Discussion:
What compounds do you now wish you hadn't eaten, breathed, worked or played with ----
(too old to reply)
bra
2017-12-05 00:49:11 UTC
Permalink
[Excerpted from my post in another thread, to start this cheerful one.]

I inhaled plenty of trichlorethane while I was a carpet / furniture cleaner, unfortunately.

Carbon tetrachloride from a degreaser and from cleaning tiles.

And D.N.O.C weed killer throughout the fifties and sixties, along with copious DDT sprayed over the kitchen table, and creosote permanently in my palms. My father used to come home pale yellow from the stain of DNOC (4,6-dinitro-o-cresol)sprayed from his tractor booms.

Anything you guys sometimes cross your fingers about, from years ago?
~misfit~
2017-12-05 02:31:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by bra
[Excerpted from my post in another thread, to start this cheerful one.]
I inhaled plenty of trichlorethane while I was a carpet / furniture cleaner, unfortunately.
Carbon tetrachloride from a degreaser and from cleaning tiles.
And D.N.O.C weed killer throughout the fifties and sixties, along
with copious DDT sprayed over the kitchen table, and creosote
permanently in my palms. My father used to come home pale yellow from
the stain of DNOC (4,6-dinitro-o-cresol)sprayed from his tractor
booms.
Anything you guys sometimes cross your fingers about, from years ago?
I worked as a cabinetmaker for a few years for an outfit who specialised in
acrylic-coated kitchen fittings. The acrylic was ~4mm sheet that would be
fixed to the MDF cabinets with Ados contact adhesive that we sprayed onto
both surfaces. There was a huge extractor fan that never worked in the time
I was there. After about a year I started getting headaches unlike any I'd
ever had before - the doctor said they were migraines. I finally stopped
working there after going into a fugue state at work where I couldn't even
walk due to being unable to judge depth...

It wasn't just the adhesive solvent - often the acrylic was cut or
'finished' using heat which liberated all sorts of chemicals into the air.
Ever since then I've become extremely sensitive to 'chemicals', getting
nasty headaches that can last days and days. Chemicals like (but not limited
to) horticultural sprays and solvents and if someone's burning rubbish that
has even a small amount of plastic in within a mile of me I get a thumping
headache.

Oh and the sensitivity extends to pharmaceutical compunds so that I get
every known side effect of any drug I'm prescribed (as well as some unknown
ones). I've recently had to give up on a medication that reduced my back
pain by maybe 25% (which is huge and allows me to do *so* much more) because
the thumping headaches (amongst other side-effects) got so bad I couldn't do
the things that the lessened back pain otherwise allowed. :-/
--
Shaun.

"Humans will have advanced a long, long way when religious belief has a cozy
little classification in the DSM*."
David Melville (in r.a.s.f1)
(*Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders)
bra
2017-12-05 04:18:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by ~misfit~
I worked as a cabinetmaker for a few years for an outfit who specialised in
acrylic-coated kitchen fittings. The acrylic was ~4mm sheet that would be
fixed to the MDF cabinets with Ados contact adhesive that we sprayed onto
both surfaces. There was a huge extractor fan that never worked in the time
I was there. After about a year I started getting headaches unlike any I'd
ever had before - the doctor said they were migraines. I finally stopped
working there after going into a fugue state at work where I couldn't even
walk due to being unable to judge depth...
It wasn't just the adhesive solvent - often the acrylic was cut or
'finished' using heat which liberated all sorts of chemicals into the air.
Ever since then I've become extremely sensitive to 'chemicals', getting
nasty headaches that can last days and days. Chemicals like (but not limited
to) horticultural sprays and solvents and if someone's burning rubbish that
has even a small amount of plastic in within a mile of me I get a thumping
headache.
Oh and the sensitivity extends to pharmaceutical compunds so that I get
every known side effect of any drug I'm prescribed (as well as some unknown
ones). I've recently had to give up on a medication that reduced my back
pain by maybe 25% (which is huge and allows me to do *so* much more) because
the thumping headaches (amongst other side-effects) got so bad I couldn't do
the things that the lessened back pain otherwise allowed. :-/
--
Shaun.
My sympathies, Shaun.

