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Thread: Long term health effects of sorb dust

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    Long term health effects of sorb dust

    Does anyone have access to studies on the long term health effects of breathing the small particles of sorb dust we all inhale on any new canister charge. I haven't seen anything even in the rev 6 of the USN dive manual or anywhere else.

    We know short term high exposure will mess you up bad and quick.

    Dale

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    Re: Long term health effects of sorb dust

    I really think that I inhale more particles when I pack my scrubber. Sometimes I wear a mask sometimes I donít.

    I am really going to make a point to wear a mask from now on. Once my unit is packed, I donít know how much dust particles I am actual breathing inn during the dive?


    What are the differences between all of the newer units made in the past ten years as far as Radial and Axial scrubbers, what scrubber does a better job of holding sorb particles, can this be answered? I know that the kind of sorb has lot to do with it as well, SodaSorb, the kind I use is much more duster then Sofnoline.


    Best regards,
    Chett. L

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    Re: Long term health effects of sorb dust

    Quote Originally Posted by bletso  View Original Post
    Does anyone have access to studies on the long term health effects of breathing the small particles of sorb dust we all inhale on any new canister charge. I haven't seen anything even in the rev 6 of the USN dive manual or anywhere else.

    We know short term high exposure will mess you up bad and quick.

    Dale
    Very good question, please see the following:

    "BACKGROUND: Chronic exposure to hyperbaric hyperoxia and venous gas microembolism have been shown to contribute to the long term health effects of diving, especially diver's lung function. Factors related to special diving equipment may add to these effects. This study was conducted to evaluate possible additional hazards for respiratory function of divers employing closed and semi-closed diving apparatus. METHODS: We analyzed soda-lime dust found in the air-intake loop of a closed-circuit oxygen rebreathing diving apparatus which had passed through the filter screen of the diving apparatus's soda-lime cartridge. The geometrical characteristics were evaluated by scanning electron microscopy. The amount of dust that passed through the screen during a normal dive profile was measured by an artificial airflow through a filter membrane. After dives by subjects using these devices, the pH-value of water condensate in the air-intake hose was measured. RESULTS: There was a relevant amount of residual soda-lime dust found in the air-intake loop. The dust particles showed diameters down to 1 micron and a rounded structure. The total amount of dust averaged 9.6 mg.m-3 of breathing mixture. During diving, the mean pH-value of condensate in the hose is estimated at 8.87 (+/- 0.12). CONCLUSION: There is a relevant exposure to soda-lime dust in divers using closed-circuit rebreathing apparatus. This occupational exposure may contribute to chronic airway inflammation and subsequent development of small airway disease in divers."

    courtesy of: Exposure to soda-lime dust in closed and semi-clos...[Aviat Space Environ Med. 2000] - PubMed Result

    I think its fair to say that the health effects of long term deep diving are likely more problematic over the long term.

    Jon

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    Re: Long term health effects of sorb dust

    I would be real interested to know what type of rebreather was used for the test. I have personally never seen or felt any dust in my loop and I am of the belief that the models that have an actual filter in them as opposed to a screen are more efficent at preventing this from occuring. I am kind of interested in hearing others experiences with this issue
    Last edited by MarkZ; 7th September 2008 at 21:17.

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    Re: Long term health effects of sorb dust

    Long term

    ha ha diving a box ,,

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    Re: Long term health effects of sorb dust

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkZ  View Original Post
    I would be real interested to know what type of rebreather was used for the test. I have personally never seen or felt any dust in my loop and I am of the belief that the models that have an actual filter in them as opposed to a screen are more efficent at preventing this from occuring. I am kind of interested in hearing others experiences with this issue
    Mark,

    Noting the location of the Author's namely at "Federal German Navy Weapons Diver Battalion Eckernfoerde, Kronshagen, Germany", it's highly likely that they used Drager LAR V, VI oxygen closed circuit or LAR VII oxygen closed/ 60/40 nitrox semi-closed or Drager FGT semi-closed rebreathers for the trial.

    Your obviously diving an cis-lunar mk5 scrubber or Micropore EAC in your rig if you are getting 'zero' dust?

    Caustic cocktail sucks!

    Regards
    Brad
    Last edited by Brad_Horn; 7th September 2008 at 23:42. Reason: Forgot to put the LAR in. Divex Stealth not in service until ~2002

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    Re: Long term health effects of sorb dust

    Quote Originally Posted by Brad_Horn  View Original Post
    Mark,

    Noting the location of the Author's namely at "Federal German Navy Weapons Diver Battalion Eckernfoerde, Kronshagen, Germany", it's highly likely that they used Drager V, VI or VII rebreathers & maybe Divex Stealth (timeframe dependent considering the study was done in 2000).

