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Thread: How safe are Asbestos barrel change gloves???

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    Contributing Member Flying10uk's Avatar
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    How safe are Asbestos barrel change gloves???

    Does anyone know the type of Asbestos used in the make up of MG42/M53 barrel change gloves and whether it poses a health risk by handling them, please? Is there a potential to breath in Asbestos fibres simply by handling these gloves or is the Asbestos somehow "locked" into the fabric. I purchased a Yugoicon cleaning kit for a M53 which appeared to have one of these gloves, this slightly surprised me, from a U.K. dealer, recently.



    Thank-you for any advice on this.
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    Contributing Member Sentryduty's Avatar
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    Can't help you there. They were common in the Army but the priority was to keep the gun running, not so much troop health and safety.

    There is safe, and then there is Army safe.

    - Darren
    1 PL West Nova Scotia Regiment 2000-2003
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    Contributing Member WarPig1976's Avatar
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    It takes years of exposure to Asbestos particulates before one needs to be concerned. It's very common to still find Asbestos in houses around here. Every other house has it as siding "including mine" and the others it was just covered with aluminum or vinyl. Everybody's basement floor is covered with tiles made from it. My first house built in the forties had the original boiler in wrapped in the stuff. I sprayed it with water, bagged it up and out with the regular garbage it went.
    You'll be fine as long as you don't chew on the gloves.

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    Contributing Member #1oilman's Avatar
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    Pack them up in a sealed plastic bag where they can't release any particulates, bad s**t, I know too many people that have died as a result of working with or around it, in one case a welder friend his wife and son all died within a 4 year time frame as a result of asbestos exposure, her from smashing asbestos insulation off pipe to make tie-in welds and the wife and son from washing coveralls and drying them in the dryer. The smallest particle attached to the inside of your lungs can cause cancer down the road.

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    Really Senior Member Sunray's Avatar
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    "...then there is Army safe..." Like the plain rubber gloves for fueling propane vehicles. snicker.
    Asbestos is about breathing the particulates into your lungs. There is no safe way of handling the stuff. That's why houses get completely covered and sealed in plastic when it's removed.
    "...out with the regular garbage it went..." That'd get you arrested now.
    Spelling and Grammar count!

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    Really Senior Member Woodsy's Avatar
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    Asbestos only causes problems when it is dry and handled in a manner which releases airborne particles. Give the glove a good soak in gun oil which will help retain the loose fibres but still give the heat protection. Obviously it is only for use in changing a hot barrel so keep it in a plastic bag and only use it when required.

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    Contributing Member CINDERS's Avatar
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    Its when it becomes friable and releases airborne particulate matter that is respirable in size (Gets past the cilia then into the lungs) if you start smashing the stuff with a hammer or friction saw that's when the issue really arises these particles can penetrate right into the lungs gas exchange alveoli which is where the real damage occurs.

    Blue asbestos was mined in West Au at Wittenoom gorge (Now a ghost town) there was an extensive court battle involving the James Hardy Company that they knew the risks posed to the workers from Blue Asbestos it went on for years and allot of the affected workers died before finally the High Court of Australiaicon made the company pay large compensation payments whats the point of money when your stuck to an O2 bottle wheezing away dying a slow death!!!!
    Last edited by CINDERS; 01-25-2017 at 03:27 AM.

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    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    Well, I'm 60 and we used those regularly on the .30 cal and .50 cal MGs...and I have no respiratory issues. I was slotted in MG training for ages. I carried them, used them...I don't think you're going to get asbestos lung from an isolated use of a mitt when using an MG for a couple hours...
    Regards, Jim

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    Member oger's Avatar
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    I spent most of my working life around asbestos and used the same type of glove on my left hand when using a cutting torch. You won't get anything bad off of a glove the problems arise when you breath the dry dust and fibers off of the insolation.

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    Contributing Member #1oilman's Avatar
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    When I was a teenager I worked two summers for a commercial and industrial insulation company, we mixed wheelbarrow loads of asbestos meal into cement to finish elbows on asbestos insulation in refineries, every single one of the journeymen insulators I worked with is dead from mesothelioma. When I finished high school I apprenticed as a steamfitter and go my high pressure pipe welding certificate. During plant turnarounds we used to smash the pipe insulation off with hammers to break flanges and cut pipe for welded tie ins, we rolled in the dust from this crap while performing welds on scaffolding, suddenly in the 80's they started sealing in the pipe to strip it and the insulators were dressed like spacemen. Say what you wish about the level of exposure it takes but truth be known it only takes one fiber in the wrong spot to start your demise. I have lost numerous friends in the trade to this killer including my father in law. Pack the s**t away in a plastic bag and by yourself a modern barbecue mitt, no sense playing Russianicon roulette with asbestos!

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