Thread Number: 12729
A word of caution...
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Post# 136042   5/10/2011 at 18:18 (4,680 days old) by vacumaniac ()        

Well, I thought I would share this "neat" experience I had last night when beginning to resto one of my Sanitronics. When I opened the emtor a bunch of crap fell out, of which a large amount was a familiar white fibrous material. I cannot say for certain, but I have seen enough to say that there is a good chance that it was asbestos (of course to be certain one would have to have it tested). I for one did not want to take any chances so I am treating it as if it is.... Why someone would use this to vacuum such a substance up is beyond me but I guess it takes all kinds... Has anyone else had a similar experience?

Post# 136049 , Reply# 1   5/10/2011 at 18:45 (4,680 days old) by Automatic-Shift ()        
Excellent advice

I agree one has to be cautious with handling bag waste. It can also harbor mold, not to mention asbestos. Here, in California we have a law about buildings pre-1978 because of asbestos. Be careful.

Post# 136062 , Reply# 2   5/10/2011 at 20:04 (4,680 days old) by henry200 (Saint Paul MN)        

Thanks for bringing up this important issue.  It's always a good idea to proceed cautiously when handling the contents of old vacs.  I always wear gloves and a dust mask and work outside when I first open up an old cleaner.  I had a landlord many years ago whose career was in construction back when asbestos was a "wonder material" from shingles to siding, insulation, flooring, wallboard, HVAC systems and more.  He recounted how they would dump a bag of the stuff into a bucket (releasing clouds of it) then pour in water and mix it with their hands before slapping it on boiler pipes!  What is most alarming is how long it took for asbestos to be outlawed after the health effects were known. 

Post# 136076 , Reply# 3   5/10/2011 at 21:07 (4,680 days old) by vacumaniac ()        

Yeah, the kicker is, though the use in the us was prohibited after 1978, companies were allowed to use up their stock of asbestos containing materials, so houses built well into the 1980's could contain it. As henry200 has just mentioned, I will begin using the method he described...

Post# 136084 , Reply# 4   5/10/2011 at 21:57 (4,679 days old) by twocvbloke ()        

The thing about Asbestos is, if you leave it alone, it's fine, but when you disturb or damage it, then it becomes a problem... :S

As for the contents of the Kirby bag, well, yeah, I probably would be suffering now, cos usually I can't be bothered emptying stinky used cloth bags outside... :S

Post# 136096 , Reply# 5   5/11/2011 at 00:59 (4,679 days old) by electrolux~137 ()        




Asbestos was also used as insulation in electric toasters, irons, waffle makers etc., both in the appliances as well as in the cloth-covered electrical cords. Same for old lighting instruments and fixtures. When I was a teenager I used to work on the stage lights for the school's drama club. Up in the ceiling of the auditorium were banks of large fresnel and kleig lights. Their electrical cables consisted of pairs of wires insulated with a rubber lining and covered with an asbestos sheath. When the asbestos scare erupted in the early 1980s I thought back to high school and working on that old lighting equipment. I started worrying about having inhaled some of those asbestos fibers. Even a tiny, single speck of asbestos can cause lung disease and the disease can take as long as 40 years to appear. But so far, "knock on wood," I'm fine. Well, at least insofar as my lungs are concerned, heheh.

Post# 136097 , Reply# 6   5/11/2011 at 01:12 (4,679 days old) by twocvbloke ()        

And I thought the old rubber coated cables on the lights up at the local am-dram theatre were a hazard... :S

They have been replaced now though with modern lighting, though I think most of the old ones were donated to a youth group theatre co., I just hope they rewired them, I remember the wires on one shorting and producing some interesting and unexpected pyrotechnics, lucky it happened on a tech setup/set dressing night, rather than during a performance... :S

I did enjoy setting up a simulated electrical flash though (part of a comedy play someone got tangled in a cable (not live), tugs too hard and it "blows the wiring"), using nothing more than a plain 60 watt lightbulb, a light blue gel and a couple of elastic bands, a few deft presses of the "Flash" button on the desk and it worked a treat, and apparently gave a few people in the audience a fright too, I was proud of that one... :D

I miss doing that, but my condition meant I missed a lot of rehearsals, which makes me feel sad... :(

Post# 136102 , Reply# 7   5/11/2011 at 03:55 (4,679 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

I can be exposed to asbestos,too-Lots of the stuff around the Tx site here-the place was built in the late 50's to the early 60's.We have removed many of the asbestos parts from the transmitters.the building piping insulation has been replaced on some pipes.Asbestos can take on so many forms and appearances-it can be a very fine invisible powder, fine it passes thru most vacuum bags and filters unless they are TRUE H.E.P.A filters.and with the periods.that signifies are TRUE real HEPA filter.for the very breif dealings with stage lighting fixtures-at a TV station-remember the white asbestos insulated cables like in the picture.Handled them so gentley!

Post# 136248 , Reply# 8   5/11/2011 at 22:23 (4,678 days old) by truckerx (Palm Springs, CA)        
Re: A word of caution

truckerx's profile picture
One other cautionary thing one might be aware of in any old vacuum bag is rodent droppings. This dust might cause some severe health issues if inhaled.

Post# 136260 , Reply# 9   5/12/2011 at 01:41 (4,678 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

for old vacuums that come my way-slurp out their bags or containers with the NSS M1-the one I use has the bag that can use paper inner bags-if the vac being cleaned out was really bad-just change the paper bag in the M1-ready for the next.Shop Vac "yellow" drywall bags work well-5-6 gal size-easier to get then the NSS ones.

Post# 136265 , Reply# 10   5/12/2011 at 02:07 (4,678 days old) by pr-21 (Middletown, OH)        
Thanks for the warning

pr-21's profile picture

Thanks for the heads up, these are all good points.




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