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UER Forum > UE Main > Death by Asbestos (Viewed 10363 times)
Ground State 


Location: Ontario, Canada
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Death by Asbestos
< on 5/30/2015 12:04 PM >
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You guys and gals out there that always wear masks when you explore are so very responsible, and my hat goes off to you. I tend to get complacent as location after location come to pass. But I got a stern warning a few weeks ago from my camera, and thought I would share it with you as a little nudge that hopefully pushes a few of you over the edge into mask-wearing territory!!

Good ventilation here: a nice, bright day, a light breeze, lots of open holes and windows. No need to worry...


001


I realized I completely blew the white balance out and tried again with the flash firing, inadvertently revealing the culprit floating the air. Son of a bitch!


002


On closer inspection, there was asbestos insulation found everywhere throughout the location. The worst part is I even had my mask with me!! Redundantly, I put it on for the rest of the explore. But I already feel that after a few years of stupidly not wearing a P-100 routinely enough, it is already too late for me.

Death by Asbestos by Ground State Photos, on Flickr

I hope it was worth it going here. Since I've signed my death warrant, let me at least shamelessly promote the exploration thread. It was a exceptional location - an old nudist resort in southern Ontario. I simply had to get here and investigate the history of this sultry (haha?) photo:



If interested, check it out. But it is a long thread, with a
definite * NSFW * warning:

http://www.uer.ca/...urrpage=1&pp#post0





[last edit 5/30/2015 12:15 PM by Ground State - edited 1 times]

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jeepdave 


Location: Anderson, SC
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It's also a gun.

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Re: Death by Asbestos
< Reply # 1 on 5/30/2015 5:03 PM >
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That looks like rot wool insulation.




Ezekiel 25:17
Harvestman 


Location: Somewhere in SORTA/TANK Territory!
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Everything about me has a poker face.

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Re: Death by Asbestos
< Reply # 2 on 5/30/2015 7:13 PM >
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Agreed...a place I went to had a bunch of abated asbestos lying around (an entire room of it, in fact!). I recall it being dark gray or black and looking somewhat like styrofoam or burnt wood. Fairly certain this is just loose insulation.

Also that clock is pretty cool.



[last edit 5/30/2015 7:14 PM by Harvestman - edited 1 times]

Oh good, my slow clap processor made it into this thing.
Jac Steel 


Location: Detroit
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Architecture student (for the record)

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Re: Death by Asbestos
< Reply # 3 on 5/30/2015 7:28 PM >
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Since I've signed my death warrant...


Shit man, you scared me into reading all the asbestos related threads on here! I guess I should invest in a respirator of some kind too...




There's the crazy one, the photographer, and me, the driver, a mix of both. And we're a pretty kickass team if I do say so myself.
DJ Craig 

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Re: Death by Asbestos
< Reply # 4 on 5/30/2015 7:45 PM >
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Actual dangerous asbestos particles are far too small to see without a microscope.

http://www.enginee...e-sizes-d_934.html

Still though, always good to have a reminder about this!




"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go..." -Dr. Suess
Ground State 


Location: Ontario, Canada
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Re: Death by Asbestos
< Reply # 5 on 5/30/2015 8:26 PM >
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Thanks for the advice - I'm trying to think back to the last few times I had a scare now, and I'm maybe I do still have a second chance. I've actually been thinking about it a lot because my sense of smell has decline rapidly in the last few years. I hope not to chalk it up to this hobby, as I also have a profession that has been known in the past for smell loss too.



[last edit 5/30/2015 8:27 PM by Ground State - edited 1 times]

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DJ Craig 

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Re: Death by Asbestos
< Reply # 6 on 5/30/2015 8:42 PM >
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Asbestos causes a type of cancer called mesothelioma, which develops decades after exposure. It doesn't have any type of short-term or immediately noticeable symptoms. Of course, the dust and other crap in the air in abandonments probably isn't the greatest for you either, and that may have more immediate symptoms if you're sensitive to it.




"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go..." -Dr. Suess
DJ Craig 

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Re: Death by Asbestos
< Reply # 7 on 5/30/2015 8:45 PM >
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"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go..." -Dr. Suess
Explorer Zero 


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Re: Death by Asbestos
< Reply # 8 on 5/30/2015 9:01 PM >
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Posted by jeepdave
That looks like rot wool insulation.


it may in fact be rotten but its not "rot" wool its rock wool

http://www.homedep...-Wool/N-5yc1vZboco

in the past some brands probably contained asbestos




Aran 


Location: Grand Junction, CO
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Huh. I guess covid made me a trendsetter.

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Re: Death by Asbestos
< Reply # 9 on 5/31/2015 1:57 AM >
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Is asbestos even a risk for us, realistically speaking? I've heard contradictory information about it.

I know that the two ways it is dangerous is if you are chronically or acutely exposed to it.

That being said, would visiting abandonments a few times a month even be enough to be considered risky? It doesn't seem like enough exposure to be considered chronic, and so long as your not snorting it, it shouldn't be enough to be considered acute, right?

Sorry, just want to figure out exactly how many precautions I should consider taking.




"Sorry, I didn't know I'm not supposed to be here," he said, knowing full well he wasn't supposed to be there.

Ganesha 

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Re: Death by Asbestos
< Reply # 10 on 5/31/2015 5:07 AM >
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My opinion; a small risk of a catastrophe is hard to evaluate. Only after it strikes do you understand how bad it is. Ask Steed for his advice. You probably won't like the answer.





"The beauty of mediocrity is that anything can make you better." -Jeff Mallett
catdog23 


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Re: Death by Asbestos
< Reply # 11 on 5/31/2015 5:42 AM >
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Posted by Aran
Is asbestos even a risk for us, realistically speaking? I've heard contradictory information about it.