The most dangerous sentence heard in any workplace is "Aah, go on, it won't hurt you, I've handled this stuff for 30 years ----"
or:

"You don't need to wear all that stuff, it's safe as houses ---"
~misfit~
2017-12-05 09:15:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by bra
Post by ~misfit~
I worked as a cabinetmaker for a few years for an outfit who
specialised in acrylic-coated kitchen fittings. The acrylic was ~4mm
sheet that would be fixed to the MDF cabinets with Ados contact
adhesive that we sprayed onto both surfaces. There was a huge
extractor fan that never worked in the time I was there. After about
a year I started getting headaches unlike any I'd ever had before -
the doctor said they were migraines. I finally stopped working there
after going into a fugue state at work where I couldn't even walk
due to being unable to judge depth...
It wasn't just the adhesive solvent - often the acrylic was cut or
'finished' using heat which liberated all sorts of chemicals into
the air. Ever since then I've become extremely sensitive to
'chemicals', getting nasty headaches that can last days and days.
Chemicals like (but not limited to) horticultural sprays and
solvents and if someone's burning rubbish that has even a small
amount of plastic in within a mile of me I get a thumping headache.
Oh and the sensitivity extends to pharmaceutical compunds so that I
get every known side effect of any drug I'm prescribed (as well as
some unknown ones). I've recently had to give up on a medication
that reduced my back pain by maybe 25% (which is huge and allows me
to do *so* much more) because the thumping headaches (amongst other
side-effects) got so bad I couldn't do the things that the lessened
back pain otherwise allowed. :-/ --
Shaun.
My sympathies, Shaun.
Thanks. It sucks. I really persevered with that last medication hoping
against hope that I'd become used to it and the side effects would go away.
However after 6 months of headaches so bad I was scared to cough I accepted
that it wasn't going to work for me. If anything the side effects got worse.
I don't normally persist with a medication that I don't tolerate for that
long but it was working quite well at reducing my pain.
Post by bra
The most dangerous sentence heard in any workplace is "Aah, go on, it
"You don't need to wear all that stuff, it's safe as houses ---"
Yep. Though I think those days are largely gone.
--
Shaun.

