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Sep 08

Dangers Unseen

dangerclosegames_logoOver the next few months we will be taking a look at the dangers that you may face while conducting paranormal investigations. For the first few topics we will be focusing on the dangers that you may not see, and effects that may not show themselves until later down the road. I am going to be straight and to the point with these. I will list the danger, where it can be found, and the symptoms that one will face if effected,etc. In this article we will look at two dangers, the next article a few more and so on. I hope these will give you the knowledge to keep you and your team safe and healthy.

 

ASBESTOS

What is it?

Any of several fibrous mineral forms of magnesium silicate. Asbestos is resistant to heat, flames, and chemical action. Some forms have been shown to cause lung diseases.

Where can it be found?

  • Attic and wall insulation produced containing vermiculite
  • Vinyl floor tiles and the backing on vinyl sheet flooring and adhesives
  • Roofing and siding shingles
  • Textured paint and patching compounds used on wall and ceilings
  • Walls and floors around wood-burning stoves protected with asbestos paper, millboard, or cement sheets
  • Hot water and steam pipes coated with asbestos material or covered with an asbestos blanket or tape
  • Oil and coal furnaces and door gaskets with asbestos insulation
  • Heat-resistant fabrics
  • Automobile clutches and brakes
  • In soil and rocks

How can you be exposed?

In general, exposure may occur only when the asbestos-containing material is disturbed or damaged in some way to release particles and fibers into the air. The greater the exposure to asbestos, the greater the chance of developing harmful health effects.

Sign and Symptoms

Sign and symptoms can include but are not limited to:

  • Shortness of breath, wheezing, or hoarseness.
  • A persistent cough that gets worse over time.
  • Blood in sputum
  • Pain or tightening in the chest.
  • Difficulty swallowing.
  • Swelling of the neck or face.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Weight loss.
  • Fatigue or Anemia

Effects from exposure

Asbestos-related conditions can be difficult to identify. Healthcare providers usually identify the possibility of asbestos exposure and related health conditions like lung disease by taking a thorough medical history. This includes looking at the person’s medical, work, cultural and environmental history. After a doctor suspects an asbestos-related health condition, he or she can use a number of tools to help make the actual diagnosis. Some of these tools are physical examination, chest x-ray and pulmonary function tests. Your doctor may also refer you to a specialist who treats diseases caused by asbestos.

The possible diseases are:

  • Lung Cancer
  • Mesothelioma- a rare form of cancer that is found in the thin lining of the lung, chest and the abdomen and heart
  • asbestosis- a serious progressive, long-term, non-cancer disease of the lungs

How to protect against it:

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)-approved respirators that fit properly should be worn by investigators when asbestos disturbance could have occurred or may occur.

MOLD

What is it?

  •  Molds are fungi that grow both indoors and outdoors.

Where can it be found?

  • Indoors: anywhere there are high humidity levels
  • Outdoors: damp and shady areas where there is decomposition taking place

How can you be exposed?

Most if not all exposures come from touching or inhaling the mold or it’s spores.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Sneezing
  • Nasal and sinus congestion
  • Cough
  • Runny nose
  • Itchy, red, watery eyes
  • Wheezing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Throat irritation
  • Chest tightness

Effects from Mold Exposure

(taken form American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine)
Molds and other fungi may adversely affect human health through three processes: 1) allergy; 2) infection; or 3) toxicity. It is estimated that about 10% of the population has allergic antibodies to fungal antigens. Only half of these, or 5%, would be expected to show clinical illness. Furthermore, outdoor molds are generally more abundant and important in airway allergic disease than indoor molds — leaving the latter with an important, but minor overall role in allergic airway disease. Allergic responses are most commonly experienced as allergic asthma or allergic rhinitis (“hay fever”. A rare, but much more serious immune-related condition, hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP), may follow exposure (usually occupational) to very high concentrations of fungal (and other microbial) proteins. Most fungi generally are not pathogenic to healthy humans. A number of fungi commonly cause superficial infections involving the feet (tinea pedis), groin (tinea cruris), dry body skin (tinea corporis), or nails (tinea onychomycosis). A very limited number of pathogenic fungi — such as Blastomyces, Coccidioides, Cryptococcus, and Histoplasma — infect non-immunocompromised individuals. In contrast, persons with severely impaired immune function, e.g., cancer patients receiving chemotherapy, organ transplant patients receiving immunosuppressive drugs, AIDS patients, and patients with uncontrolled diabetes, are at significant risk for more severe opportunistic fungal infection.

See more at: http://www.acoem.org/AdverseHumanHealthEffects_Molds.aspx#sthash.ie827nu6.dpuf (Not accessible without membership.)

Allen Marston

Allen Marston

Director / Chair Health & Safety at Apocalyptic Paranormal Investigation & Research
Allen grew up in a small town in Southern Virginia. His interest in the paranormal began as a young child after his parents told him of some experiences that they had over the years involving UFO’s and Ghosts. He began reading every thing about the paranormal he could get his hands on, thanks to his mother. As the years went by he had many experiences and feelings that he could not explain. One day he found out about a group in his area that was actually conducting paranormal investigations in his area and attended a public investigation with this group. He was totally hooked and began doing investigations with this group. After some time he and another member decided to leave the group to gear towards conducting more scientific investigations. Allen is co-founder of Apocalyptic Paranormal Investigation & Research where he specializes in audio and EVP. His team is the first to ever investigate the buildings of the Appomattox Court House Historic Park, where the surrender of Civil War occured. He has a passion for the paranormal and strives to bring all teams together to hopefully find concrete proof of the fringe sciences. When Allen is not working as a professional firefighter, you can find him spending time with his wonderful family, working other jobs to make money, creating artwork or finding more places to investigate.
Allen Marston

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