Glenn

Ceramic Wool Insulation, Safety Alert

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This post has been edited.

The thread went off subject and is too important to not bring to the attention of the community.

 

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Chuck Wright

You need to rigidize and coat your ceramic wool insulation to keep from having the fibers from blowing in the air and landing in the lungs of you and your family. That can result in severe granulomas of the lungs and eventual silicosis and cancer of the lungs in any age group with the risk climbing with each exposure. Below is a pair of xrays of a 28 y.o. man with 7 yr history of blacksmithing. The X-ray on the left was when he was 21 and the one of the right is the X-ray I ordered for him when he came it not the ER last year with chronic and progressively worsening breathing issues. He is now awaiting lung transplant.    

 

Keep on forging,

DocChuck

 

Screen Shot 2017-11-20 at 3.28.22 AM.png

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eseemann

I just got done rounding up some info about how blasting sand can cause this kind of thing. I stand humbled at the pain your 28 year old young man is going through. I suggested this post to the admin of this site for a sticky post. Please let this young man know I am keeping him in my heart and I hope he is able to get the transplant he needs.

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ThomasPowers Tuesday at 11:04 AM

Silicosis is one of the oldest reported workplace health issues being reported by the Ancient Greeks and Romans and on a regular basis since then.  (Agricola mentioned breathing problems in miners for example) Another term sometimes used is pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis which is, unfortunately, almost impossible to use in scrabble.  So add in black lung, brown lung and all the other lungs and you basically get that BREATHING IN DUST IS A BAD THING TO DO!

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Charles R. Stevens

Howdy Doc! Thanks for the pics

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SLAG Tuesday at 01:17 PM

Dr. Wright,

Welcome to the site.

We have similar interests,. And I am certain that I will thoroughly enjoy the information that you will post, henceforth, on this forum.

The dangers of silicosis should be taught to all high school students.

Alas it is not. I only acquired that knowledge, per chance, through my interest in mining tech., industrial history, metallurgy, & medical pathology.

(a real iffy happen-stance).

Excessive use of abrasives, grinding, etc. raises a real hazard for most members/readers on this site. (e.g. silicon carbide abrasives, etc.)

Thanks for positing the information here.

SLAG.

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Hans Richter Tuesday at 01:17 PM

This is one of the reasons I carry out all my refractory in solid materials like hard stone or refractory cast instead of insulation. It maybe cost more time and fuel (like my clumsy gas compliant Inconell ‘weed’ burners) to heat up the stuff, but you get less exposed to sintered ceramic fibres. It’s not only the dust can kill you, but it is this (only one)  sharp glassy fibre perforating your long air sacs / get stacked there -and build up the base for cancer or granuloma.

Several ceramic fibres will sinter if exposed to temperatures higher than 1650 °F and can lead to above mentioned illness or fatality ones respired often enough and with the ‘right’ size (1 to 3 Ǿ vs length)

Products like K….w…l are not allowed in western Europe anymore because of this.

Looking for ‘healing’ in rigidizers its only temporary -ones you hurt the insolation with a work piece sticking to far in to the forge (and you have fibre exposure), or during insulation refreshment of your forge without FFP3 mask. So if using a liner, make it solid.

Don’t worry you don’t will dye instantly, fibre pleurisy have an incubation time between 5 (like the poor guy on the X-ray) and 30 years:(.

I don’t want to sound precociously, and I have no idea how my own longs looks like, after cutting yards of asbestos roofing with an angle grinder in the 80’, but according to my experience, after loss of family + some good friends to cancer,  and my knowledge as an OHSAS advisor the last two decades,  I avoid any contact with heated ceramic fibres or asbestos.

Take care of yourself and have pleasure with safe forging.

Cheers, Hans

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JHCC Tuesday at 01:23 PM

  On 11/21/2017 at 1:17 PM, Hans Richter said:

Looking for ‘healing’ in rigidizers its only temporary -ones you hurt the insolation with a work piece sticking to far in to the forge (and you have fibre exposure), or during insulation refreshment of your forge without FFP3 mask. So if using a liner, make it solid.

