The Steampunk Forum at Brass Goggles
December 15, 2017, 07:31:50 am *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
News: Brassgoggles.co.uk - The Lighter Side Of Steampunk, follow @brasstech for forum technical problems & updates.
 
   Home   Blog Help Rules Login Register  
Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Mothballs, lead, and mercury. Toxic wonderland or are we just too delicate now.  (Read 834 times)
rovingjack
Zeppelin Admiral
******
United States United States



WWW
« on: August 22, 2016, 02:50:13 am »

I'm having to dispose of hundreds of books and personal items because they are putting off toxic plumes of mothball gases and I don't have the time, space or health to try to resolve this. I was talking with an older fellow at a group meeting the other night and he was telling me how they used to play with mercury when they were younger, rolling it around in their hand, saying it was amazing stuff how it moved and was beautiful... until it got all dingy grey. And all the lead paint a lead toothpaste tubes an food containers.

I myself live in a house from the 1880s with old lead paint.

I sometimes wonder if the stories of fainting woman might have more to do with mothballs and lead in their makeup than anything else. Both can cause anemia in high doses or longterm exposure.

I also wonder if maybe we've become scared of everything beyond reason.

I knew a guy who had a toy as a kid that let him cast his own lead soldiers, he wasn't mentally handycapped or having seizures.
I know somebody who used to eat the pencils back when they were actual lead. She's a mental health professional.
I can promise you that almost everyone here had parents or grand parents that grew up and lived in houses with lead paint.

By a similar comparison some dandruff shampoos are made with coal tar which is largely napthalene... which is what some mothballs are. Air fresheners, urinal cakes, cleaners. They all contain it, in lesser doses I'm sure but it's there. And I'm sure we've all known somebody who had a house, car or clothing that smelled of mothballs and they lived like that for years if not decades.

mercury is a bit harder to dismiss but clearly some folks played with it and didn't go completely mad. and it was used as a medicine for a time.

Yet somehow I still have panic attacks after feeling sick a few days after removing things from storage that reek of mothballs, and worry about touching door frames with lead paint.

Logged

Drew P
Zeppelin Admiral
******
United States United States


« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2016, 03:47:24 am »

So you actually use mothballs in your storage space? For the books?
Logged

Never ask 'Why?'
Always ask 'Why not!?'
rovingjack
Zeppelin Admiral
******
United States United States



WWW
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2016, 04:49:04 am »

what I actually did was had a storage rental that I stowed bedding and clothes in tubs with mothballs after an escape from a place with fleas. Years later I had to vacate another place I was living  and I got another rental unit down from the first. I pulled the clothes and bedding out and decided to let them offgass in the new unit while I emptied and cleand the tubs and put everything else I owned in the tubs. The sheets and stuff had the odor still days later when I brought more things so I put the sheet in with on top of the tubs figuring they would off gas more and the things in tubs would be protected from it while the smell went away from the sheets and then I could wash the sheets in a few weeks.

It kinda worked. The smell dissipated from everything outside the tubs to a dull lingering scent. and then some of those things when moved into attic and closet spaces mostly became unnoticable in scent (some things though never let it go) But fool of fools that I am I left everything like that for years until I had a place that I could eventually spread out things again. Only to find that plastic tubs grab and hold the mothball scent and release it to soak anything placed in them.

I thought airtight plastic tubs would be the safest place for things like books and such that would be sensative to the environmental changes around the storage facility and keep critters out. But even afetr removing mothballs and washing them out on a summer day and letting them air before putting things in them didn't change the fact that they are napthalene gas chambers.

I've brought some of those things here in the last few weeks and put them on the porch to air out, for a week. and the odor isn't as obvious on them when they are out there and you could almost believe it's gone, until you open them of turn them over. and the fragrance returns diminished but still present. I figure it would take a hair drier opening and going over everything to cut the smell enough to tolerate. and then fan them out in an closed box with kitty litter or charcoal and warm them in the sun for a couple more months to drive it down to a level where you couldn't be quite sure it's there unless somebody told you it was. but I've not got the time or space to do that with books, pipe rack, cards and home decor items.

The annoying thing is I used these things as intended, I just didn't know what the real results would be until too late. I'd wager most of it isn't any worse than something you'd find in some museums or grannies houses. But to me, it's completely intolerable.

(side note I've been wandering the internet and found that some people with problems either Huff or eat the dang things and are addicted to them. conscidering my exposure was more limited than that I'm likely to be alright. Unless I have a rare condition that would likely have shown up in other signs like beans making somebody violently ill. Or if my recent issues with b12 and folate definciency hadn't resolved enough before being exposed to the fumes, both things causing anemia.
Logged
Banfili
Zeppelin Captain
*****
Australia Australia



« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2016, 05:26:58 am »

I can remember playing with the mercury out or thermometers & stuff like that - didn't effect me that I can tell!
Mothballs were never a presence except around my step grandmother, which was, fortunately very rare.

I use cedar, lavender and/or sandalwood balls, refreshed with a drop or two of essential oil when needed, to keep the fanging moths at bay, and lavender bags, or bags of cedar or sandalwood shavings, again, with a drop of essential oil when necessary, in drawers with 'delicates'. Have never been a fan of naphtha flakes or mothballs!