"Humans will have advanced a long, long way when religious belief has a cozy
little classification in the DSM*."
David Melville (in r.a.s.f1)
(*Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders)
Willsy
2017-12-05 11:45:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by ~misfit~
Post by bra
[Excerpted from my post in another thread, to start this cheerful one.]
I inhaled plenty of trichlorethane while I was a carpet / furniture
cleaner, unfortunately.
Carbon tetrachloride from a degreaser and from cleaning tiles.
And D.N.O.C weed killer throughout the fifties and sixties, along
with copious DDT sprayed over the kitchen table, and creosote
permanently in my palms. My father used to come home pale yellow from
the stain of DNOC (4,6-dinitro-o-cresol)sprayed from his tractor
booms.
Anything you guys sometimes cross your fingers about, from years ago?
I worked as a cabinetmaker for a few years for an outfit who specialised in
acrylic-coated kitchen fittings. The acrylic was ~4mm sheet that would be
fixed to the MDF cabinets with Ados contact adhesive that we sprayed onto
both surfaces. There was a huge extractor fan that never worked in the time
I was there. After about a year I started getting headaches unlike any I'd
ever had before - the doctor said they were migraines. I finally stopped
working there after going into a fugue state at work where I couldn't even
walk due to being unable to judge depth...
It wasn't just the adhesive solvent - often the acrylic was cut or
'finished' using heat which liberated all sorts of chemicals into the air.
Ever since then I've become extremely sensitive to 'chemicals', getting
nasty headaches that can last days and days. Chemicals like (but not limited
to) horticultural sprays and solvents and if someone's burning rubbish that
has even a small amount of plastic in within a mile of me I get a thumping
headache.
Oh and the sensitivity extends to pharmaceutical compunds so that I get
every known side effect of any drug I'm prescribed (as well as some unknown
ones). I've recently had to give up on a medication that reduced my back
pain by maybe 25% (which is huge and allows me to do *so* much more) because
the thumping headaches (amongst other side-effects) got so bad I couldn't do
the things that the lessened back pain otherwise allowed. :-/
--
Shaun.
"Humans will have advanced a long, long way when religious belief has a cozy
little classification in the DSM*."
David Melville (in r.a.s.f1)
(*Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders)
Oh my goodness that sounds truly awful. As someone who gets the odd
debilitating migraine I can sympathise, though my issues are nothing
like the seriousness of yours. Best wishes.
~misfit~
2017-12-05 23:04:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by Willsy
Post by ~misfit~
Post by bra
[Excerpted from my post in another thread, to start this cheerful one.]
I inhaled plenty of trichlorethane while I was a carpet / furniture
cleaner, unfortunately.
Carbon tetrachloride from a degreaser and from cleaning tiles.
And D.N.O.C weed killer throughout the fifties and sixties, along
with copious DDT sprayed over the kitchen table, and creosote
permanently in my palms. My father used to come home pale yellow
from the stain of DNOC (4,6-dinitro-o-cresol)sprayed from his
tractor booms.
Anything you guys sometimes cross your fingers about, from years ago?
I worked as a cabinetmaker for a few years for an outfit who
specialised in acrylic-coated kitchen fittings. The acrylic was ~4mm
sheet that would be fixed to the MDF cabinets with Ados contact
adhesive that we sprayed onto both surfaces. There was a huge
extractor fan that never worked in the time I was there. After about
a year I started getting headaches unlike any I'd ever had before -
the doctor said they were migraines. I finally stopped working there
after going into a fugue state at work where I couldn't even walk
due to being unable to judge depth...
It wasn't just the adhesive solvent - often the acrylic was cut or
'finished' using heat which liberated all sorts of chemicals into
the air. Ever since then I've become extremely sensitive to
'chemicals', getting nasty headaches that can last days and days.
Chemicals like (but not limited to) horticultural sprays and
solvents and if someone's burning rubbish that has even a small
amount of plastic in within a mile of me I get a thumping headache.
Oh and the sensitivity extends to pharmaceutical compunds so that I
get every known side effect of any drug I'm prescribed (as well as
some unknown ones). I've recently had to give up on a medication
that reduced my back pain by maybe 25% (which is huge and allows me
to do *so* much more) because the thumping headaches (amongst other
side-effects) got so bad I couldn't do the things that the lessened
back pain otherwise allowed. :-/ --
Shaun.
"Humans will have advanced a long, long way when religious belief
has a cozy little classification in the DSM*."
David Melville (in r.a.s.f1)
(*Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders)
Oh my goodness that sounds truly awful. As someone who gets the odd
debilitating migraine I can sympathise, though my issues are nothing
like the seriousness of yours. Best wishes.
Thanks Willsy.
--
Shaun.

"Humans will have advanced a long, long way when religious belief has a cozy
little classification in the DSM*."
David Melville (in r.a.s.f1)
(*Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders)
t***@gmail.com
2017-12-06 00:21:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by ~misfit~
Thanks Willsy.
Oh poor fucking you.
Sick and broke from
idiotic life decisions.
jtees4
2017-12-05 14:43:44 UTC
Permalink
On Mon, 4 Dec 2017 16:49:11 -0800 (PST), bra
Post by bra
[Excerpted from my post in another thread, to start this cheerful one.]
I inhaled plenty of trichlorethane while I was a carpet / furniture cleaner, unfortunately.
Carbon tetrachloride from a degreaser and from cleaning tiles.
And D.N.O.C weed killer throughout the fifties and sixties, along with copious DDT sprayed over the kitchen table, and creosote permanently in my palms. My father used to come home pale yellow from the stain of DNOC (4,6-dinitro-o-cresol)sprayed from his tractor booms.
Anything you guys sometimes cross your fingers about, from years ago?
I am almost 60. When young it was very common to have asbestos all
over the place, open, exposed whatever. As was lead paint, and lead
gasoline also. Never thought anything of it....and would have had no
reason to at the time.
bra
2017-12-05 16:38:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by jtees4
I am almost 60. When young it was very common to have asbestos all
over the place, open, exposed whatever. As was lead paint, and lead
gasoline also. Never thought anything of it....and would have had no
reason to at the time.
God, the times I've stood watching a guy blowing brake dust from drums with compressed air --- something he did every day.

