asbestos in older Dichroic enlargers?

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by hoffy, Aug 30, 2009.

  1. hoffy

    hoffy Member

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    Howdy,

    I was doing a small repair on my old dichroic enlarger and noticed a small fibre cement type washer through which the cable runs.

    Now, considering the age of the enlarger (more then likely from the early to mid 70's), can anyone confirm or deny whether these were or contained asbestos?

    Cheers
     
  2. Paul Goutiere

    Paul Goutiere Subscriber

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    What enlarger do you have??Can you post a picture of the washer? Some components were made of fiberglass and resin.
     
  3. hoffy

    hoffy Member

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    Its a durst M300 with a CLS35 head. I am pretty sure that it is a small insulating washer that would more then likely contain asbestos. It looks like cement fibre board, which in Australia at least, always contained an amount of asbestos. I was always under the impression that asbestos was pretty dangerous (1 fibre CAN but may not cause cancerous growth, was what I was always told), but as long as I am careful, I should be able to get rid of it.
     
  4. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    I wouldn't worry about it anyway. Asbestos is not polonium. It won't kill you to touch the stuff. After it had been around everywhere for decades, people discovered that it wasn't a great idea to breath large amounts of particles in for long amounts of time. If the washers are asbestos it's nothing I would worry about.
     
  5. hoffy

    hoffy Member

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    Yeah, I know its probably an over reaction. I panic sometimes as I have known a few people who contracted asbestosis through the industries I have worked in. (I used to work with an old bloke who scared the living crap out of me one day about asbestos....it was a conversation that I will never forget). The thing is the little washer is breaking up, so its probably just easier to snip the wires, dump it, give it a clean down and be done with it.

    Cheers
     
  6. Allen Friday

    Allen Friday Member

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    Wrong, wrong, wrong. I know because my father died from mesothelioma, the only know cause of which is asbestos. While you don't want to overreact, you don't want to be exposed to it either. Exposure is not being in the same room with it, it means having the fibers in the air where you can breath them into your lungs. The fibers then pass through the lungs and embed in the lining. It can then eventually lead to cancer. "Toughing the stuff" will release the fibers into the air where you can breath them in. So, BetterSense, you might want to exercise better sense when dealing with asbestos. People do die from exposure to it, even small amounts.
     
  7. J Rollinger

    J Rollinger Member

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    Dont worry about it! When i was younger i was employed as a remover for the school system here in Illinois and learned allot about it. For you to get affected you would have to be installing or removing it for 15 to 20 years 8 hours a day. I had to sign a release before my employment began and it stated that it will take 15 years to develop if i was exposed at high levels every day. I worked for one year scraping it from school ceilings and ripping it from duct work 10 hours a day and i didnt even use my mask that was required by the company, that was 25 years ago. If you have an older home with 8 or 9 inch floor tile then they are most likely Asbestos and by law you dont even have to remove them, you can just put another floor over it.
     
  8. Kirk Keyes

    Kirk Keyes Member

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    That's a reasonable assessment. The others that say it takes a lifetime of exposure are uninformed.

    That's said, I've used asbestos in a laboratory setting, and I'm not overly concerned about the exposure I've had with it.

    It's not legal for you to personally dispose of asbestos in the USA. You would need to have a professional do it.

    That said, I would wet the fibers with water to keep them from becoming airborne as you remove the item. I'd then place them in plastic wrap and tape it closed and then dispose of it that way.
     
  9. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    Encapsulate it in silicon sealant.


    Steve.
     
  10. resummerfield

    resummerfield Subscriber

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    Exactly. It's just a little washer, after all. Don't clip any wires, because that may just bring on more problems. Just smear a little silicon sealant on it, to both encapsulate it and protect the wiring, and be done with it.
     
  11. Todd Niccole

    Todd Niccole Member

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    I just had some asebstos abatement done on my house as long as asbestos material aren't broken down in a more violent way by being chipped, ground and rendered into smaller bits and powder then it's rather stable stuff. If you can remove carefully in one peice and dispose of it I wouldn't worry about it. I think dosage and repeated exposure are significant factors. It takes something like thirty years to develop asbestos related lung cancer. My house air levels were cleared to below certain federal standards and I just have to live with that. Think about the dosage of car exhaust we all breath in on a consistent level.
     
  12. redrockcoulee

    redrockcoulee Member

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    J Rollinger

    You are giving dangerous advice. Workers have died from a single summer job. But it does take years after exposure for the diseases to develop. Just because you did not develop it does not mean that others will not. The chances for dying from exposure is too great to take lightly. By your reasoning smoking has no potential for harm either. You were very lucky and foolish. Visit the families of the workers at Libby Montana to see that you do not have to be even a worker to be affected. Not every one that comes in contact with air borne asbestos gets the three main asbestos related diseases but who would want any of them, they are fatal.

    On the other hand you must be exposed to it in the air. Tiles are a poor example of how safe it is as unless you take a grinder to them and grind them down they pose no threat. Most people do not grind floor tiles. Asbestos encapsulated or embedded in a material and not being disturbed are generally very safe as there is no process to get the fibres air borne.

    My job includes managing the asbestos on a military base and although I have never been an asbestos worker, I have taken the asbestos awarness course and the one which has certified me to be an asbestos remover. I simply sample materials that may contain asbestos.If you actually read the information about asbestos you will see that making it airborne is NOT safe.

    If you think the washer is asbestos and wish to remove it, spray it lightly with water before you do so and remove it and place it in a plastic bag just as Kirk says. Wash your hands aftgerwards or wear gloves and wash them. When I first started my current position I submitted a work order to remove the asbestos in my former workplace, floor tile. The tile surface was wearing out and actually had a hole worn through. At the same time I did not recommend replacing the same tile in the next room as it as a storage room and the tiles are in excellent condition. In the first case the floor tile presented a danger to the worker in the room ( a photographer) and even a bigger threat to the cleaners but the second room, a photo storage posed no threat even though both had the same flooring.

    Most asbestos is only dangerous when disturbed and we enounter it in our daily lives at home or at work but when it is disturbed to be removed, the area must be sealed and workers protected. Wearing an air filter will be added protection.

    It may take 30 years to develop asbestos related diseases but it can stem from a short period of exposure like a summer job. Also being a smoker greatly increases your chances to get those diseases. Comparisions to exposure to other pollulants are misleading, some elements take many doses whereas others a single exposure.

    That all said I would remove and replace the washer if it was coming apart and I would keep it if it was totally intact.
     
  13. hoffy

    hoffy Member

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    Thanks for the advice. I have also worked in environments that had extensive use of asbestos. Luckily for me, most of these areas were well and truly encapsulated prior to me working there.

    Interesting to note what Red stated directly above, as this is what I did. I had to pull it apart (changing the lamp fitting which was badly corroded), so I made sure it was wet, pulled it out, placed it in a bag and disposed of it.

    Its interesting to note the many varied views of this substance. I have found many views both supporting and condemning its use…..but then again, most cigarette companies still believe that there is no medical proof that smoking causes cancer either!
     
  14. Ronald Moravec

    Ronald Moravec Member

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    One way to mitigate asbestos is to isolate it. I good tape over it solvers the problem. It would be of little consequence if you left it alone. It needs to be abraded to get particles into the air. Just sitting there is does nothing.