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UER Mobile > Rookie Forum > DANGEROUS CHEMICAL FUMES YOU CANT SMELL THAT CAN HARM YOU (Viewed 3263 times)

post by THWN2   |  | 
DANGEROUS CHEMICAL FUMES YOU CANT SMELL THAT CAN HARM YOU
< on 1/31/2022 2:00 AM >

Many old industrial sites have chemicals that are in the ground that off gas to
the surface such as; PCE,TCE,PCBs,PATROLEUM,PFOS,PFOA & PFAS. Many of these are FOREVER CHEMICALS which is not good at all. I wasnt aware of this untill i picked up the paper one day. In schools,large apartment buildings, government buildings,hospitals,office buildings, dorms & commercial buildings ect built between 1950-1978 theres a chance they use CAULKING around windows,doorways,expansion joints & the interior that can contain VERY HIGH levels of POLYCHLORINATED BIPHENYLS A.K.A. PCBs. They are having many problems with health issues in the public schools because of this caulking off gassing . They also used this potent CARCINOGEN/ENDORCRINE DISRUPTOR in ADHESIVES, FIBERGLASS PIPE INSULATION & BATTING,STYROFOAM INSULATION,CORK, ACOUSTIC TILES,ROOFING,ect.
Google BURLINGTON VT HIGH SCHOOL PCB and you will find they are going to have to build a new high school because the old one has EXTENSIVE PCB CONTAMINATION.Also
Google PCB containing building materials.
They are saying PCBs are the new asbestos. Ive seen exploits of hospitals ect that are still sealed {no broken windows}. It might be a good idea to get a respirator thats good for PCBS and the other above mentioned chemicals. I thought PCBs were in capacitors,light ballasts trasnsformers & old hydraulic systems and were pretty much a thing of the past in new situations, boy was i wrong.
I hope this helps this site.


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post by Mark   |  | Very Noble Donor

Re: DANGEROUS CHEMICAL FUMES YOU CANT SMELL THAT CAN HARM YOU
<Reply # 1 on 2/16/2022 4:57 PM >

I will add to this, be stupid careful around any plant that does paper professing. There are chemicals in that place that will eat you up very quickly. That stuff drips all over the place, and the fumes can get you if you are in confined areas.

Also old refineries and confined places can still have N2S which you can't smell and will drop you dead.



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post by dirtbagdav   |  | 
Re: DANGEROUS CHEMICAL FUMES YOU CANT SMELL THAT CAN HARM YOU
<Reply # 2 on 2/16/2022 5:49 PM >

Posted by Mark


Also old refineries and confined places can still have N2S which you can't smell and will drop you dead.




Ugghhh, I remember pipelining and having them teach us “You see your buddy go down, you run the other way. Don’t even try to save them”.

Fuck that stuff.




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post by DudeManDeuce   |  | 
Re: DANGEROUS CHEMICAL FUMES YOU CANT SMELL THAT CAN HARM YOU
<Reply # 3 on 2/16/2022 11:18 PM >

Would this filter protect against PCB?
https://www.amazon...itle?ie=UTF8&psc=1


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post by DrDeke   |  | 
Re: DANGEROUS CHEMICAL FUMES YOU CANT SMELL THAT CAN HARM YOU
<Reply # 4 on 11/2/2022 4:32 PM >

I think the main PCB inhalation risk comes from chronic exposure, not from transient exposure to low levels in the air:

https://www.ncbi.n...ticles/PMC4314250/

Still though, I certainly wouldn't go touching any transformers, ballasts, or any oils leaking out of them. Or _any_ oily substances in an abandonment for that matter.


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post by NeuroticMatt   |  | 
Re: DANGEROUS CHEMICAL FUMES YOU CANT SMELL THAT CAN HARM YOU
<Reply # 5 on 11/4/2022 1:58 PM >

Posted by dirtbagdav



Ugghhh, I remember pipelining and having them teach us “You see your buddy go down, you run the other way. Don’t even try to save them”.

Fuck that stuff.




I got caught in a HF Gas cloud years ago on an elevated catwalk, luckily for me the guy I was with had the "Fuck that" mentality and drug me out of it when he saw me going down.

That unit was shut down within the next year after two or three fatalities.


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post by Kabes   |  | 
Re: DANGEROUS CHEMICAL FUMES YOU CANT SMELL THAT CAN HARM YOU
<Reply # 6 on 11/4/2022 3:50 PM >

Hero


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post by dundertits   |  | 
Re: DANGEROUS CHEMICAL FUMES YOU CANT SMELL THAT CAN HARM YOU
<Reply # 7 on 11/4/2022 4:21 PM >

I was at Fostoria a long time ago. A lot of people went in there no problems, I went down to check out the kilns and hit the floor, couldn't breath right for 18 months....don't know what chemical it was....