My clothes/linen/book box storage smells lovely, and not a lot gets ravaged by the fanging moths, or other nasties, either.
Logged
WinterHaven
Snr. Officer
****
Latvia Latvia



« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2016, 10:31:49 am »

My stored belongings are at my Father's house, a 400 year old thatched cottage. We have hundreds of spiders, but strangely…... no moths

I'm not sure this is the most practical way to store things, but so far I have not had any problems!
Logged

'If you were going to make a ghost-trap, how would you set about it? -particularly if you had not even a small ghost to practice on.' -Wyndham
Serrac
Officer
***
United Kingdom United Kingdom


« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2016, 01:57:31 pm »

Just a quick tot up of some of the stuff I have floating around here...

 Potassium Dichromate & Ammonium Dichromate - Both toxic and no longer available to purchase by the general public.
 Concentrated Sulphuric, Hydrochloric, and Acetic acids - The latter being flammable.
 Hydroquinone, Pyrogallol, Pyrocatechol, and Metol - You really don't want to get any of those on your skin...
 Borates: Boric Acid & Sodium Metaborate - Both are known to be damaging to the environment and their use is restricted.
 Formaldehyde, in both liquid and powder form - Known carcinogen, and good for preserving "stuff".

Oh, and a good quantity of lead, mercury and cyanide compounds.

If I dig through my stock of old papers, can probably find quite a few that contain cadmium along with a few other chemicals that have been banned.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2016, 12:41:17 pm by Serrac » Logged

If I leave my grin behind, remind me that we are all mad here. (SJ Tucker: Cheshire kitten)
Hurricane Annie
Zeppelin Captain
*****
New Zealand New Zealand



« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2016, 08:05:38 am »



My father worked in wood processing from  shortly before I was conceived.   There was a high rate of leukemia, heart problems and mental health issues amongst the men and their families.  My  father died early of heart problems and may  have been in the early stages of   lymphoma.  His mental state was not good. I myself have had Hodgkins  lymphoma.

But then heart problems may run in Dad's family , he smoked 4 packs of cigarettes a day and over eat.  The  men  did rotational shifts .  It was a mainly male work  environment  . We are of Semitic descent and could be prone to blood diseases .

But then you just don't  know ...
Logged
steiconi
Gunner
**
United States Minor Outlying Islands United States Minor Outlying Islands



« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2016, 04:30:47 am »

My mom smoked and drank when pregnant, and both parents smoked until I was about 8.  We played with mercury when we were young--it came with a kid's science set.

Safety data on product in the US use the term "LDL 50" ; the dose at which 50% of the exposed test subjects die.  So the safety of something is judged by the incidence of injury and/or death.  Not everyone will be affected by the same dose, but if the percentage is high enough, it gets banned.

Did exposure to smoke and mercury cause me to have cancer later in life?  Or was it living in an area that has higher than average levels of all kinds of cancer?  Or was it eating red meat?  Who knows?
Logged
von Corax
Squire of the Lambda Calculus
Board Moderator
Immortal
**
Canada Canada

Prof. Darwin Prætorius von Corax


« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2016, 05:33:36 am »

Never underestimate the influence of genetics. My grandfather smoked all his life; he died at 86 of bone cancer, probably from abusing 2,4-dichlorobenzene. My father (who smoked until I was born) turns 90 next month, and is in great shape for an 80-year-old. (He's in decent shape for a 70-year-old.)
Logged

By the power of caffeine do I set my mind in motion
By the Beans of Life do my thoughts acquire speed
My hands acquire a shaking
The shaking becomes a warning
By the power of caffeine do I set my mind in motion
The Leverkusen Institute of Paleocybernetics is 5838 km from Reading
rovingjack
Zeppelin Admiral
******
United States United States



WWW
« Reply #9 on: August 27, 2016, 04:10:22 am »

...he died at 86 of bone cancer, probably from abusing 2,4-dichlorobenzene....

not sure what 2,4 dichlorobenzene is. I've heard of 1,2 dichlorobenzene; 1,3 dichlorobenzene; 1,4 dichlorobenzene and 1,2,4 trichlorobenzene. They usually are classed as solvents and pesticides.

what do you mean by abusing? over applications? or huffing.

I've become moderately fascinated by human chemical exposure and the cause and effect behaviours of such.

It's more than apparent to me that the very act of existing is a chemical health hazard in our modern world, and yet we all do stupid things almost daily that by any measure should have killed us by now. Humans are insanely fragile and unfathomably resilient at the same time.

something I found interesting is that I've lived in houses with some degree of lead paint up until the age of 9 and then again for the last 7 years as well. ridden in cars that used leaded gasoline, been served drinks from antique pewter pitchers (containing some amount of lead), soldered electronics and made stained glass. If my last blood draw lead levels test (taken 2 years ago) are to be believed my levels of 1, are 9 below even needing to take notice, 29 below having to get any kind of treatment, and on par with or even 1/3 the level of non-industrial tribal groups on average.

