! If my vent wasn't top notch I'd be the first to notice it. ~Juliet
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  #34  
Old 2009-12-30, 3:50pm
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I bought a Dalton squirrel cage two speed fan 545/750 cfm today for $260. I also got two sheets of 18 gauge steel, Im a good welder so im gonna build my own vent with enclosed baffle sides all the way down to my work bench the Mike Aurelius web site was a wealth of information thanks for the link. Gonna start in the morning and Im not turning the torch on till I get this resolved thanks again everyone for setting me straight. Life is too short to kill oneself doing something you enjoy.

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  #35  
Old 2009-12-31, 12:01am
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Originally Posted by s38hyler View Post
I think I might have metal poisoning too. I have been going to the doctor for about a month now and she couldn't figure out what is wrong with me, she had done x-rays of my spine all the way up and down, Blood pressure, a EKG, a heart monitor, complete blood work for sugar, cholesterol and thyroid, and several other things like being low on potassium, and other stuff. Everything is fine, except a little degeneration in the disk in my neck.

What has been happening is I am in a headache, fog, dizzy, drunk feeling, tired, weak, don't feel like doing anything, can't remember anything, can't concentrate. I also have had numbness and cramping in both my legs and my arm and my legs go weak, it started after I started doing boro, I thought I was venting well enough but it is funny all this happened in at least 3 weeks of starting boro, I burnt my finger and had to take a break from it for 2 weeks and felt better during that time. Then when my finger healed I went back to boro and it started back worse, so I told the doctor about how I felt she can't find anything but wants to do a CT scan and a MRI. I went to her today and insisted on having a heavy metal test, I had talked to my cousin who is a doctor and he said to get her to do a heavy metal test, let just say she wasn't happy about it but she did it, she would only do a blood test, she didn't know of any others and they had to call a lab to find out how to do the blood test as they have never tested anyone for heavy metals. I told her I wanted the urine test, she said there wasn't one. I figure she is mad because I talked to my cousin but she wasn't finding anything out and when I said something about the glass doing it she said it wouldn't without even listening to how I worked with it. She said that my kidneys and liver function would have came back bad if it were and they didn't.

I don't know if the blood test will show anything I haven't lamp worked since Friday, today is Monday, and the headache has pretty much gone away and head feels clearer. I think she was upset because I had talked to my cousin the doctor I just don't know. I hope this is it as I don't want anything wrong in my head causing it that might be worse than metal poisoning.
I am sure you have figured out weather or not this is metal poisoning by now, but if you are still baffling doctors this sounds a lot like Fibromyalgia symptoms as well (I am one of the 'lucky' .3% of the male population that suffers from this disease). Ventilation is very important don't get me wrong, but I suffered from most all of the symptoms you discribed here long before I ever lit a torch, and afaik i have not been exposed to heavy metals prior to this (minus some mercury when i was a kid but that was not direct exposure). The problem with fibro is while it is becoming a lot more well known in the medical comunity there is only a physical exam to determine diagnosis, and normally it is only diagnosed by process of elimination. Basically they poke you in certian spots on your back, arms, legs to see if you have 'trigger points' or 'tender points' that are extremely over sensitive, depending on the doctor they may assess diagnosis based on the number of these points you have or other factors. I truly hope that this is not the case and that you have figured out something else, because fibro is a wicked mistress, speaking from 5 years experience it is the last thing you want to hear your doctor say but if all else fails it is a possibility and may give a name to the suffering. If it turns out though that this is the case, i can point you in the direction of a lot of helpful info on the subject.
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  #36  
Old 2009-12-31, 12:20pm
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Hi Debbie, I just saw you post, I don't have any photos of my set up because we moved and now I will have ventilation when I get everything set back up, if that ever happens LOL So much to do here that I haven't had time to set up my table and so many boxes that I don't have a place to sit the table, I have been going through things to see if there is anything I will part with to goodwill or the dump. LOL My other ISP I didn't get mail half the time, this one is better.
Sandra
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  #37  
Old 2009-12-31, 12:23pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by absinthestudio View Post
What about being outside (basically, I'm in a screened in porch) when torching, is that good enuf to not need exhaust fan? I have a fan beside me that blows on me and the flame area. Scared now after reading this !