    Your obviously diving an cis-lunar mk5 scrubber or Micropore EAC in your rig if you are getting 'zero' dust?

    Caustic cocktail sucks!

    Regards
    Brad
    I sort of figured it was a Drager of one type or another and was actually leaning toward a LAR or Dolphin but still would be interested.

    For myself, I am still using the plain old vanilla Inspo scrubber with the scrims or whatever they call them. I really have not had any problems with dust even though I regularly use SodaSorb. Have to be a bit careful in how you put in the scrims but they do seem to work as far as keeping dust out of the loop. Also knocking wood as I speak I have not had a cocktail yet either.

    I am not the biggest fan of the EAC as I am aware of testing done where they did not have the duration of a regular scrubber in a Inspo. Beyond that the price and single source issues more or less confirm my opinion on a risk versus reward basis. On the other hand I have friends that use them and seem to love em. No experience with a CIS-Luner scrubber other then seeing them on a bench. I am also far too cheap to spend that kind of money for what I perceive to be only small advantages.

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    Re: Long term health effects of sorb dust

    It is pretty much as I would have expected. The size of the particles found is of some concern as 1 micron particles can travel way into the lungs. Any scrubber could conceivably generate the small particle sizes mentioned. The small particles may not be enough to even taste, but could as the article pointed out alter lung pH.

    Draeger or other units, (remember this is not an equip p..... contest), particularly user packed will generate some dust. It would also be reasonable to assume that the micropore products would do the same as Co2 absorbent swells from water vapor and small particles slough off in the CO2 conversion to carbonates. You cannot see 1 micron size particles.

    Thank you for your prompt response. Though it wasn't a long term study, it definitely points out a concern I have had.

    Dale

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    Re: Long term health effects of sorb dust

    Quote Originally Posted by jont  View Original Post
    Very good question, please see the following:

    "BACKGROUND: Chronic exposure to hyperbaric hyperoxia and venous gas microembolism have been shown to contribute to the long term health effects of diving, especially diver's lung function. Factors related to special diving equipment may add to these effects. This study was conducted to evaluate possible additional hazards for respiratory function of divers employing closed and semi-closed diving apparatus. METHODS: We analyzed soda-lime dust found in the air-intake loop of a closed-circuit oxygen rebreathing diving apparatus which had passed through the filter screen of the diving apparatus's soda-lime cartridge. The geometrical characteristics were evaluated by scanning electron microscopy. The amount of dust that passed through the screen during a normal dive profile was measured by an artificial airflow through a filter membrane. After dives by subjects using these devices, the pH-value of water condensate in the air-intake hose was measured. RESULTS: There was a relevant amount of residual soda-lime dust found in the air-intake loop. The dust particles showed diameters down to 1 micron and a rounded structure. The total amount of dust averaged 9.6 mg.m-3 of breathing mixture. During diving, the mean pH-value of condensate in the hose is estimated at 8.87 (+/- 0.12). CONCLUSION: There is a relevant exposure to soda-lime dust in divers using closed-circuit rebreathing apparatus. This occupational exposure may contribute to chronic airway inflammation and subsequent development of small airway disease in divers."

    courtesy of: Exposure to soda-lime dust in closed and semi-clos...[Aviat Space Environ Med. 2000] - PubMed Result

    I think its fair to say that the health effects of long term deep diving are likely more problematic over the long term.

    Jon
    Hi Jon,

    Since you dive have have experience with a Prism Topaz, can you please tell me what type of exposure of Sorb partials or dust is introduced into the breathing loop if any as it relates to a Prism Topaz. This is a blanket question, does the kind of absorbent depend on the answer i.e. SodaSorb / Sofnoline.

    Best regards.
    Chett. L

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    Re: Long term health effects of sorb dust

    Quote Originally Posted by bletso  View Original Post
    Does anyone have access to studies on the long term health effects of breathing the small particles of sorb dust we all inhale on any new canister charge. I haven't seen anything even in the rev 6 of the USN dive manual or anywhere else.

    We know short term high exposure will mess you up bad and quick.

    Dale
    Dale,

    Have you looked at the Sofnolime MSDS? One identified hazard is burns to eyes and skin. (Lungs?) PPE recommendation is a Nuisance Dust Mask (simple dust filter?). Under "Other Information" it states that it is suitable for hyperbaric systems, breathing apparatus, dive equipment, air purification systems, etc.

    So, for filling scrubber some common sense precautionary steps should be followed, i.e., filling in a ventilated space, using a dust mask, etc. As far as the long-term health effects are concerned, I guess we are all Guinea Pigs.

    Best regards,
    Serge

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