search  current discussion  categories  safety - misc 

safety in the sevent

updated sat 7 aug 99


Monona Rossol on thu 5 aug 99

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sun, 1 Aug 1999 11:24:25 EDT
From: Mike Gordon
Subject: Re: Safety in the seventies
----------------------------Original message----------------------------
Hey David,
I'm with you all the way! When I think about the work I did in the
studio as T.A. all those yrs.I teach now and test positive for T.B. skin
test so need chest x-rays and always come up with clear lungs,I'm
wondering if those chemicals would show up in an x-ray as opposed to
what ever TB looks like? I also remember way back someone posted an
address to send a blood sample and they would test it for all
metals,etc. I also spent 4 yrs in a bronze foundry, doing patina's, sand
casting, investment casting.Its a wonder I can still walk! The heavy
metals, ya know???? :-) Anybody out there remember or know of an
institution that does these tests? Mike

The mixed dust pneumoconioses such as those from silcia, clay, etc. are not
easy to diagnose. You can't see the silica on the x-ray. You have to wait
until the silica causes scar tissue and then that's what shows on the
x-ray. In fact, most doctors can't diagnose these diseases well from x-rays
at all. This job is best done by a specialist called a B Reader. We use
these experts whenever we are preparing a legal case because their diagnoses
are about the only ones that will stand up well in court.

What I'd do if I were you is ask your physician to refer your x-rays to a B
reader if it is well over 10 years ago that you worked in the foundry.
Your doctor should do this because TB and silicosis are often found in the
same person. People with silica in their lungs seem to be more susceptible
to TB. So regular surveillance is a good idea in your case.

The metals go with time. Even lead has about a 25 year half life in the
body. Blood tests after years are not going to find stuff. Of course if you
are still working with the metal-containing glaze chemicals, you again need
surveillance. Your doctor should know what to do. If he doesn't, ask him to
refer you to an occupational medical doctor or a toxicologist. Watch out
for the voodoo docs that want to put you on strange plant products. They are
a crock. That may have been what that blood test for all the metals was

Monona Rossol
181 Thompson St., # 23
New York NY 10012-2586 212/777-0062