Health Hazards on Blue Funnel Ships. - Ships Nostalgia
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Health Hazards on Blue Funnel Ships.

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  #1  
Old 26th July 2007, 13:21
Eggo Eggo is offline  
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Angry Health Hazards on Blue Funnel Ships.

In the 60's on Blue Funnel ships it was common for the lamptrimmer to place a bucket of diesel topped up with teepol (detergent) outside the focsle door for the crew to clean up with after painting all day. Mutton cloth wads were used to paint railings on some ships which entailed dipping a wad into a bucket of paint 'lead based' and running the wad along the rails. As the paint was lead based and the diesel used to clean up with is carcogenic , cant imagine it was to healthy. After the seamans strike in 66 ,the lookout was brought off the focsle head and banished to the monkey island . Cant imagine being bombarded by X rays from the radar being to healthy either? Factor 30 suntan lotion was unheard of then 'at least on ships' and the usual way to get a nice brown tan was to go red first then blister then let all the skin peel from your back after which it was sun exposure 24/7 with nobody mentioning skin cancer. The 'P' class ships carried a doctor to, who you might have thought would advise against such practices. Can anyone think of more ill advised activities. Les
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  #2  
Old 26th July 2007, 16:42
K urgess K urgess is offline
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There would be more likelihood of microwave exposure from the radar while stood on the focsle, Eggo.
Radars don't produce x-rays. Radar wavelengths are centimetric (3cm or 10cm normally) not millimetric like x-rays.
If the radar scanner was mounted on the funnel or the signal mast on the monkey island the beam wouldn't reach the deck until somewhere near the break of the focsle. A microwave with a broken/damaged door seal is much more dangerous.

The rest I agree with. As one who used to wash his hands in petrol after tinkering with his motorbike/car and spend an awful lot of time in the sun trying to get my red haired, freckled body to go brown.

Cheers
Kris

Last edited by K urgess; 26th July 2007 at 16:44..
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  #3  
Old 26th July 2007, 17:20
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You don't have to go that far back Eggo. In the 80's we were still washing brushes in diesel along with the sheaves off blocks & butterfly valves to clear hardened grease. Wadding rails is still the best way to get them covered but the use of 'Marigolds' prevents exposure to the paint & cleaning solutions. I believe testicular cancer has been detected as being the No1 risk for engineers who, frequently, had their hands in oils etc then when they had an 'Itch' down below, they obviously passed on some of the oils etc to their nether regions
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  #4  
Old 26th July 2007, 17:27
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Other Hazards

I agree with what has been mentioned aleady, but although I was on the deck side, when I was an apprentice we often did turns in the engine-room during shut-downs up to our armpits in asbestos. Also now proven not to be too good for your health!!
Stan
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  #5  
Old 26th July 2007, 19:13
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Not to mention those horrible cockroaches and mosquitoes that always found their way into your food. Then we had 'fresh water' tanks which could sometimes contain vast parcels (stashes) of West African cannabis resin, which when some became dislodged, tainted our drinking/cooking water.

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  #6  
Old 27th July 2007, 01:45
Geoff Garrett Geoff Garrett is offline  
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I like that one Pat, your reasoning about engineers with testicular cancer. I suppose they would also be susceptible to cancer of the colon through scratchin' their behinds!
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  #7  
Old 27th July 2007, 05:30
Eggo Eggo is offline  
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Leptospirosis is another one I never heard about until recent years.
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  #8  
Old 27th July 2007, 07:33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff Garrett View Post
I like that one Pat, your reasoning about engineers with testicular cancer. I suppose they would also be susceptible to cancer of the colon through scratchin' their behinds!
I was told about the testiular cancer from a very stern faced nurse when I completed a 1st aid course in 1992
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  #9  
Old 27th July 2007, 12:00
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Thread should be titled health hazards on ships because it is certainly not confined to one company.
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  #10  
Old 27th July 2007, 16:09
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I believe that the risk for testicular cancer was from "minty" oil impregnated and fairly ill fitting boiler suits. I would regularly toss all my boiler suits and especially the one used during "majors". Also skiddies and socks - on BBS service, I used to get those big packets of cotton socks and grinders which cost almost pennies (although I wondered about the dyes!) every time we arrived at HK.

I remember relieving another Eng who said," I´ve left you some good boiler suits there in the draw!" Well, with all the rush of crew change, getting ready for DS etc. I forget until next day about the BSs. In the cruel light of morning, the cabin was an absolute disgrace and the gifted boiler suits - At extended arms length and straight over the wall! Talk about health risks! For some reason, we had a carpet shampooer on board. I spent three days turning my cabin around!

Rgds.

