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WW2 Gasmasks a danger to you health


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#26 thefallenbuddha

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Posted 05 July 2014 - 12:35 AM

The same laws on items with asbestos exist in most US states.



#27 doyler

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Posted 05 July 2014 - 10:14 AM

Doing a bit of research on this. It is not the gas masks, more the filters that are the issue. 

 

Health and Safety Executive HSE Northern Ireland initially issued the following advice to local schools:

 

'In order to minimise the risk to pupils and staff in schools where masks are present,

HSENI would instruct that if any school owns or has been loaned World War II gas masks to be used in displays or during course work in class these should be removed immediately.'

This I would have thought is to prevent any claims against the school/education authority. Although they do state that the schools should then return the mask to the owner if the item has been loaned. 

 

Whilst the Imperial War Museum states;

 

'As regards handling, display and storage, it has been IWM policy for some years to seal all filters on gas masks that are to be used for handling and display; the sealing of filters in the reserve collection has also now commenced. Sealing causes limited damage and can be undertaken by a conservator. But sealing is not always a solution, especially for filters that are damaged, or where the asbestos has already begun to break down. In such cases the asbestos will need removing professionally or, more feasibly, a better condition mask will need acquiring, with the damaged example safely discarded.

Gas masks that have been sealed should not be worn, in case there is a leak from the seal. They can, however, be handled in safety.'

 

It is all about ensuring exposure to potentially dangerous asbestos is kept to a minimum.

 

However the following came from the HSE in a 2013 meeting:

 

Sale of second hand gas masks

 

26. HSE has received complaints that a number of second hand gas masks, dating back to World War II, have been made available for sale online and at trade fairs specialising in militaria. The masks are sought out by collectors and those engaged in historical re-enactments. It is claimed that some of these masks may contain asbestos in the filters. If so, not only is this a health hazard but the sale of such items is prohibited by REACH. HSE is attempting to determine the scale of the problem (including estimating the number and type of gas mask that may contain asbestos). 

 

I believe in the UK it is illegal to send asbestos through the postal system.

 

 

 

So will wel now see ebay jump on board and outlaw the sale of (all or any)) gasmasks as they cant be shipped??

 

Im sure dome do gooder will inform them of the evils of a 70 year old filter.



#28 doyler

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Posted 05 July 2014 - 10:30 AM

Okay, I will violate my own self imposed oath to stay out of political debates here on the forum. Passion forces me to make a couple brief comments.

In 1995, I lost my father. He was a young 53 years old when diagnosed with mesothelioma, lung cancer specifically attributed to asbestos exposure. He was a boiler tender on a destroyer in the USN in 1957-1961. He recalled specifically many occasions when he had to strip loose asbestos insulation from pipes in order to make repairs, or in some cases, remove equipment from packing material containing loose asbestos. What has been already said is true, that loose asbestos is the danger. It can either be inhaled or swallowed. If inhaled, the fiber(s) imbed in the lining of the lung. This was what had happened in my fathers case. If swallowed, it imbeds in the stomach lining. Cancer is likely to develop. Sadly, the cancer "incubates" for as long as 25 to 30 years before symptoms develop. I don't know if medical treatment has developed in the past 18 years, but when my father was diagnosed, it was always terminal. He was extremely healthy-didn't smoke, didn't drink, was two years from a retirement in a career in the fire service and the best man I have ever known. Make no mistake about it, he died as a result of serving his country-it just took 25 years to catch up to him.

Having said that, I also don't believe that WWI helmets or gas masks are a real danger (so no, MAW, you cannot have the USMC 6th Marine helmet depicted as my Avatar). Having said that, I would not tear apart the liner of a WWI helmet or try on or disturb the contents of a gas mask. We are surrounded by asbestos-it is in old floor tiles, dry wall, brake pads, etc. For those who care to research it, the Government (the US Government that is) knew the ill effects of asbestos in the 1940's and refused to remove it from the market place predominantly because the alternative was the fiberglass used today, and fiberglass as a skin irritant resulted at that time in having to pay .50 an hour more to those workers handling it. So in other words, despite the extreme dangers posed by asbestos, it wasn't eliminated because of the almighty dollar. I for one, will not be playing Russian roulette with whether one fiber can kill you or not. This is a terrible disease. My father suffered a terrible death at an age far too young. For those who don't know, Steve McQueen suffered the same fate. He too was a Navy veteran.