Wish I had a good answer. As Juliet points out, it's important to have a good collector (like a hood) coupled with a good fan to most efficiently suck the fumes away from your face. Working outside, the air currents around you aren't controlled and can blow fumes back in your face. You're helping to overcome that problem with the fan you are using. Aside from that, you may still be breathing some of the fumes and be exposed to some of the heavy metals from the glass. Hard to say with an outdoor set up. May sound silly, but if it were me working outside, I might be inclined to set up a hood and fan, anyway, as if I were indoors, and run a short length of vent ducting to ensure that the fumes get pushed well away from me. Having a fan behind/to the side might still be a good idea. To first order, working outside has to be better than indoors because it eliminates the risk of fumes collecting. Beyond that, I'd love to hear what others think about making an outside set-up as safe as possible.

Juliet - I'm glad your heavy metals tests came back normal. It would have been tough to have had that concern on top of your other challenges.

Linda
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  #38  
Old 2009-12-31, 12:29pm
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Well I have figured out a few of the problems, I need B12 bad, I am up to taking 2000mcg's a day, My head and all the other symptoms have went away. I did have a metal test, and the doctor got upset about me insisting on having one, I did show up with 3 of the 5 metals she tested for but not dangerously high, they were within the safe area. I found out about the B12 on my own, I had asked her if I could be B12 deficient and she said she didn't think so. I went and bought some over the counter thinking that I would see if it made me feel any better, within a week of taking them I had no symtoms and felt so much better, I told one of the other doctors there about it when I went in for a sick visit, he didn't say much. So hopefully that was it, it didn't help that I didn't have good ventilation LOL I will now when I get my torch set up again.
Sandra
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  #39  
Old 2009-12-31, 2:18pm
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Good to hear, thought i would throw that out there though just in case.
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  #40  
Old 2009-12-31, 8:52pm
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Don't think I didn't think of that too. LOL I went on the webmd sites and scared myself to death. LOL
Sandra
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  #41  
Old 2010-01-01, 7:35am
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Got my hood built and installed yesterday 10 inch exshaust with 10 inch intake. Electrician was here at 8 am to wire me up. Now I have a new problem. Within seconds the Temp inside my shop dropped to 38 degrees. It was 40 degrees outdoors so my vent is actually creating a 'wind chill factor' lol. Got on three sets of clothing and heading to the torch in a few. Ill update this in afew days to let you know if the Running nose issue and headaches have stopped.

Pete aka worlds worst spelker
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  #42  
Old 2010-01-01, 8:43am
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Sandra, you might want to throw some D3 into your vitamin regime too. It made a huge difference for me.

I take two 2000iu tablets from Costco.
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  #43  
Old 2010-01-01, 11:23am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodywood143 View Post
Got my hood built and installed yesterday 10 inch exshaust with 10 inch intake. Electrician was here at 8 am to wire me up. Now I have a new problem. Within seconds the Temp inside my shop dropped to 38 degrees. It was 40 degrees outdoors so my vent is actually creating a 'wind chill factor' lol. Got on three sets of clothing and heading to the torch in a few. Ill update this in afew days to let you know if the Running nose issue and headaches have stopped.

Pete aka worlds worst spelker
That got me laughing! When I turned the fan on my bigger station, and before I'd gotten the sides installed, it not only cleaned off the left-over construction dust on my workbench, it also cleaned my garage floor for me.

