Health concerns involving pvc

I always hear the stories about things old timers slowly got injured by such as asbestos, silicosis from concrete dust, hearing impairment, ect. But i was running pvc the other day and wondered how that has effected people's health. I tried searching but didn't come up with too much other than it's toxic. There's many times I'm heating with a torch to form a bend and it burns it and u end up inhaling the black smoke or you're down in a ditch u dug and glueing pipe and the fumes from the can are straight in your face. I've always had headaches after and usually by the end of a day running pvc I'm about as high as a Georgia pine. Do you guys know any instances of recorded long term effects. What do u guys do for safety.
 

rambojoe

Senior Member
Location
phoenix az
i have the pleasure of a hobby that involves people from all walks of life. one of those people is some sort of surgeon who either flys to do operations or assists live via some high tech computers. ill be seeing her next month sometime and ill see if i can get the same pictures she showed me of xrays after exposure to the primer and cement.
long story short, the cement is not going to kill you. it is also not good for you either- but neither is driving to the job site in the morning..

if you are concerned, you should be asking for material data safety sheets which are available from your boss. at least i hope so.

edit- just for minds who want to know and not be in suspense, the bones were basically dissolving (the fingers) and looked like sharpened pencil. I cant remember how she correlated the issue to pvc but at the time I was convinced. and you can probably guess what I said...
 
I'm sorry to hear about your condition and hope u get better. My boss is not in the least concerned about msds or safety as he is the bottom line. Unfortunately that is the way everyone is here. Good luck and thanks for the insight.
 

Jraef

Moderator
Staff member
Location
San Francisco Bay Area, CA, USA
Occupation
Electrical Engineer
Well, if working with PVC is concerning to you, find another line of work. 90% of the wire you are working with has PVC insulation. That is your main source of contact with it, not the occasional pipe.
 
Well, if working with PVC is concerning to you, find another line of work. 90% of the wire you are working with has PVC insulation. That is your main source of contact with it, not the occasional pipe.
My concern was the PVC smoke after heating or fumes given off from heating it and the fumes from the cement. I didn't know asking a question about whether it would impact my health over the long run made me a pansy and that I should find another line of work. I want to live a healthy life not be deaf, asthmatic, and carcinogenic by the time I'm in my 40s 20 years from retirement. So finding ways to minimize risks is something I'm interested in. You seem the type of guy to make fun of someone for wearing safety glasses or ear plugs then complain about your hearing or getting shavings in your eye.
 

Gary11734

Senior Member
Location
Florida
I always hear the stories about things old timers slowly got injured by such as asbestos, silicosis from concrete dust, hearing impairment, ect. But i was running pvc the other day and wondered how that has effected people's health. I tried searching but didn't come up with too much other than it's toxic. There's many times I'm heating with a torch to form a bend and it burns it and u end up inhaling the black smoke or you're down in a ditch u dug and glueing pipe and the fumes from the can are straight in your face. I've always had headaches after and usually by the end of a day running pvc I'm about as high as a Georgia pine. Do you guys know any instances of recorded long term effects. What do u guys do for safety.

Become a foreman and order the new hire in the ditch. Problem solved!
 

Gary11734

Senior Member
Location
Florida
I always hear the stories about things old timers slowly got injured by such as asbestos, silicosis from concrete dust, hearing impairment, ect. But i was running pvc the other day and wondered how that has effected people's health. I tried searching but didn't come up with too much other than it's toxic. There's many times I'm heating with a torch to form a bend and it burns it and u end up inhaling the black smoke or you're down in a ditch u dug and glueing pipe and the fumes from the can are straight in your face. I've always had headaches after and usually by the end of a day running PVC I'm about as high as a Georgia pine. Do you guys know any instances of recorded long term effects. What do u guys do for safety.
Most of the old guys in the trade drool a lot. But, we try to hide it as much as possible. I'm not sure it was from the PVC glue, or the dippen, or we have a lousy bunch of DNA that came in the trade years ago.

I was tramping in the seventies, and a foreman spits on my shoe at a new powerhouse I was working on. I said I want to be JUST like that guy! lol
 

rambojoe

Senior Member
Location
phoenix az
I'm sorry to hear about your condition and hope u get better. My boss is not in the least concerned about msds or safety as he is the bottom line. Unfortunately that is the way everyone is here. Good luck and thanks for the insight.
Its not my condition. It is someone else. I have enough health issues but so far not (that) bad enough to get treatment :)

Its best to take things for face value on this forum, and not assume someone is being snide. It doesn't help to assume you have some ones personality figured out either...It is the internet after all. There is know way of knowing who anyone is!

It does kinda suck that most trades are not human friendly. Search the safety section for accident.. we post this stuff so others might be a bit wary for most are the dumbest scenarios you've ever heard... including my own story with my wrist...

p.s.- an old co worker kicked a can of primer on me that I set up and out of a trench... you ever see a guy in his underwear on the job? hope not. IT BURNED.
 

romex jockey

Senior Member
Location
Vermont
.
Do you guys know any instances of recorded long term effects.
Yes....Family members exposed & afflicted w/ asbestos



What do u guys do for safety
Well the new generation seems more aware , there are standards now that simply didn't exist back in our day.

Which is a good thing, don't get me wrong , but i always laughed at the 2nd hand smoke crowd considering all the daily pollutants the trade wades through

~RJ~
 
PVC contains chlorine. Burning it forms a wide variety of toxins including phosgene and dioxins. (key components of DDT and Agent Orange)

The volatile organic solvents in PVC cement cause liver damage over time, in addition to the central-nervous-system effects you notice the same day.

