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UER Forum > Archived UE Main > A message for explorers from the Asbestos cancer center. (Viewed 1783 times)
Freak 


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A message for explorers from the Asbestos cancer center.
< on 12/15/2008 3:21 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
I got an interesting email from a fellow at the Mesothelioma Cancer Center the other day (Mesothelioma is what you get from Asbestos).

Hi ,
My name is James Semczuk, and I’m the National Awareness Coordinator for the Mesothelioma Cancer Center. While I was browsing through a number of health and asbestos related sites I stumbled across an old forum post dealing with asbestos concerns among some urban explorers. As you are probably aware, before 1980 asbestos was used in a wide variety of building materials and exposure to this toxic material can lead to a very aggressive and deadly form of cancer called Mesothelioma. Since Urban Exploration deals with such a large variety structures that can and often do contain asbestos, I figured you might interested including us in your resources section, the Mesothelioma Cancer Center.

<email and phone number removed due to search engine trolling, look him up if you want to talk to him>
Sincerely,

James Semczuk


I replied:

Hi James, thanks for the information. I don't often update that website anymore, but I can pass along your info to some Urban Exploration forums I'm a member of. The awareness and education of explorers regarding such hazards varies quite a bit. Some people use asbestos-rated respirators in hazardous locations, others use ineffective paper masks, and some people use nothing. Personally I have used respirators when I know insulation material may be disturbed, but I am probably not as diligent as I should be.

Here's an interesting (scary?) photo I took at a former air force missile site a few years ago. It's become a bit of a joke now that "We choose Rhodesia for all our Asbestos needs":

http://freak.minim...it/summitifc31.jpg


And got another one back:

Thanks for taking the time to read my email. Wow, you’re right about that picture. That’s amazing yet quite unnerving at the same time to find something like that lying around! I’m going to have to show that to my co-workers. That would be great of you if you could pass along the information, I’d appreciate it.

I’m very glad you wear a respirator. I can’t currently say what the best methodology would be for staying safe with asbestos in regards to urban exploration, but I know asbestos removal workers will wear full hazard suits, with goggles respirators and gloves etc because it can get into your clothes and you or others can be exposed later. http://www.asbesto...ement/required.php . Mind you depending on the building, how the asbestos was being used, and the level of deterioration of the asbestos containing materials it could range from being not very dangerous at all to being extremely dangerous. So obviously avoid it altogether if you can, but if you are going into a contaminated area protect yourself to the fullest extent possible.

Anyways, thanks again and stay safe.



Now I know there's a lot of explorers who wear respirators at all times, even in drains, outdoors, in bed, etc. There's also a lot of people who never wear respirators at all, in part because "Only UER n00bs do it". Popularity aside, they're well worth having for anything with known or suspected asbestos(anything over about 20 years old).

If you think you're "too cool" for a respirator, or if you think that respirators are cool, but maybe don't know the other steps to take (like changing the filters, washing your clothes separately, etc), then take a look at the info on that website. www.asbestos.com It might surprise you what other products commonly contain it (cieling tiles, bricks, drywall), how long it stays airborne when disturbed, and how easily it sticks to your clothes and comes home to visit your family.

Turn off the internet and go play outside.
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yokes 


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Re: A message for explorers from the Asbestos cancer center.
<Reply # 1 on 12/15/2008 3:32 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Definitely good infomation. That was very nice of them to send it along.

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goblinmerchant 


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Re: A message for explorers from the Asbestos cancer center.
<Reply # 2 on 12/15/2008 3:57 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
You mean my bandanna is not enough protection

This is great information. It would be good to have it for tetanus, lead paint, and other common safety concerns when exploring.

Goblinmerchant

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hombre_mosca 


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Re: A message for explorers from the Asbestos cancer center.
<Reply # 3 on 12/15/2008 4:37 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
wow. thats good information. if abatement crews use full body suits and stuff, im glad i modded my mask to accept new style cartridges.


eyes and ears and mouths. very important to protect. i would gladly look like a "n00b" if it means i get to live just that much longer.....

maybe we should get this moved into the rookie forum as well?