This is why almost all our gas forge build discussion threads include some mention of the absolute necessity of some kind of solid refractory liner, with the ceramic wool acting entire as insulation and NOT as a flame face.

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BinesmanTuesday at 02:56 PM

Also why ridgidizing is preached andnthen preached a little morenwhen people start asking how to build.

Asblong as were on the subject has anyone looked in to superwool?  Isnits suposed "safer" worth the double cost.  Also does it work/hold up as well?

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Ede

Dr. Wright I couldn't find the source, but did you say previously that your patient was using a certain Lithuanian brand forge that was uncoated?  

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Binesman

Ede there are a lot of forges that are sold unridgidized.  Lets not pick on one certain brand.  However i do think the companies selling them in that way should have to warn people.  Many people believe them to be "plug and play" forges not realizing there is workto be done besides just slapping it together.

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Mikey 98118

Too soon we get old to late we get smart.

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Ede

  On 11/21/2017 at 5:16 PM, Binesman said:

Ede there are a lot of forges that are sold unridgidized.  Lets not pick on one certain brand.  However i do think the companies selling them in that way should have to warn people.  Many people believe them to be "plug and play" forges not realizing there is workto be done besides just slapping it together.

I would think that it should be pointed out to all buyers which ones are built for 'plug and play' and wether that information comes from iforgeiron or the manufacture, it should be made available to the public irregardless.   Esepcially if some manufacturers are either:

1)ignorant of rigidizing 

2)aware of the safety issue but feel it's cost prohibitive and notify their customers they will need to take an extra step

3)aware of the safety issue but don't notify their customers

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Latticino

As someone who has been diagnosed with ~50% of lung damage due to this issue I am particularly sensitive to the topic.  Back in the day when I learned to insulate with fiber refractory blanket, no one was teaching any sort of rigidizing or encapsulation of the fibers.  It is really important folks, please learn from my mistakes (and I wouldn't trust the "Superwool" as regards safety either.  It may be safer initially, but I haven't heard any affidavits regarding the fibers not breaking down after being fired up to temperature).

On the manufacturer's side I am slightly more understanding (though I still think it is reprehensible not to warn their customers that the forges need to be completed before use).  Customers keep trying to drive the price of gas forges down, and some listed appear to be sold for little more than the price of materials for a DIY forge.  Also the inner refractory shell would need to be cured and fired before shipping to have any chance of surviving (even then depending on material and thickness it can be a little fragile).  Do you think the customers will be willing to pay 2-3 times as much for their forges?  Given my experience, I would, but I doubt the folks who are complaining about buying an anvil for $5-10/lb. will want to up their investment in a forge as well.  I think the manufacturers are riding the blacksmithing boom and selling low end forges to folks who just are looking to try it out, and it would be a hard sell.  Even some of the premium forges (like Chili Forge for example) only seal their refractory blanket and put an IR coating over the sealant.  They don't include a hard refractory inner shell (I am not aware of any commercial manufacturers that do, though industrial manufacturers are a different world altogether).

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Binesman

  On 11/22/2017 at 11:45 AM, Latticino said:

Even some of the premium forges (like Chili Forge for example) only seal their refractory blanket and put an IR coating over the sealan

Chile does rigidize their blanket they're one of the few companies that do. You are correct most companies do not put a refractory over top of the blanket. They just put down an IR or Kiln wash. I think this probably has something to do with shipping weight and also the fragility of the castable.

Also my inquiry about super wool is more to see if it holds up and works as well as normal ceramic fiber. I realize that there has been no long-term study or testing to ensure that it really is safer. However if it works as well I'm willing to pay the difference for the possibility of it being safer. I will still follow all safety precautions that I currently do with ceramic fiber.

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Hans Richner

https://www.google.be/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjgppjW_NLXAhVnD8AKHRKTBxAQFgg4MAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.morganthermalceramics.com%2Fmedia%2F1814%2Fsw_blanket_data_sheet_english_1.pdf&usg=AOvVaw22eFkEqHLvC4g9FxaxS3Vc

Gents, look at chapter 11 of the MSDS from SW -seams safe. Normally every product comes with a safety data sheet and every legal authority is authorised to as after it. But no word if the tests are carried out with fresh wool or heat exposed wool like Latticino suggested. SW is allowed in EU for insulation of heat treated/pre heated welding’s till 1500°F. However you know my opinion and very glad to see I m not alone with it.