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post by hoover 2   |  | 
Re: DANGEROUS CHEMICAL FUMES YOU CANT SMELL THAT CAN HARM YOU
<Reply # 8 on 5/6/2023 10:28 PM >

When you say dangerous chemical fumes, Does that include gases in sewers? I've explored a fair amount of sewers and I've never had any safety issues involving methane gases that can kill you. If that's the case, How would I know if there are bad methane gases in the sewers? How would it effect me?


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post by Aran   |  | 
Re: DANGEROUS CHEMICAL FUMES YOU CANT SMELL THAT CAN HARM YOU
<Reply # 9 on 5/8/2023 8:24 AM >

Posted by hoover 2
When you say dangerous chemical fumes, Does that include gases in sewers? I've explored a fair amount of sewers and I've never had any safety issues involving methane gases that can kill you. If that's the case, How would I know if there are bad methane gases in the sewers? How would it effect me?


Okay, this is going to be a long one but here's some valuable info you really should memorize if you're running around sewers. The two big gases to worry about are methane and hydrogen sulfide (H2S), both which form from the decomposition of organic matter- which means that the more stagnant a sewer is, the greater the chance for gas buildup.

Methane is incredibly explosive and can ignite when it makes up 5% of the surrounding air or more. Though it's not poisonous, it can displace the oxygen in the air and act as an asphyxiant- though you're more likely to blow yourself up long before you suffocate. Methane isn't usually a huge problem because it's lighter than air and thus tends to rise up out of manhole shafts and get displaced by fresh air, with the exception being long, deep passages that lack manholes or airflow.

H2S on the other hand is the gas all explorers fear. Unlike methane, H2S is heavier than air and thus settles into low points in an underground system where it might be difficult to climb back out if you enter and become affected by the gas. It's also explosive, but that's frankly irrelevant. H2S begins to affect you at 0.001%, knocks out your sense of smell at 0.01%, and is instantly lethal at 0.1% of the surrounding air. With an explosive point at 4%, you'll be dead several times over long before its flammable qualities become problematic.

Possible symptoms of bad air exposure include headache, nausea, loss of balance/coordination, confusion, shortness of breath, burning eyes/nose/mouth, dizziness, weakness, fatigue, and euphoria. Experiencing any one of these symptoms underground is a cause for alarm, and experiencing two or more should be a sign to instantly turn around and make your way to the exit as quickly as you can. Hell, some would say even at one symptom you turn around. These symptoms will increase in severity the longer you are exposed, making self-rescue drastically more difficult to the point of impossibility in some cases. This also covers carbon monoxide and dioxide poisoning, which are possible.

Environmental warning signs can include bubbles rising up from your footsteps in the mud, insects swarmed around vents/manhole covers, poor airflow, etc. The smell of rotting eggs is definitely cause for alarm, but if you stop smelling it after a while you should be even more alarmed (H2S knocks out your sense of smell as the concentration of gas increases, remember). Also, decaying leaves in storm drains can create a gas hazard just as much as decaying sewage in sewers.

Now, I recommend a gas meter if you can get your hands on one, but since they're pricey most explorers don't use one. I will say that even if you can do sewers without a meter (though it can be risky), mines are a different ballgame (even if they look similar) and many types should never be run without a gas meter regardless of experience.

[last edit 5/8/2023 8:27 AM by Aran - edited 1 times]

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post by MrBungle   |  | 
Re: DANGEROUS CHEMICAL FUMES YOU CANT SMELL THAT CAN HARM YOU
<Reply # 10 on 5/8/2023 1:40 PM >

Posted by Aran


Okay, this is going to be a long one but here's some valuable info you really should memorize if you're running around sewers.


Thanks for posting this, definitely going to invest in a gas meter soon.


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post by RescueMe1060   |  | 
Re: DANGEROUS CHEMICAL FUMES YOU CANT SMELL THAT CAN HARM YOU
<Reply # 11 on 5/8/2023 11:08 PM >

gas meters need to be calibrated and bump tested before every use


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post by hoover 2   |  | 
Re: DANGEROUS CHEMICAL FUMES YOU CANT SMELL THAT CAN HARM YOU
<Reply # 12 on 5/8/2023 11:41 PM >

Thanks for the help. I'm not sure if this is a good thing but since I've been exploring storm drains for 10+ years (sewers most recently)I've been enjoying that sewer smell and it doesn't effect me at all. I feel like I've gotten used to the sewer smell (both drains and sewers)to the point where I hardly smell it anymore. Is that a bad thing that I've gotten used to the sewer smell where it never effects me? I hope that doesn't weird anyone out (LOL). I really like the sewer smell. Is there anyone else that feels the same way about liking the sewer smell?