And me, cutting up sheets of asbestos with a saw or simply cracking them with a club hammer bare hands of course.
Geoff
2017-12-06 00:28:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by bra
[Excerpted from my post in another thread, to start this cheerful one.]
I inhaled plenty of trichlorethane while I was a carpet / furniture cleaner, unfortunately.
Carbon tetrachloride from a degreaser and from cleaning tiles.
And D.N.O.C weed killer throughout the fifties and sixties, along
with copious DDT sprayed over the kitchen table, and creosote
permanently in my palms. My father used to come home pale yellow from
the stain of DNOC (4,6-dinitro-o-cresol)sprayed from his tractor
booms.
Anything you guys sometimes cross your fingers about, from years ago?
I remember in my last year at high-school pinching a little bottle of
nitro-benzine (what the hell was *that* doing there !) from my school
chemistry lab.

Thought I would use it in my model plane fuel, but was too scared. I
wonder whatever happened to it .....

Then there were all sorts of solvents we used in strowger telephone
exchanges. And now the worst I use is boring old iso.

geoff
bra
2017-12-06 03:28:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by Geoff
Then there were all sorts of solvents we used in strowger telephone
exchanges. And now the worst I use is boring old iso.
geoff
Geoff, I once worked briefly for Plessey over 45 years ago, cabling the exchange in Redhill (Surrey). I was a casual labourer, not a technician and didn't know it was a Strowger.

But I enjoyed eavesdropping the line checks, and even saw the consequence of a PO tech's accidental disconnection of the wrong line: two Special Branch officers arrived quite swiftly to interview the flustered tech. Although I could probably have figured out the number and caused mischief, I didn't.
fnot
2017-12-06 05:13:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by bra
[Excerpted from my post in another thread, to start this cheerful one.]
I inhaled plenty of trichlorethane while I was a carpet / furniture cleaner, unfortunately.
Carbon tetrachloride from a degreaser and from cleaning tiles.
And D.N.O.C weed killer throughout the fifties and sixties, along with copious DDT sprayed over the kitchen table, and creosote permanently in my palms. My father used to come home pale yellow from the stain of DNOC (4,6-dinitro-o-cresol)sprayed from his tractor booms.
Anything you guys sometimes cross your fingers about, from years ago?
Fracking for a couple of years was nasty. We had to dip the hydrochloric
acid tank before every job. Occasional wiffs on still days. Lots of
powdered dust of mystery material got through the masks.
m***@gmail.com
2017-12-06 05:31:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by bra
[Excerpted from my post in another thread, to start this cheerful one.]
I inhaled plenty of trichlorethane while I was a carpet / furniture cleaner, unfortunately.
Carbon tetrachloride from a degreaser and from cleaning tiles.
And D.N.O.C weed killer throughout the fifties and sixties, along with copious DDT sprayed over the kitchen table, and creosote permanently in my palms. My father used to come home pale yellow from the stain of DNOC (4,6-dinitro-o-cresol)sprayed from his tractor booms.
Anything you guys sometimes cross your fingers about, from years ago?
There was a time when I worked with hydrogen peroxide quite regularly. This was in an old two motion telephone exchange (already old tech even then, but there was still lots of it about). The peroxide was used for cleaning the contacts in the selectors. I find it ironically amusing now to read all the accumulated knowledge about how it's safe up to a certain concentration and if properly stored in cool, well vented places and etc. We had it in jars on window sills.

I was a trainee technician with the SAPO (as it then was). One day we got taken to a microwave station to see what goes on there. There were few cables in the facility, but lots of wave guides. These had to be properly terminated because it wasn't good to have microwaves bouncing around the place, frying everybody.

There was an unterminated wave guide in one room - possibly set up by bored technicians. It had a sign "do not look down wave guide with remaining eye".

When the techs were particularly bored they would do things like climb the tower (they did wear safety harnesses, tethered to the building) with sandwiches and a fishing rod and "toast" a sandwich by dangling it in front of a transmitter. This practice was frowned upon because it might interrupt important phone calls.

Looking back on it, things were pretty cavalier back in the 70s. And we all thought it was amusing, but there were real risks too.