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Jcornell

I've used SuperWool HT, it performs just like Kaowool.  

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Chuck Wright

I am the ordering physician for this young man's xrays at a hospital in Maryland. 

  On 11/21/2017 at 6:52 AM, eseemann said:

Chuck,

I just got done rounding up some info about how blasting sand can cause this kind of thing. I stand humbled at the pain your 28 year old young man is going through. I suggested this post to the admin of this site for a sticky post. Please let this young man know I am keeping him in my heart and I hope he is able to get the transplant he needs.

If i can help  you in any way, please do not hesitate to contact me.    Since the latest exponential rise in metalworking, blacksmithing , bladesmithing, casting ,etc.  we have seen meteoric rises in foreign body inhalants including this latest post,  carbon monoxide poisoning,   penetrating and lacerating trauma to the hands and face,  flash burns in the eyes either from dragon's breath, or no eye protection from welding,  dermal/epidermal burns, foreign bodies in the eyes, and all associated conditions.    As I said, I'd be happy to help.

The risk I fear in leaving these posts questioning the source of the images and secondarily, my integrity as a physician and blacksmith, is that members will begin to question the seriousness of the  post and not heed the warning intended and continue with unsafe practices.    I am requesting removal of the posts to prevent anyone else from getting hurt.    If in the future, you have a question as to the source of anything I have written or figures/pictures I have posted, please send me a message.   I will never have a need to post someone else's pictures after all I see in even a single shift.    If I am writing and informational piece and need to include images that are not my intellectual property, I will then openly cite the source of any image, chart, or photograph.   

Thanks so much for your attention in this matter,

Charles Wright III, MD, MS

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Chuck Wright

  On 11/22/2017 at 2:14 PM, Binesman said:

Also my inquiry about super wool is more to see if it holds up and works as well as normal ceramic fiber. I realize that there has been no long-term study or testing to ensure that it really is safer. However if it works as well I'm willing to pay the difference for the possibility of it being safer. I will still follow all safety precautions that I currently do with ceramic fiber.

That is a wise move.   To date,  I do not know the data or of cases related to Superwool,  they claim that it is "Body Soluble" . When I contacted the company,  getting them pinned down to a distinct definition of the term was impossible.   When those things happen in industry, I always get suspicious that they are inventing a term to limit liability and self reporting in a court of law.    That is my opinion and not factual, at least I can not prove that yet.    After looking at the structures of the fibers of the material, I can see it being more soluble that previous iterations of the material, however, conditions can exist where the fiber can come out of solution and be right back to where we started.   Having said that, I would follow and Binesman has said and follow the exact safety protocols and treatments as you would any other ceramic wool fiber.

 

 I am the ordering physician for this young man's case and personally am not concerned if there are xrays that are similar to his.   The logic you all fail to understand is I've seen this exactly 18x in the past 6 years when I've not seen 2 cases in the previous 19 years.   All of the cases with the exception of 3 are either established smiths with new forges or new smiths with new forges and in both cases, no rigidizer or coatings were applied.  

 BY LAW, I have had to get written permission to use his images, and have gone to great lengths to be certain that any identifying features have been removed.  Three are no names, numbers, dates, case report identifiers present on either of these images.  If any of that information was present on these films I would be violating a HIPPA statute.   The only thing you are doing by creating doubt is to endanger your fellow smiths.

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Slimpickins

Thank you for this. I am currently planning a gas forge build, and was considering buying a k__w__l liner kit, but was concerned over the dangers of the fibers, hence why I was researching iforgeiron. I think I will steer clear. Can anyone point me to a topic/post on a firebrick lined forge, re pros/cons etc. Thank you. I think I will also re evaluate my grinding welding habits as well. Thank you greatly.

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SLAG

Dr. Wright,

I do not take issue with your medical information. We are on the same page.

Your query of the term "bio-control" is a valid one. It seems to be a coined word of the manufacturer. I presume that it is not an accepted legal term.

Let me mention an analogous example. 