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post by Aran   |  | 
Re: DANGEROUS CHEMICAL FUMES YOU CANT SMELL THAT CAN HARM YOU
<Reply # 13 on 5/8/2023 11:47 PM >

Posted by hoover 2
Thanks for the help. I'm not sure if this is a good thing but since I've been exploring storm drains for 10+ years (sewers most recently)I've been enjoying that sewer smell and it doesn't effect me at all. I feel like I've gotten used to the sewer smell (both drains and sewers)to the point where I hardly smell it anymore. Is that a bad thing that I've gotten used to the sewer smell where it never effects me? I hope that doesn't weird anyone out (LOL). I really like the sewer smell. Is there anyone else that feels the same way about liking the sewer smell?


...Rumblebuns, is that you?

Anyway, no. There's a difference between sewer smell and actual poison gas. Granted, I'm extrapolating based on my encounters with bad air in storm drains and abandoned mines (which I do far more often than I do sewers) but the fundamentals are the same.

Posted by RescueMe1060
gas meters need to be calibrated and bump tested before every use


Yeah, that's true. But calibration is expensive. Out in Colorado we mostly just calibrate maybe once every year or two and play things a little more cautiously to account for that. The gas meters have still saved spelunkers despite the fact we're not really using them "properly".

[last edit 5/8/2023 11:49 PM by Aran - edited 2 times]

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post by RescueMe1060   |  | 
Re: DANGEROUS CHEMICAL FUMES YOU CANT SMELL THAT CAN HARM YOU
<Reply # 14 on 5/9/2023 4:36 AM >

I would look for a place locally that can calibrate before an explore. Most of us aren't exploring every single day....if you are you're probably homeless or a scrapper


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post by MrBungle   |  | 
Re: DANGEROUS CHEMICAL FUMES YOU CANT SMELL THAT CAN HARM YOU
<Reply # 15 on 5/9/2023 1:48 PM >

Posted by Aran


...Rumblebuns, is that you?



Rumble made it onto UER it seems


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post by hoover 2   |  | 
Re: DANGEROUS CHEMICAL FUMES YOU CANT SMELL THAT CAN HARM YOU
<Reply # 16 on 5/11/2023 8:13 AM >

Posted by Aran


...Rumblebuns, is that you?

Anyway, no. There's a difference between sewer smell and actual poison gas. Granted, I'm extrapolating based on my encounters with bad air in storm drains and abandoned mines (which I do far more often than I do sewers) but the fundamentals are the same.



Yeah, that's true. But calibration is expensive. Out in Colorado we mostly just calibrate maybe once every year or two and play things a little more cautiously to account for that. The gas meters have still saved spelunkers despite the fact we're not really using them "properly".


Yes that's me Rumblebuns but on here I'm Hoover 2 (LOL). Thanks for the help.


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post by hoover 2   |  | 
Re: DANGEROUS CHEMICAL FUMES YOU CANT SMELL THAT CAN HARM YOU
<Reply # 17 on 5/11/2023 8:14 AM >

Posted by MrBungle


Rumble made it onto UER it seems


Yes that's right, it's me Rumblebuns (on here it's Hoover 2) (LOL).


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post by hoover 2   |  | 
Re: DANGEROUS CHEMICAL FUMES YOU CANT SMELL THAT CAN HARM YOU
<Reply # 18 on 5/11/2023 8:19 AM >

I actually take a week off work to go exploring in the summer. I would go exploring everyday but I have other stuff to do too (LOL) The most I've explored in a week (besides a week of vacation) is 4 days, maybe 5 days a week. I don't get to explore sewers very often because it's hard to find other people who want to get poopy like I do (LOL).


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post by wijim   |  | This member has been banned. See the banlist for more information.

Re: DANGEROUS CHEMICAL FUMES YOU CANT SMELL THAT CAN HARM YOU
<Reply # 19 on 8/10/2023 4:52 PM >

It's crucial to raise awareness about the potential hazards associated with these chemicals and their presence in building materials, especially in structures built between 1950 and 1978. Proper remediation and mitigation efforts are necessary to protect the health and well-being of individuals who live, work, or study in these buildings.

The comparison of PCBs to asbestos is significant, as both substances have been linked to severe health problems and have prompted large-scale efforts to remove and manage them. It's important for relevant authorities, such as government agencies and educational institutions, to take appropriate actions to address PCB contamination and ensure the safety of occupants.


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