I know that the two ways it is dangerous is if you are chronically or acutely exposed to it.

That being said, would visiting abandonments a few times a month even be enough to be considered risky? It doesn't seem like enough exposure to be considered chronic, and so long as your not snorting it, it shouldn't be enough to be considered acute, right?

Sorry, just want to figure out exactly how many precautions I should consider taking.


This always bugged me too because many explorers seem to have a deathly fear of the stuff that seemed a little extreme to me. After consulting medical literature as well as government reports here are my findings:

There are two kinds of asbestos exposure, primary and secondary. Primary is dealing with harvesting it, manufacturing with it, and demolitions of buildings that contain it [1]. Secondary is dealing with it in your daily environment. The people who are most likely to develop asbestosis are those who have long term primary exposure at high levels [2].

I interpret this to mean that it's analogous to smoking in a lot of ways: you need high exposure over a long period of time in order to dramatically increase your risk of chronic illness.

This report by the Health Effects Institute shows your odds of developing an asbestos related ailment is extremely low (never exceeding 0.0000006%) UNLESS you are working with it full time for decades at high industrial exposure levels where it goes up to 1 in 500 (historically being as high as 1 in 5) [3]. Not good odds.


That being said this is just what I've found, and a lot of the sources are from the 80's from when this was a large issue in the public eye. It's pretty hard to gauge exposure levels for urban explorers because abandoned buildings aren't usually up to code, though the emphasis for risk-mitigation is focused on avoiding long-term exposure at high levels.

My opinion is that asbestos is relatively low risk to explorers, but if you're exploring dusty decrepit locations you should still carry a respirator due to the myriad other fine particles and fungi that have more acute risks capable of compounding.


[1] http://www.ncbi.nl...ticles/PMC1271773/

[2] http://web.archive...res/20010916a.html

[3] http://pubs.health...org/view.php?id=13



[last edit 5/31/2015 7:26 PM by catdog23 - edited 2 times]

DomVisuals 


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Re: Death by Asbestos
< Reply # 12 on 6/2/2015 4:40 AM >
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I've never worn a respirator, I know some nasty shit can be in the air, but I just try not to stay in those places for too long.
Another thing is, I'm not even certain the buildings I'm going into have any asbestos. Primarily, I am in abandoned grain elevators/silos. They are pretty much empty except for pigeon shit (which I know can also be bad to breathe), and built nearly entirely of cement.




mookster 


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Re: Death by Asbestos
< Reply # 13 on 6/2/2015 10:16 AM >
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The word 'asbestos' strikes fear into many explorers minds.

It's important to remember that the most commonly used asbestos fibres, the 'white' asbestos used in lots of places as pipe cladding, building sheeting, tiles etc is safe if it is still intact, undisturbed and not messed around with. If it has been broken up but the air is damp, the fibres will more than likely be trapped at ground level and so provided you don't disturb the ground around it it should stay there. It's also important to remember that even if you take a respirator with you into somewhere you know there is likely to be loose asbestos floating around the place, those fibres will stick to your clothes and shoes also, which means as soon as you take the respirator off you are still at risk of exposure if you don't change your clothes and seal them up.

Blue and brown asbestos is the very dangerous stuff but the chances of finding that inside an abandonment is pretty slim.

Bird guano is more of an immediate risk to be worrying about than asbestos which is where a respirator really does come in handy.

This photo, taken by me at the end of 2009 in a pitch black asylum service tunnel shows the sort of broken up asbestos you need to be worried about. Not the best thing to see in the camera flash!




[last edit 6/2/2015 10:18 AM by mookster - edited 1 times]

budda 


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Re: Death by Asbestos
< Reply # 14 on 6/2/2015 4:22 PM >
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Posted by Harvestman
Agreed...a place I went to had a bunch of abated asbestos lying around (an entire room of it, in fact!). I recall it being dark gray or black and looking somewhat like styrofoam or burnt wood. Fairly certain this is just loose insulation.

Also that clock is pretty cool.


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Caroleyene 


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Re: Death by Asbestos
< Reply # 15 on 6/4/2015 5:08 PM >
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Thanks! I am horrible when it comes to wearing a mask. I always have it in my car, but never wear it. Maybe I will think twice now.




DJ Craig 

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Re: Death by Asbestos
< Reply # 16 on 6/4/2015 5:32 PM >
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Posted by Caroleyene
Thanks! I am horrible when it comes to wearing a mask. I always have it in my car, but never wear it. Maybe I will think twice now.


I, too, hate wearing a mask, and almost never do. But here's why you should:
http://www.uer.ca/...sp?threadid=104366




"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go..." -Dr. Suess
DescentOnARope 


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Re: Death by Asbestos
< Reply # 17 on 6/4/2015 10:04 PM >
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...aaaand I just ordered a pair of respirators.




Shade-Link 


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Re: Death by Asbestos
< Reply # 18 on 6/7/2015 7:26 PM >
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I really need to pick up a respirator. I don't think many of the places I've explored have much asbestos but one of the water treatment plants I went to wrecked my lungs for a while. Always good to get a reminder about the dangers, hope you do well!




Archer 


Location: Toronto, ON
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Re: Death by Asbestos
< Reply # 19 on 6/7/2015 9:50 PM >
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For those looking into getting a respirator, I personally use a North 7700 Half Mask. The mask itself isn't bad, but the cartridges can be pricey ($10 a pair for P100 filters, about $20 a pair for anything else).

I generally opt for the P100 + organic vapour cartridges on mine.




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"We live in a twilight world... and there are no friends at dusk."
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