Linda
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  #44  
Old 2010-01-01, 1:18pm
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Hi Juliet, Where are you in Annapolis? Mill Creek in St. Margarts? I can't belive there is another lampworker here in Annapolis, and I think you live real close to me. I am in the Cape. Dolly
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  #45  
Old 2010-01-02, 4:23pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodywood143 View Post
Got my hood built and installed yesterday 10 inch exshaust with 10 inch intake. Electrician was here at 8 am to wire me up. Now I have a new problem. Within seconds the Temp inside my shop dropped to 38 degrees. It was 40 degrees outdoors so my vent is actually creating a 'wind chill factor' lol. Got on three sets of clothing and heading to the torch in a few. Ill update this in afew days to let you know if the Running nose issue and headaches have stopped.

Pete aka worlds worst spelker
This is a good sign! I almost got frostbitten hands today while working at the torch!
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  #46  
Old 2010-01-03, 8:38am
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Hi Juliet, Where are you in Annapolis? Mill Creek in St. Margarts? I can't belive there is another lampworker here in Annapolis, and I think you live real close to me. I am in the Cape. Dolly
Hi Dolly, That's cool! I'm off the Magothy, just across from AACC. Are you a member of SGBMA? Our next meeting is coming up soon! Link in my sig. ~Juliet
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  #47  
Old 2010-01-03, 6:34pm
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Debbie,
What is D3 I have never heard of it before.
Sandra
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  #48  
Old 2010-01-05, 6:08am
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Today is the first day I woke without a running nose. No headaches after torching and I can feel the tips of my fingers. I was definatly poisoning myself , new vent makes a world of difference. Thanks for the advice

Pete
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  #49  
Old 2010-01-05, 8:14am
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Glad you feel better!!!!!

Linda
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  #50  
Old 2010-01-05, 8:15am
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Debbie,
What is D3 I have never heard of it before.
Sandra
Vitamin D, it's been a major issue for me this year, too. There is Vitamin D3 and Vitamin D2, D3 is the one you want to take.

Vitamin D is actually not a vitamin but a hormone, and it is extremely important in helping to regulate all the other hormones in your system. It's starting to get a lot attention in the medical sector lately. I had some pretty sever symptoms, but the one that surprised me the most was when I had started to have fibromyalgia, and it cleared it up.
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  #51  
Old 2010-01-05, 7:53pm
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I thought that vit d was from getting out into the sunlight and milk. I never knew that there were 3 of them I have only seen one just vit d at the stores. I will have to check around to see about finding some. If you know of anything else that I can try let me know.
thanks,
Sandra
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  #52  
Old 2010-01-05, 9:12pm
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Hi,
I'm new to this site. I've been making beads for about 4 years now using mostly Effetre glass. I have an oxy/propane set up with hood ventilation and an open door.

I've recently taken a toxic metals test (by taking DMPS pills and then collecting my pee for 6 hrs.. which, let me tell you, is a very weird experience).

Anyhoo, turns out my Aluminum and Uranium levels are high. At first I can't figure out where I'm getting it from.. and then I read in the test results that Uranium may be present in colored glass. Ah ha!

So here I am, and I see that I am not the only one. I think forums such as these are extremely important to educate ourselves to the dangers of our profession. And I would be interested to see if more of you share similar test results.

Cheers, and keep safe,
Pam Reed

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  #53  
Old 2010-01-06, 7:54am
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http://www.lampworketc.com/forums/sh...72#post2812472
some stuff in this thread about compounds added to glass might be of intrest to you Pamreed

Pete
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  #54  
Old 2010-01-07, 9:34pm
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Thanks Pete..
Looks like my ventilation system just wasn't good enough.

Cheers
Pam
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  #55  
Old 2010-01-08, 5:29am
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For help with improving your ventilation, one of my favorite websites is

http://mikeaurelius.wordpress.com/ventilation-primer/

Another great safety resource with information on ventilation is

www.artglassanswers.com/

You need to sign up as a member to see the pics and diagrams on this one - well worth it.

