Boringest :| - 74.6% needed!

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Dust Mask!

Only less than 5 visits to see my 'Greed is Good?' article! Guess I shouldn't write anymore financial stuff...anyway, I'll give you guys something more boring - my summer job in the lab: Further to my post on Mesothelioma, I finally got the chance to work with somewhat dangerous substance now in my lab -> carbon-fibre/glass-fibre composites. The material itself is not dangerous but the dust produced when cutting/machining it is so fine and turns out needle-like, once it gets into your lungs, you might lose a few alveolis/which might eventually lead to Mesothelioma perhaps! So, being a newbie at this, I had to attend a lecture yesterday by one of the workshop technicians on how to operate the machines properly and since I have to wait now while they have their tea-break (which happens 2x a day, for about 45 mins each, not including lunch) and work on some of the contract stuff, I'll be blogging about this =P Didn't take any pictures 'cos I'm not sure if I have the right clearance to do so but here goes: I was supposed to be using one of the wet saws with diamond-tipped blades to cut the materials which would then make it safer for me since dust won't be flying around but gets washed away by the coolant. But somehow after the technician demonstrated the thing to me and asked me to try, the machine broke down! As a result I had to resort to using the dry saw, which is diamond-tipped as well + it's not automated (which means I have to use my hands to push the material into the blade hence risking one/more of my fingers if I wasn't careful) + the dust will be flying around. So, the technician asked me to wear a dust mask and at first I thought, it would look like the ones ppl wear during SARS:

and then he said no, then I thought it was the ones used during a chemical attack: then he said it's similar and finally took it out to show me (the one in my lab looks way cooler, but can't find the pic of it): Cool huh? Maybe I'm jakun but this is the 1st time I see something like this. There's a small motor that sucks in air from outside through a filter as well and when you wear it you feel a nice vibration around your whole head. Anyway, searched it online and here's a picture to show you how it works: Come to think of it, the helmet in my lab looks something like this when the visor's pulled up...hehe:


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