Dave
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  #11  
Old 5th August 2007, 01:29
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I have had, up to now 12 skin cancers removed from my face and body I can only think they were caused by excessive bronzying in my younger days in the tropics, as a matter of fact I have another one starting on my ear,they are not fatal as long as they are treated but I dont know how long a respite I will get when this one is removed I also engaged it the painting procedure for handrails etc as stated

Last edited by tell; 5th August 2007 at 01:31..
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  #12  
Old 5th August 2007, 22:50
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Skin cancers

Quote:
Originally Posted by tell View Post
I have had, up to now 12 skin cancers removed from my face and body I can only think they were caused by excessive bronzying in my younger days in the tropics, as a matter of fact I have another one starting on my ear,they are not fatal as long as they are treated but I dont know how long a respite I will get when this one is removed I also engaged it the painting procedure for handrails etc as stated
I can sympathise with you tell. My wife had a skin cancer on her cheek about 5 years ago and the surgeon called it a "rodent ulcer". It was taken out and it was the size of a strawberry with tentacles spreading through her cheek. She had about 20 stitches but now they are not noticeable. The surgeon put it down to "bronzeying" years ago. She doesn't even go out in the sun nowadays.

With regards to the original post, I did four years with Blue Funnel in the early 50's and remember painting rails with a wad and also straddling derricks and painting them with wads. The ordinary seamen also had the job of "coming down the stays" using Stockholm Tar, no Marigolds in those days. Our hands were stained for days after, no amount of paraffin would clean it off.

I remember going ashore in Japan and hiding my hands from the "girls" as I was so ashamed of the state of them. Happy days or were they? I think they were looking back.

Trader.
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  #13  
Old 6th August 2007, 13:41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tell View Post
I have had, up to now 12 skin cancers removed from my face and body I can only think they were caused by excessive bronzying in my younger days in the tropics, as a matter of fact I have another one starting on my ear,they are not fatal as long as they are treated but I dont know how long a respite I will get when this one is removed I also engaged it the painting procedure for handrails etc as stated
Wish I hadn't started this thread as I've got a few brown patches on my hands and one on my forehead. Les
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  #14  
Old 6th September 2007, 09:03
Bill Davies Bill Davies is offline  
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No doubt you will all remember the carriage of Octel drums on the Port after well deck. During the outward passage it was common to be given work in the vicinity not being aware of the hazardous nature of the cargo. First indication was when the Japanese insisted on wearing BA equipment in Kobe for its discharge. Today, small specialised ships carry this dangerous cargo worldwide.
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  #15  
Old 6th September 2007, 09:37
Philthechill Philthechill is offline  
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Smile Octel!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Davies View Post
No doubt you will all remember the carriage of Octel drums on the Port after well deck. During the outward passage it was common to be given work in the vicinity not being aware of the hazardous nature of the cargo. First indication was when the Japanese insisted on wearing BA equipment in Kobe for its discharge. Today, small specialised ships carry this dangerous cargo worldwide.
Bill! I was scrolling down the various entries, to this thread, thinking I'll add something about "Octel" and then I found your entry!!! Octel was, in actual fact, Tetra-ethyl-lead which was an "anti-knock" chemical additive to put in petrol. TET is one of the most poisonous of substances and was the "lead" in leaded fuel, now of course removed!! In Brock's we used to carry drums of it on deck to be discharged in Aden for the BP refinery there. Standing instructions were, "If a drum should start to leak it MUST be jettisoned overboard!!" Can't think the environmental lobby, of today, would go along with that sentiment somehow!!!! Salaams, Phil Roe
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  #16  
Old 6th September 2007, 10:25
Bill Davies Bill Davies is offline  
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Originally Posted by Philthechill View Post
Bill! I was scrolling down the various entries, to this thread, thinking I'll add something about "Octel" and then I found your entry!!! Octel was, in actual fact, Tetra-ethyl-lead which was an "anti-knock" chemical additive to put in petrol. TET is one of the most poisonous of substances and was the "lead" in leaded fuel, now of course removed!! In Brock's we used to carry drums of it on deck to be discharged in Aden for the BP refinery there. Standing instructions were, "If a drum should start to leak it MUST be jettisoned overboard!!" Can't think the environmental lobby, of today, would go along with that sentiment somehow!!!! Salaams, Phil Roe
I understand this product is now only transported in small specialised ships.
The freight must be good as I remember piloting a vessel in the Gulf in the early 80s which was around 12000 Dwt. It sailed Galveston with a full cargo making scheduled stops with parcels of 200/600 tonnes each port. Commencing Durban and all points East completing on the WCUSA.

Last edited by Bill Davies; 6th September 2007 at 10:35..
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  #17  
Old 6th September 2007, 11:10
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I've been through the paint and wads, buckets of gas oil to wash hands and dry cleaning one's blues over an open tank lid of naptha. But what of tank cleaning when we used to go in a dig out the crude and sand mixtures without the benifits of breathing apparatus. I've seen a few seaman keel over only to be helped out of the tank and given a large tot of Four Bells as the antidote.
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  #18  
Old 6th September 2007, 21:07
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philthechill View Post
Bill! I was scrolling down the various entries, to this thread, thinking I'll add something about "Octel" and then I found your entry!!! Octel was, in actual fact, Tetra-ethyl-lead which was an "anti-knock" chemical additive to put in petrol. TET is one of the most poisonous of substances and was the "lead" in leaded fuel, now of course removed!! In Brock's we used to carry drums of it on deck to be discharged in Aden for the BP refinery there. Standing instructions were, "If a drum should start to leak it MUST be jettisoned overboard!!" Can't think the environmental lobby, of today, would go along with that sentiment somehow!!!! Salaams, Phil Roe
The inventor of TEL, Thomas Midgely must have had something of a death wish for the environment as he also invented Chloro fluro carbons which are believed to damage the ozone layers and certainly lead to large fines if you are unfortunate enough to have a fridge leak in US waters and admit to it!!.