Emma Peel 


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Re: A message for explorers from the Asbestos cancer center.
<Reply # 4 on 12/15/2008 4:37 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Damn, Freak. You get all the good e-mails. This is great, thanks for posting it.

Sorry, I probably forgot my <sarcasm> tags.
Steed 


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Re: A message for explorers from the Asbestos cancer center.
<Reply # 5 on 12/15/2008 9:33 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
I don't wear a respirator, simply because I know how much asbestos I'm exposed to on a regular subway trip. It is always good to know the risks and how to reduce exposure, or just be like me and resign yourself to leaving a pretty corpse.

metalwitch40 


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Re: A message for explorers from the Asbestos cancer center.
<Reply # 6 on 12/16/2008 1:00 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Thanks for sharing that!

The more things change, the more they stay the same
fedge 


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Re: A message for explorers from the Asbestos cancer center.
<Reply # 7 on 12/16/2008 1:28 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Joke: how do you get rid of asbestos in your building? Fly a couple jets into them.

18-odd Years Of UER-ing!
Emma Peel 


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Re: A message for explorers from the Asbestos cancer center.
<Reply # 8 on 12/16/2008 2:04 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Posted by fedge
Joke: how do you get rid of asbestos in your building? Fly a couple jets into them.


Not so funny, really.

Sorry, I probably forgot my <sarcasm> tags.
willskith 


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Re: A message for explorers from the Asbestos cancer center.
<Reply # 9 on 12/16/2008 2:49 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Posted by Emma Peel


Not so funny, really.

I chuckled...
[last edit 12/16/2008 2:50 AM by willskith - edited 1 times]

grit your teeth in the face of fear. self repression is the true sign of a coward, toss your inhibitions to the wind.
junkyard 


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Re: A message for explorers from the Asbestos cancer center.
<Reply # 10 on 12/16/2008 3:31 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
I don't give a rat's ass about something I can't spell. It has been used for years and like PCB's has yet to kill me. And I ate my share of fish out of Lake Michigan growing up. Nobody lives forever and I sure as hell don't want to live that long. It's all just scare tactics.

I drink gasoline for breakfeast and beer for dinner!
Any problem can be licked with a case of beer and a few sticks of dynamite.
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willskith 


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Re: A message for explorers from the Asbestos cancer center.
<Reply # 11 on 12/16/2008 3:48 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Posted by junkyard
It's all just scare tactics.

...to make easy money for lawyers and the respective victims in todays increasingly sue-happy world

grit your teeth in the face of fear. self repression is the true sign of a coward, toss your inhibitions to the wind.
Shawn W. 


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Re: A message for explorers from the Asbestos cancer center.
<Reply # 12 on 12/16/2008 5:57 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Posted by willskith

I chuckled...

You would.

What is a rebel? A man who says no. - Albert Camus
Ardamass 


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Re: A message for explorers from the Asbestos cancer center.
<Reply # 13 on 12/16/2008 6:53 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
wow thx for posting this it really makes one think.
I don't use a mask myself my because I'm broke, I do plan to get one and very soon(I've said that before). But until then I just stay away from places I think might have asbestos.

Like most of you until a couple of years ago I didn't know that anyone else explored abandoned places and such. I new from my Grandfather a navy vet and a carpenter about asbestos tho. But if it hadn't been for him I would have had know idea about it till I found this website. What about all the people that Don't know about other explorers? Most of them don't know about asbestos dangers.
Maybe as a community we should try to reach those that don't know the danger.

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IIVQ 


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Re: A message for explorers from the Asbestos cancer center.
<Reply # 14 on 12/16/2008 8:56 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
I wasn't too careful around asbestos too, other than not touching pipe insulation, but 2 weeks ago I was in Forges de Clabecq, happily blundering around when I suddenly realized "ow fuck, all those stickers "danger amiante" are for asbestos". So I quickly cleared the area. However, I haven't done anything protection like wash my clothes separately afterward at all...

Fuck, If I'd known...

Tijmen

Posted by MapMan | 18/9/2005 19:25 | Hedy Lamarr made porn?
Posted by turbozutek | 20/9/2005 2:29 | Dude, educate us!
SirJinx 


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Re: A message for explorers from the Asbestos cancer center.
<Reply # 15 on 12/16/2008 7:33 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
I'm not saying asbestos aren't evil. I'm not saying they don't cause cancer. But what I do know about asbestos is that it's like any other dangerous carcinogen - it seems to only affect you after repeat exposure.