I did my national service in Ladysmith. One exercise we did reproduced what a "terrorist" position would look like and what traps might be waiting. This was in case we ever overran such a position (which was presented as a fait accompli, because God was on our side and didn't like communists). We were shown how to identify Russian rations from misdirected NATO rations (we were presumed to know our own grub when we saw it), because they might have poisoned the bully beef which we would take as a souvenir. Indeed, taking any kind of souvenir or even picking up seemingly abandoned kit was a big no-no because it was likely a trap of some sort.

Of course, there was an AK 47 lying around as part of the presentation. And when we were given a smoke break, of course somebody picked it up.

There was a huge bang and a tree came crashing down. It was booby trapped all right - by our own instructors. In order to drive the lesson home they'd rigged a trap that bought a big gum tree down and could well have killed one or more of us. And we were all supposed to be on the same side.

Yet at other times they were very aware of the dangers. A few years later I found myself doing a camp (as one did back then) in then SWA. We were put on look out duty for the night. This meant sitting on top of a tall, scaffolding tower that was visible for miles around. We felt pretty exposed. We were sitting ducks. We complained about this. SWAPO had lots of Russian rocket launchers and big ass machine guns.

Two nights later we went up the tower again and found a .50 Browning up there. Aha! Now we could return fire. Except we couldn't - there was no ammo. So we made more enquiries and were told that don't be stupid, you can't have ammunition because the recoil would bring the tower down.
geoff
2017-12-06 10:28:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by m***@gmail.com
There was a time when I worked with hydrogen peroxide quite
regularly. This was in an old two motion telephone exchange (already
old tech even then, but there was still lots of it about). The
peroxide was used for cleaning the contacts in the selectors. I find
it ironically amusing now to read all the accumulated knowledge about
how it's safe up to a certain concentration and if properly stored in
cool, well vented places and etc. We had it in jars on window sills.
I have an ounce of silver scavenged from replaced contacts , and a
lesser amount of platinium. Wish I had thought of it long before I did.
Post by m***@gmail.com
When the techs were particularly bored they would do things like
climb the tower (they did wear safety harnesses, tethered to the
building) with sandwiches and a fishing rod and "toast" a sandwich by
dangling it in front of a transmitter. This practice was frowned upon
because it might interrupt important phone calls.
Any high-power RF transmitter is fun to run around with fluorescent
lighting tubes too !

geoff
bra
2017-12-06 17:09:03 UTC
Permalink
I appreciate all these posts!

We have not uncovered the disgusting forms of apprentice initiation, along with the injuries and a few deaths caused by misuse of compressed air ---- ugh.

My provincial "workers compensation board" reports that the highest rate of work injuries are seen in two stages: a worker's first three months on a job, and interestingly in a worker's last six months before retirement.

Our "workers compensation" means that a company pays insurance to the board, and no worker has the right to sue their employer for injury or illness caused by the work.

It does not enjoy universal praise: if you break both legs, they start pestering you to return to work the following week or lose your compensation ---just joking, but you get my drift.
keithr0
2017-12-06 10:02:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by bra
[Excerpted from my post in another thread, to start this cheerful one.]
I inhaled plenty of trichlorethane while I was a carpet / furniture cleaner, unfortunately.
Carbon tetrachloride from a degreaser and from cleaning tiles.
And D.N.O.C weed killer throughout the fifties and sixties, along with copious DDT sprayed over the kitchen table, and creosote permanently in my palms. My father used to come home pale yellow from the stain of DNOC (4,6-dinitro-o-cresol)sprayed from his tractor booms.
Anything you guys sometimes cross your fingers about, from years ago?
Some fellow RRE apprentices nearly died from fumes while using a CTC
degreasing plant.

In one of the labs I worked in we were using trichlorosilane an
interesting substance which can be explosive in the presence of air or
water. In different concentrations, it breaks down into chlorine and
silicon. I once spent an uncomfortable couple of hours in a gas mask
clearing the lab the air in which was green with chlorine. We also used
a mixture of hydroflouric acid, red fuming nitric acid, and acetic acid
to etch silicon slices.

That said, at an advanced age I don't seem to have suffered any long
term effects.
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