It's bizarre to my mind to imagine some loin cloth wearing spear or arrow weilding person who has rarely seen a car, and never seen a factory, that has twice my level of lead exposure from the environment.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2016, 04:20:42 am by rovingjack » Logged
von Corax
Squire of the Lambda Calculus
Board Moderator
Immortal
**
Canada Canada

Prof. Darwin Prætorius von Corax


« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2016, 08:08:03 am »

...he died at 86 of bone cancer, probably from abusing 2,4-dichlorobenzene....

not sure what 2,4 dichlorobenzene is. I've heard of 1,2 dichlorobenzene; 1,3 dichlorobenzene; 1,4 dichlorobenzene and 1,2,4 trichlorobenzene. They usually are classed as solvents and pesticides.

what do you mean by abusing? over applications? or huffing.

Sorry, I misremembered; it was actually 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid - essentially a civilian version of Agent Orange, before the danger became known. By "abuse" I mean he got as much on himself as on the thorn bushes he was spraying.
Logged
RJBowman
Zeppelin Captain
*****


« Reply #11 on: August 27, 2016, 07:52:02 pm »

I had mercury switches (mercury contained in a glass capsule) from old thermostats when I was a kid; I never broke them open because I had been warned that mercury was highly toxic and could be absorbed through skin. That was circa 1980.

I did live for six years in a steel down, with skies tinted brown by the smoke. At that time I was four houses away from one of the busiest stretch of highway in America and probably the world, and that was in the era of leaded gasoline; I remember looking at the surface of out backyard swimming pool and seeing the shimmer of metallic dust on the surface, which might have been iron, or might have been lead.

I also used to make trinkets from molten lead; made my own plaster of paris molds and melted the lead in a cast iron ladle on the kitchen stove.
Logged
rovingjack
Zeppelin Admiral
******
United States United States



WWW
« Reply #12 on: August 28, 2016, 12:06:40 am »

I had mercury switches (mercury contained in a glass capsule) from old thermostats when I was a kid; I never broke them open because I had been warned that mercury was highly toxic and could be absorbed through skin. That was circa 1980.

I did live for six years in a steel down, with skies tinted brown by the smoke. At that time I was four houses away from one of the busiest stretch of highway in America and probably the world, and that was in the era of leaded gasoline; I remember looking at the surface of out backyard swimming pool and seeing the shimmer of metallic dust on the surface, which might have been iron, or might have been lead.

I also used to make trinkets from molten lead; made my own plaster of paris molds and melted the lead in a cast iron ladle on the kitchen stove.

funny you should mention that, I've got an electric burner, a thrift store steel ladle, plaster, and an old ammo box full of old lead fishing and other odd bits (some look like buttons).

I've this project I need to do soon for my you tube channel. See the award a silver play button for 100,ooo subscribers, and a gold one for 1 million. so working back by decimal point moves there are seven possible options... and wouldn't you just know that there are 7 classical metals in alchemy. The first is lead at one subscriber, the second is tin at 10 and the third is iron at 100 which is the milestone I just passed. after that comes copper and then mercury.

So for a fun project I thought I might make markers for those events. Mercury is going to be the trickiest one. I'm thinking I may see if I can make a glass button with calligraphy styling thin channels inside like in a thermometer and put mercury in it before melting the ends sealed and mounting it in a shadow box. but that's at 10,ooo subscribers and I have time to work it out. (my fall back is a mercury vapor like button)
Logged
RJBowman
Zeppelin Captain
*****


« Reply #13 on: August 28, 2016, 05:21:18 am »

Mercury is going to be the trickiest one. I'm thinking I may see if I can make a glass button with calligraphy styling thin channels inside like in a thermometer and put mercury in it before melting the ends sealed and mounting it in a shadow box. but that's at 10,ooo subscribers and I have time to work it out. (my fall back is a mercury vapor like button)

Dental amalgam, the metal that they use to fill teeth, is made of powdered silver, some other powdered metals, and a small amount of mercury. When the metals are mixed, the room temperature mixture has a moldable consistency for a few minutes before it hardens.
Logged
Atterton
Time Traveler
****

Only The Shadow knows


« Reply #14 on: August 28, 2016, 04:42:42 pm »

Let us remember that people who say "We were exposed to all this and we still managed to survive." are the people who actually survived. Not the many who died from asthma, lead poisoning or radiation.
Logged

Resurrectionist and freelance surgeon.
Crescat Scientia
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United States United States


Fabricator and temporally confused.


« Reply #15 on: October 04, 2016, 08:17:48 pm »

Let us remember that people who say "We were exposed to all this and we still managed to survive." are the people who actually survived. Not the many who died from asthma, lead poisoning or radiation.

Very true.

Mortality rates back in the days of unregulated toxins and hazards were pretty grim.

While reading OSHA reports and cautionary tales, one of the most poignant laments I ran across was "I was just fine - until I wasn't."
Logged

Living on steam isn't easy.
-- Jessica Fortunato

Have you heard?  It's in the stars, next July we collide with Mars.
-- Cole Porter

That's not sinister at all.
-- Old family saying
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.20 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.286 seconds with 16 queries.