"While Pliny or his nephew Pliny the Younger is popularly credited
with recognising the detrimental effects of asbestos on human beings,
it has been said that examination of the primary sources reveals no
support for either claim".
The term asbestos is traceable to Roman naturalist Pliny the Elder's
manuscript Natural History, and his use of the term asbestinon,
meaning "unquenchable". While Pliny or his nephew
Pliny the Younger is popularly credited with recognising the
detrimental effects of asbestos on human beings, it has
been said that examination of the primary sources reveals
no support for either claim.
You want to try actually reading what you cite.
I remember in the mid-1970s my dad knocked a doorway through from the
utility room to the garage of our old house, and he lined the garage side of
the door with a big asbestos sheet as fire-proofing. It came in a larger
sheet that the door, so he cut it to size with a circular saw and sanded the
cut edge smooth with a belt sander. The thought of all that asbestos dust
flying around, with what we know now, is terrifying.
OK, he did it out doors and we wore dust masks but only to protect against
breathing in the dust which might make us cough, like plaster dust would.
We'd no idea that it was as carcinogenic as it is. Nowadays if that sort of
cutting and sanding was done, it would probably be in a ventilated room with
the dust captured for later disposal as hazardous waste, and proper
breathing apparatus would be worn.
I know that it takes a long time for asbestos-caused cancer to appear, but
my dad turns 80 next year and I'm in my mid-50s, and so far neither of us
have had any ill effects.
What is used instead of asbestos nowadays for making fire-proof boarding to
fasten to doors and ceilings, as a fireproof equivalent of plasterboard? How
fireproof is plasterboard itself, once the outer paper sheeting has burned
off? I suppose the plaster will crack and fall off if it's exposed to
flames, so something a lot more fireproof is needed where a garage is joined
onto a house and has habitable rooms in the roof space above it (my dad
extended the bathroom into the garage roof space).
Looking back on it, that bathroom extension probably contravened a few
building regs: the weight of the suspended floor, a few feet above the
garage ceiling was braced onto the rafters of the garage ceiling which were
a lot thinner than the ones in the real loft of the house. It had a washing
machine on that suspended floor which probably made everything vibrate when
it was on fast spin. The tumble drier vented its hot moist air into the
garage loft. My sister and I used to play in that loft and made dens etc up
there. If there had been a fire in the garage (eg an electrical fault in one
of the cars) the only means of exit was through the hatch into the garage.
Dad did leave a small escape hatch in the bathroom floor and told us to bash
out the bits of floorboard that he'd left un-nailed as a push-fit, but since
there was a carpet on the bathroom floor, we'd have had a job to knock out
the floorboards and escape in an emergency....
On Wed, 26 Apr 2017 07:25:04 -0700 (PDT), firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
AIUI white asbestos particles also dissolve in the lungs over a few
years, and don't remain long enough for cancers to develop, unlike the
fibres of blue or brown asbestos. The latter two are mostly used for
thermal insulation rather than fibre-board, although for a while after
WW2 they were also used in both, so you can't be certain without
analysis which your old shed is made from.
Not sure about glass fibres. A lot will depend on composition. Glass
used for making glass fibre (E-glass) won't have the same composition
as container or window glass, but I wouldn't like to say which is the
more soluble in a lung environment.
There's this: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1012147/
The conclusion says "Commercial rotary spun fibreglass used for
insulating appliances appears to produce human disease that is similar
Note that asbestosis isn't the same as mesothelioma, the cancer very
specific to asbestos fibres. AIUI asbestosis is a general
deterioration of the lungs, broadly comparable to silicosis, farmers'
lung, black lung in coal miners, byssinosis in cotton-mill workers,
and many other lung deterioration diseases caused primarily by
over-exposure to a specific dust associated with a particular
occupation. None of them nice, all debilitating to a greater or lesser
extent, all best avoided by taking appropriate precautions when
handling, but they're not the same as mesothelioma.
PS IANA medical expert!
Almost certainly it contained white asbestos (the mineral chrysotile),
which is much less of a hazard than blue (crocidolite) or brown
(amosite) asbestos, if it's a hazard at all over and above being
dusty, white asbestos being of different chemical composition with
much shorter fibres. And contained in cement, the chances of very fine
long fibres finding their way down into the innermost recesses of your
lungs is pretty low.
I've used Fermacell boarding. It's a gypsum board reinforced with
cellulose fibres from recycled paper, but whether it's any more
fireproof than traditional plasterboard, I'm not sure.
My brother worked in a joinery shop and was exposed to asbestos in his
twenties and now has signs of asbestos damage in his lungs, he is 62.
He is currently undergoing experimental treatment with stuff that
enhances the immune system to attack the cancer.
I did a bit of that myself in the very early 70s when building the house
from scratch on a bare block of land. The entire 100' sunny side of the
passive solar house has a 6' eave over the 7 massive great 8'x8' patio
doors that are most of that sunny side of the house. The eaves have
what we call fibro dropped in to the galvanised steel beams that form
the entire roof and ceiling structure, instead of the paper faced
pollyfoam sheets that are used inside the house for the ceiling.
I did most of the cutting with what we call a fibro cutter.
but those sheets have stamped flat U section painted steel pop riveted
on the inside of the eaves and those holes all had to be drilled and I
didn’t use a mask at all.
Not terrified tho, I havent even bothered to get some of the
offcuts checked to see if they contain asbestos. Its just at the
time when they may or may not have contained asbestos.
Just before that I had spent one uni summer holidays doing
car maintenance in a decent sized workshop and that involved
using compressed air to blow out the dust from brake drums.
Never bothered with a dust mask when doing that either.
I'm in my 70s and havent had any ill effects yet.
Dunno. I do know that I have some massive great slabs of 1" thick
stuff that was put on the rough concrete slab under the storage
hot water services that appears to be what is used for that now.
Not at all. We’ve just had a house one house away from me
deliberately set fire to by a loony who got in while the owners
were away on holiday, chucked lots of petrol around inside
cans and then lit it. I was standing on the other side of the
road watching the fire trucks show up and watched it go from
one side of the house so fast that the fireys didn’t even get a
chance to run their hoses out and try to put it out. That place
certainly had plasterboard internal walls, what we call brick veneer.
That doesn’t appear to have happened in this case. I
could go and have a look inside now if you care, the
owners have just left it and built a new place elsewhere.
Dunno, no real reason why a fire should start in the garage.
Much more likely to start in the kitchen with a fat fire etc.
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