Midgely contracted polio, designed an apparatus to haul himself out of bead so he could retain a degree of independance, but unfortunately became entangled in it and strangled himself accidentally.

Duncan
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  #19  
Old 19th February 2013, 01:45
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Anilene oil

Ten or twelve drums of Anilene Oil, destined for Shanghai and lashed to the portside gunnel, abaft the accommodation, started to come adrift during a typhoon. The crowd were put to breaching the drums with fire axes, so to lighten them for jettisoning. This resulted in everybody getting splashed with the anilene oil and fast becoming laid up. We were able to communicate with City of Carlisle and obtain advice from her doctor, i.e. washing the bodies and administering a strong pick-me-up, which had already begun. The catering men took care of this while a lone AB and the peggy were the only deck crew left to stand watches. The firemen and greasers were put to work, under the chief officer, securing a lifeboat that was hanging from her davits and flogging hell out of the side of the ship. Dangerous work.
Unfortunately, a first-trip JOS, Joey Kinsey, died that night. Putting back to Holts wharf the next day, our crowd were taken to hospital by waiting ambulances, and the ship moved over to Taikoo Dockyard
for repairs, and repainting of the discoloured accommodations by the splashing oil. That was SS Eurypylus on her first voyage under that name.
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  #20  
Old 19th February 2013, 09:10
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I had a rodent ulcer (aka Basel cell carcinoma) on the side of my nose. When I went to get it removed, a ten minute job so I thought, I spent nearly two hours on the table because the guy had to take a few square cms from next to my ear to graft onto the gap left by the excised ulcer. I recall having this conversation with him about selecting skin that was 'non hairy'. "You don't want to shave your nose" he said.
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  #21  
Old 25th March 2013, 21:09
ray morgan ray morgan is offline  
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I remember being on a Lamport Boat and dumping 40gal drums with some sort of waste in,in a set dumping ground in the Atlantic they were all lashed on the afterdeck not even a glove issue for handling them. We were outward bound.
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  #22  
Old 19th April 2013, 17:25
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[QUOTE=K urgess;142679]There would be more likelihood of microwave exposure from the radar while stood on the focsle, Eggo.
Radars don't produce x-rays. Radar wavelengths are centimetric (3cm or 10cm normally) not millimetric like x-rays.

I'm afraid I have to disagree about radars not producing x-rays. I worked on many naval radar systems and we used to get the bods from Haslar naval hospital conducting x-ray surveys on our radars. One particular radar had to have lead shielding fitted around the thyratron. They made the shielding too short and an x-ray beam used to pass out the radar door.
I was told that anything above 4kv could produce x-rays. Magnetrons, thyratrons, twts and klystrons seem to fall into that bracket.
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Old 19th April 2013, 19:41
tom roberts tom roberts is offline  
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[QUOTE=Philthechill;149632]Bill! I was scrolling down the various entries, to this thread, thinking I'll add something about "Octel" and then I found your entry!!! Octel was, in actual fact, Tetra-ethyl-lead which was an "anti-knock" chemical additive to put in petrol. TET is one of the most poisonous of substances and was the "lead" in leaded fuel, now of course removed!! In Brock's we used to carry drums of it on deck to be discharged in Aden for the BP refinery there. Standing instructions were, "If a drum should start to leak it MUST be jettisoned overboard!!" Can't think the environmental lobby, of today, would go along with that sentiment somehow!!!! Salaams, Phil Roe[/QU
I have posted before re the Octel and the drums we loaded on deck cargo that we dumped at sea as I stated no protection for us unlike the men who loaded it.Worked there years later rigging for contractors Land and Marine,a sh*t hole of a place.Another post recalls blacking down the rigging with Stockholm tar as s.o.s on the Anglian that was my job a few days before docking in Liverpool,the bosun had a weird sense of humour.
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  #24  
Old 19th April 2013, 21:31
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If I can recall correctly the TET was always loaded (in Birkenhead ) last and at night. The AH shore gang would have it wire lashed & covered on top with dunnage before the dawn .

Perhaps PK can confirm?

PS. I do not believe that hatch dust sweeping did any of us any good either.

BW

J
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  #25  
Old 19th April 2013, 22:59
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Spare a thought for the poor old second mate too.
He had to maintain the Sperry gyro in the gyro room - a hot steel box in the bowels somewhere.
I remember many times being nearly overpowered by the fumes from the Carbon Tetra chloride that was used to clean various bits.
I also had a few spills of mercury which was collected in the bare hands.
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