I only explore about once every 3 months. It's not like I'm working construction in old buildings or laying down asbestos insulation. I'm not saying that my exposure won't cause cancer down the line, but I'm just saying my exposure is limited.

It's like radiation. Radiation is bad for you in large and dangerous doses over a long period of time. Radiation in itself though is everywhere. Your television gives out radiation and the universe itself has radiation just bouncing around everywhere. The thing is though, I don't work in a uranium processing plant so I don't worry about the radiation exposure.

But even radiation isn't as bad as people think. I saw this documentary on Chernobyl survivors. Did you know that there were only like 50 Chernobyl related deaths and only an estimated 4000 projected deaths? There are people still living in a contaminated zone well into their 80's and 90's and they are fine. There was this old Russian granny living in a house that was totally contaminated - the water, her vegetable garden, her shelves all had like 50 times the recommended dose of daily radiation and she's all walking around all normal, not sick at all.

What I'm saying is, radiation is bad. Asbestos is bad. PCB's are bad. Mercury is bad. Lead is bad. But we are exposed to all of this every day. The human body is more resilient than we think. So the answer is, no I really don't worry about it that much.

My grandma smoked and died of Emphysema at age 60. My aunt smokes 2 packs a day and is 91 years old and still healthy as ever. I think our bodies, genes and all that stuff dictates more about how we're going to die than just exposure alone to harmful stuff.

And I know people who have lead clean lives, live in the mountains drinking nothing but filtered water, organic veggies and run 10 miles a day and still get cancer. You can't live your life in fear that these boogiemen chemicals are going to gitcha. Otherwise, why leave the house at all? Just stay inside with your respirator on 24/7 and Costco sized buckets of Purell sanitizer.

Shit man, we probably get more damage from the Tuna Fish we eat than the asbestos we inhale, but that's not going to stop me from eating fish either. Who wants to live until they're 95, senile and wearing diapers anyway?


[last edit 12/16/2008 7:39 PM by SirJinx - edited 2 times]

People are weird.
mentok 


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Re: A message for explorers from the Asbestos cancer center.
<Reply # 16 on 12/16/2008 8:20 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Asbestos? Thats like birdseed right?

Anyhow, thanks for the info, I wonder how long/often exposure would have to be to affect a person. There is a lot of hype about asbestos, I'd like to see some experiments, preferably with cute cuddly innocent bunnies...

if you're such a badass why haven't i seen any blood yet?

The Squirrel Conspiracy
Emma Peel 


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Re: A message for explorers from the Asbestos cancer center.
<Reply # 17 on 12/16/2008 9:01 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Um, well, on cancer in general:

According to my genetics course and the book the prof taught with, cancer is usually caused by a combination of genetic factors AND environmental factors, such as carcinogens. For example, several of the world's longest-living people had smoked right up until they keeled over (I'm not sure, but I don't think any of them died because of cancer).

Cancer is genetic, but not usually inherited. (No, there are absolutely no typos in that sentence.)

So, if you have good genes that won't mutate into "bad" ones on you (you can't ever tell), you could theoretically snort asbestos daily and not get cancer.
However, more than likely, the asbestos will cause a disruption and loss of cell division control, disruption of apoptosis, or disrupt DNA repair.

The fewer exposures, the less likely it is that your cells will be affected. Some people are obviously more at-risk for cancer formation due to genetics, diet, environment, et cetera.

You can also actively practice chemoprevention (uh, warding off cancer) by taking certain nutrients, plant extracts, or drugs, such as: folic acid, vitamin D, vitamin E, selenium, compounds from soybeans, tomatoes, and green tea, and apparently certain anti-inflammatory drugs.

...It is also important to note that most studies regarding environmental carcinogens and cancer are able only to prove correlation, rather than cause-and-effect (I would assume that this is due to studies having to be ex post facto, since you can't ethically give PEOPLE cancer, and they are trying to study the genetic/environmental contributions on PEOPLE.).