So in the end, while I too believe there are some pretty ridiculous Government regulations out there, those who have been exposed to the horrible effects of mesothelioma understand first hand the true dangers of asbestos. For what it is worth-Kevin

 

Kevin

 

Very sorry for your loss and esbestos is a very serious issue.

 

I too lost my dad to cancer but it was prostrate.There were other complications or residual effects as a large tumore that had grown in his upper left shoulder then attached to the base of his spine and skull juncture.But prostrate cancer was the "official" diagnosis.I often wonder if things he was exposed to over the years as a plumber for a construction company had also added to his othercompications.They were often working in a old fertilizer plant here that was very toxix and everything in the building had a coat of "brown dust" .He would come home covered head to toe in it.I know people who worked there also in the 60s and 70s when it was finally closed.It layed dormant for years and was actually deemed a hazardous waste site.THe original comany couldnt even get the property sold for years as the clean up and disposal was in the hundreds of millions.So it just sat.Finally it sold for a $1 and it has now been cleared and the metal,wood and concrete in the building and other materials(as well as asbestos)were disposed of.The ground covered and monitering wells installed.It has now been developed by our local economic developement board and they are buiding spec buidings there and promoting the sale of the lots.My old boss at my job was involved in this.He thought and things hes a big shot realastate developer as hes on the economic board.We emploees were talking about it one day and he got all defensive and said it safe there.I said that place will glow for a 1000 years and no one will ever know the effects of the plant on our area.Just because they cleared some ground and brought in new dirt what about the ajoining property that wasnt"cleaned".Plus the plant had thes huge smoke stakes that billowed out material in the air for years.He wanted to argue about it and I said why not build a play ground on the site and let your grand kids play there and eat the dirt if its so safe??.He just walked away.I guess when it comes to money and his looking like a big shot its ok...let his grand kids play there isnt a good idea I guess.



#29 grovb

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 02:51 PM

MY dad uncle died of the same thing and I beleive it was from the same thing when he was in the navy as he served on the uss Yorktown and they dedicated a plack to him if I was not mistaken.  Is the Yorktown a museum somewhere.

Okay, I will violate my own self imposed oath to stay out of political debates here on the forum. Passion forces me to make a couple brief comments.

In 1995, I lost my father. He was a young 53 years old when diagnosed with mesothelioma, lung cancer specifically attributed to asbestos exposure. He was a boiler tender on a destroyer in the USN in 1957-1961. He recalled specifically many occasions when he had to strip loose asbestos insulation from pipes in order to make repairs, or in some cases, remove equipment from packing material containing loose asbestos. What has been already said is true, that loose asbestos is the danger. It can either be inhaled or swallowed. If inhaled, the fiber(s) imbed in the lining of the lung. This was what had happened in my fathers case. If swallowed, it imbeds in the stomach lining. Cancer is likely to develop. Sadly, the cancer "incubates" for as long as 25 to 30 years before symptoms develop. I don't know if medical treatment has developed in the past 18 years, but when my father was diagnosed, it was always terminal. He was extremely healthy-didn't smoke, didn't drink, was two years from a retirement in a career in the fire service and the best man I have ever known. Make no mistake about it, he died as a result of serving his country-it just took 25 years to catch up to him.

Having said that, I also don't believe that WWI helmets or gas masks are a real danger (so no, MAW, you cannot have the USMC 6th Marine helmet depicted as my Avatar). Having said that, I would not tear apart the liner of a WWI helmet or try on or disturb the contents of a gas mask. We are surrounded by asbestos-it is in old floor tiles, dry wall, brake pads, etc. For those who care to research it, the Government (the US Government that is) knew the ill effects of asbestos in the 1940's and refused to remove it from the market place predominantly because the alternative was the fiberglass used today, and fiberglass as a skin irritant resulted at that time in having to pay .50 an hour more to those workers handling it. So in other words, despite the extreme dangers posed by asbestos, it wasn't eliminated because of the almighty dollar. I for one, will not be playing Russian roulette with whether one fiber can kill you or not. This is a terrible disease. My father suffered a terrible death at an age far too young. For those who don't know, Steve McQueen suffered the same fate. He too was a Navy veteran.

So in the end, while I too believe there are some pretty ridiculous Government regulations out there, those who have been exposed to the horrible effects of mesothelioma understand first hand the true dangers of asbestos. For what it is worth-Kevin

 




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