Linda
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  #56  
Old 2010-01-08, 5:41am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodywood143 View Post
Now I have a new problem. Within seconds the Temp inside my shop dropped to 38 degrees. It was 40 degrees outdoors so my vent is actually creating a 'wind chill factor' lol.

Pete aka worlds worst spelker
If you put in a replacement air system coming in under your table that could help with the 'wind chill' factor. Also it's a really good idea - essential actually.
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  #57  
Old 2010-01-08, 8:43pm
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Pam
How did you get your doctor to do the test on you, when I asked for a heavy metal test she didn't even know how to order one and it was 500.00 and she did a blood test that only tested for 5 metals, I asked her about a pee test and she didn't know about it or just didn't want to do it. Seems she got upset when I asked her for the metal test when I was having problems so bad in May. I bet that I would have tested higher but she was mad because I insisted on the test.
Thanks,
Sandra
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  #58  
Old 2010-01-13, 8:25pm
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Quote:
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If you put in a replacement air system coming in under your table that could help with the 'wind chill' factor. Also it's a really good idea - essential actually.
I prefer my makeup air coming from behind me to push the fumes from the torch away from my face. I have looked at the type of system you are talking about and I just don't think it would work as well for me.
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  #59  
Old 2010-01-19, 5:37pm
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hmmmm I had a blood test a while ago and my Copper levels were super high....could this be from lampworking?

I just set up my midrange again in my garage and tried to torch the other night with the big huge double door open next to me. Well lets just say I am going to look at exhaust fans at the local hydroponics shop tomorrow. I felt awful. I was confused, my vision was a little blurry, my legs felt like the didn't work properly, I was tight in the chest and it felt like I was going to go to the toilet in my pants (don't worry I didn't!)....I get panic attacks so it is hard to tell how much was anxiety and how much was the fumes but it was soooooo scary and I don't ever want to feel like that again.
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Old 2010-01-19, 8:18pm
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hmmmm I had a blood test a while ago and my Copper levels were super high....could this be from lampworking?

I just set up my midrange again in my garage and tried to torch the other night with the big huge double door open next to me. Well lets just say I am going to look at exhaust fans at the local hydroponics shop tomorrow. I felt awful. I was confused, my vision was a little blurry, my legs felt like the didn't work properly, I was tight in the chest and it felt like I was going to go to the toilet in my pants (don't worry I didn't!)....I get panic attacks so it is hard to tell how much was anxiety and how much was the fumes but it was soooooo scary and I don't ever want to feel like that again.
Do you use copper inclusions in your beads? If so, that could contribute to your high levels, and possibly some of your symptoms. There has only been one other LE member I'm aware of who also specifically posted about having tested high for copper. After she had started feeling bad, she had herself tested for heavy metals and reported having surprisingly high copper levels. She then had her workstation tested - it sounded like she had a film of copper deposited everywhere. She said that she'd been working extensively with copper inclusions in her beads over a period of time. Given that copper 'fumes' in much the same way as gold or silver in the flame, I think she concluded that the copper that had been burning off in the flame as she worked deposited everywhere as it cooled, and that her ventilation had not been anywhere near good enough to protect her.

Copper, as you might know, is fairly easily absorbed and can become extremely toxic beyond a certain limit. If you are, indeed, using copper inclusions, you should have an absolutely superb ventilation system and probably take other precautions as well. If I remember right this other LE member posted that she had to stop working with copper in her beads and that it took her a long time to feel better.

Like copper, a number of other metals that are perfectly safe and innocuous at room temperature can become equally hazardous when heated in the torch, something which is so easy to forget, or perhaps not know. For example, the skeleton keys that are so popular as bases for gorgeous beads can come coated with zinc (another bad actor), nickel or be comprised of brass (of which copper is a significant constituent).

This has been a valuable thread, and I'm glad to see continued interest. Juliet started a great topic with how to check our health with respect to heavy metals. The natural question that goes along with it is how we come to be exposed to heavy metals in our lampworking, and whether some techniques carry an unusally high risk level.

Linda
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