I'm not sure about the research that has been done on asbestos. Odds are that they've only found strong CORRELATIONAL evidence, but the penetrance (rate of cancer) in the population (in this case, I think it was mostly people who worked around asbestos) is so high that it has been deduced that asbestos exposure must either cause or be DIRECTLY related to mesothelioma .


Regarding what SirJinx said:

Germline mutations may explain why some heavy smokers develop lung cancer and some do not. The ones who do may have inherited an allele/gene, which is in every cell, that makes them more susceptible. Basically, though, by exposing the tissues in your lungs to the carcinogens in smoke, you're eventually going to cause a mutation in a tumor suppressor gene or oncogene of a lung cell, which gives it a proliferative advantage.

Without an allele/gene that makes you more susceptible, it takes two mutations to trigger cancer. This could also be because of environment, but it means that it takes longer for two insulting events to occur than it takes for one event to occur.

Germline cancers are uncommon, but when they are present, the rate of cancer in the population (one genetic side of the family, for instance) goes up, and the cancer occurs earlier than if it required 2 mutations.

...So, SirJinx, you SHOULD NOT smoke, since you could have inherited a gene that makes you MORE LIKELY to get cancer if you do smoke.
[last edit 12/16/2008 9:08 PM by Emma Peel - edited 2 times]

Sorry, I probably forgot my <sarcasm> tags.
Emma Peel 


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Re: A message for explorers from the Asbestos cancer center.
<Reply # 18 on 12/16/2008 9:03 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Posted by mentok
I wonder how long/often exposure would have to be to affect a person. There is a lot of hype about asbestos, I'd like to see some experiments, preferably with cute cuddly innocent bunnies...


Wikipedia says 20-50 years for asbestos exposure, though it can take a shorter or longer amount of time depending on the person's genetic make-up as well as when the mutations occur in the affected cells.


Experiments on animals won't really do much regarding genetic vs. environmental factors/risks of getting cancer in humans. There are infinite extraneous variables, and even some of the strongest studies regarding the cause/effect of cancer can be shot down by the possibility that something as simple as DIET could have caused it.
[last edit 12/16/2008 9:09 PM by Emma Peel - edited 2 times]

Sorry, I probably forgot my <sarcasm> tags.
micro 


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Re: A message for explorers from the Asbestos cancer center.
<Reply # 19 on 12/16/2008 9:59 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
So does this mean my friends and I should stop exploring asbestos mines? Because I'd probably be missing out on some really interesting stuff.

My photos: http://worksongs.c...browse&category=14

I have mixed feelings about this stuff. I think there's been a fair amount of hysteria surrounding exposure to asbestos which probably has more to do with people not wanting to be sued than any elevated risks.

I've been spending a fair amount of time in towns where asbestos mining has occurred, and I guess it just kind of makes you complacent. One of these towns is actually named Asbestos. The roads are paved with asbestos, the water pipes make use of asbestos, the towns themselves are surrounding by mountains worth of asbestos tailings. A popular activity for locals is to ride motorbikes or ATVs up and down them as shown here: http://www.youtube...atch?v=DVgH798I0Oo . After you see this stuff a few times, it becomes clear that people in the towns aren't really concerned about asbestos. Why should they be?

If you're walking through these towns, you're inevitably going to be be exposed to it. Given that, you'd think that mesothelioma rates would be through the roof, but they're not, even amongst those who have worked in the mines or production facilities. It rarely even happens. I'm not saying that there aren't risks involved in exploring these places, but that the risk is far too low for me to be concerned about. When the guys who mined the stuff for decades are doing fine, I'm not about to lose any sleep over it.

As far as I see it, I'm far more likely to come down with some other form of respiratory disease through the amount of smog I breathe in each day living in a city. I don't imagine the second-hand smoke from the guy living on the floor below me is doing my lungs much good. I'm also more likely to get cancer from the sun or from McDonalds or from the wide variety of other poisons will enter my body over the course of a lifetime.

Besides, wearing a respirator is just a pain in the ass, especially when you're using a camera.

UER Forum > Archived UE Main > A message for explorers from the Asbestos cancer center. (Viewed 1783 times)
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