Years ago, the makers of 'raisin bran' advertised their product as having "two scoops'" of raisins in every box. A question arose as to whether it was false advertising.

The Federal Communications Commissions, (F.C.C.) or a consumer affairs federal watchdog, (F. T. C.) looked into the matter and concluded that they could not prosecute, because "two scoops" was not an accepted unit of measurement, i. e., it was a made up word phrase concocted by the manufacturer.

Even though it was misleading.

SLAG.

p. s.   I practiced medical legal law years ago.

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Chuck Wright

Hi SLAG,  Thank you for your response.   I always get a little nervous when industries coin terms that sound scientific knowing that the majority of the general public will accept it implicitly.  Each time that happens, I've never seen those terms critically defined.   The result is as always,  a level of protection of the company at the risk of the consumers.  When I have notified the companies in the past , two things happen...I either get a letter "appreciating" my concern followed by some level of false reassurance, or, I am flat out ignored with no response whatsoever. Both of these actions are deplorable.   In an age where hobbyists are growing by leaps and bounds,  expecting industrial temperatures, it requires the use of materials that are dangerous.  Yet the tragedy is, that many purchase and use this apparatus not realizing they are putting themselves in danger.    Since these materials are a necessary evil in one form or another,  then it is incumbent among the rest of us to educate those around us on how to remedy the situation and at the risk of sounding cliche', increase awareness so better decisions can be made.    Thanks again,  DocChuck

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Hans Richter

The only intention of this threat is, to point out the risks of using pure crystalline silica insulation (K –w-l) instead of synthetic (S-W) or solid refractory/insulation. For the one continuing the use of untreated/unprotected crystalline silica insulation –keep on, at least you now have a gimp of the risks you’re dealing with. Unfortunately the risks and consequences  of using some materials appearing very often many years later (like use of Radon –fluorescence on watches or asbestos as insulation). For me, the discussion is closed now after pointed out the risks as an OSHAS advisor. I also respect al opinions of all members have their doubts of the risks of using pure fibre material as an flame face,even as the appearance of Jimmy Hoffa, 9/11 or the virginity of mother Mary.

Have a good day. Hans

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Charles Stevens

It's always wonderful to see the day jobs and expertise our talented hobiests have, lol. It's never a good idea to talk smack on IFI, their is always an honest to god expert lurking in the shadows. 

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Glenn

Time to site references.

Charles Wright MD. MS. ,  Emergency, Critical Care, and Transport Medicine CBCPA/EMS,  Pulmonary Physiology, and lists his interests  as Blacksmith, Bladesmith, Forge Building, Tooling, Emergency Physician, Human Physiologist, Medical Microbiologist. All of this is easy to confirm.

 Below is a pair of xrays of a 28 y.o. man with 7 yr history of blacksmithing. The X-ray on the left was when he was 21 and the one of the right is the X-ray I ordered for him. I personally have the films. 

 

Dr. Wright:

Thank you for bringing this to our attention and alerting us to the dangers. Please thank those that pointed you to IForgeIron and suggested that you post here. Please continue to post and inform us of the dangers we face as blacksmiths.

Glenn

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Binesman

The point is the danger of ceramic fiber and why it is a must to ridgidize.  I think those two points are something we can all agree upon.  I feel at this point this thread either needs ro get back on topic of those dangers and how to remediate them.  Or this thread needs to be locked.

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Twisted Customs

Dr. Wright, You have my attention and my thanks. I am not the only one your message will reach here on the world wide web. 

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Charles Stevens

Dr. Wright would give Slag a run for his money!

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SLAG

Mr. Stevens, 

Said "...he would give SLAG a run for his money."

HAH!!!

I do not have that much money. My ex cleaned me out.

I do follow medical research, have several science degrees, and have done some medical research  in the past.

But that background does not make me a practicing physician nor a clinician. They are not my areas of expertise.

There is a good possibility that I would agree with Dr. Wright on most medical questions.

SLAG.

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At this point the thread went off subject and was closed to additional posting.

 

This thread well be referenced as a caution in the gas forges section as well as the safety section. Thank you Dr. Wright for bringing this to our attention.

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