There are OSHA standards for exposure to hazards in the workplace, but they're not worth the paper they're printed on if nobody reads and observes them.
 

tkb

Senior Member
Location
MA
My concern was the PVC smoke after heating or fumes given off from heating it and the fumes from the cement. I didn't know asking a question about whether it would impact my health over the long run made me a pansy and that I should find another line of work. I want to live a healthy life not be deaf, asthmatic, and carcinogenic by the time I'm in my 40s 20 years from retirement. So finding ways to minimize risks is something I'm interested in. You seem the type of guy to make fun of someone for wearing safety glasses or ear plugs then complain about your hearing or getting shavings in your eye.
I have never installed PVC and had a cloud of black smoke.
You obviously don’t know how to bend PVC.
You should get a cushy job and leave this to the men.
 

Adamjamma

Senior Member
I have bent lots of PVC. I also melt plastics in the back yard. I wear a mask when melting it but even with my asthma have never felt the need to wear a mask when using the glues or cutting it or bending it... only when melting it.
But, I am old school and used to make tin soldiers and used tire weights to do it, using a sheet of asbestos as a cover for the melting pot...
 
Its not my condition. It is someone else. I have enough health issues but so far not (that) bad enough to get treatment :)

Its best to take things for face value on this forum, and not assume someone is being snide. It doesn't help to assume you have some ones personality figured out either...It is the internet after all. There is know way of knowing who anyone is!

It does kinda suck that most trades are not human friendly. Search the safety section for accident.. we post this stuff so others might be a bit wary for most are the dumbest scenarios you've ever heard... including my own story with my wrist...

p.s.- an old co worker kicked a can of primer on me that I set up and out of a trench... you ever see a guy in his underwear on the job? hope not. IT BURNED.

Lol I've heard stories of that. And I didn't mean to overreact just have a short temper.
 
Most of the old guys in the trade drool a lot. But, we try to hide it as much as possible. I'm not sure it was from the PVC glue, or the dippen, or we have a lousy bunch of DNA that came in the trade years ago.

I was tramping in the seventies, and a foreman spits on my shoe at a new powerhouse I was working on. I said I want to be JUST like that guy! lol

Plz don't say that lmao there's nothing worse than kneeling to install a receptacle and putting your hand in dip spit lmao. We had a coworker that would spit everywhere on a job.
 
I have bent lots of PVC. I also melt plastics in the back yard. I wear a mask when melting it but even with my asthma have never felt the need to wear a mask when using the glues or cutting it or bending it... only when melting it.
But, I am old school and used to make tin soldiers and used tire weights to do it, using a sheet of asbestos as a cover for the melting pot...
Yeah I figured exposure to it had a minimal impact was just curious.
 
I have never installed PVC and had a cloud of black smoke.
You obviously don’t know how to bend PVC.
You should get a cushy job and leave this to the men.
I'm glad this forum is full of natural born professional like u that have never burned a PVC pipe with a torch. It takes a split second of not moving the heat. I've seen master electricians do it. But I'm glad we have talent like u on this forum that's a cut above the rest. Thanks for your helpful feedback man.
 
PVC contains chlorine. Burning it forms a wide variety of toxins including phosgene and dioxins. (key components of DDT and Agent Orange)

The volatile organic solvents in PVC cement cause liver damage over time, in addition to the central-nervous-system effects you notice the same day.

There are OSHA standards for exposure to hazards in the workplace, but they're not worth the paper they're printed on if nobody reads and observes them.

Ok thanks for the information
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
I'm sorry to hear about your condition and hope u get better. My boss is not in the least concerned about msds or safety as he is the bottom line. Unfortunately that is the way everyone is here. Good luck and thanks for the insight.
To be compliant with OSHA you must have access to msds of about anything imaginable you may be around, if your boss doesn't want to cooperate, you have options, being a whistleblower also has consequences though, so think about how you want to deal with it.

My concern was the PVC smoke after heating or fumes given off from heating it and the fumes from the cement. I didn't know asking a question about whether it would impact my health over the long run made me a pansy and that I should find another line of work. I want to live a healthy life not be deaf, asthmatic, and carcinogenic by the time I'm in my 40s 20 years from retirement. So finding ways to minimize risks is something I'm interested in. You seem the type of guy to make fun of someone for wearing safety glasses or ear plugs then complain about your hearing or getting shavings in your eye.
Why are you heating PVC with a torch? That is one of easiest ways of burning it when heating. I also bet instructions on the can of cement say to use in well ventilated area or something like that.

Jraef is not the kind of guy to tell you not to follow safety standards and if he were your supervisor would likely be fairly strict on enforcing safety compliance I would guess.

PVC is all around you, not just in electrical products either. AFAIK burning it is the the worst hazard associated with it though.
 
To be compliant with OSHA you must have access to msds of about anything imaginable you may be around, if your boss doesn't want to cooperate, you have options, being a whistleblower also has consequences though, so think about how you want to deal with it.

Why are you heating PVC with a torch? That is one of easiest ways of burning it when heating. I also bet instructions on the can of cement say to use in well ventilated area or something like that.

Jraef is not the kind of guy to tell you not to follow safety standards and if he were your supervisor would likely be fairly strict on enforcing safety compliance I would guess.

PVC is all around you, not just in electrical products either. AFAIK burning it is the the worst hazard associated with it though.
We always used a torch at work because most of the times we are running it there's no power on the job site yet. We have the greenlee heaters for big pipe something like that we get a generator or plug in at the temporary. But it's too time consuming. With a torch u can turn it to right before the gas shuts off and have an invisible flame that works okay but everyone burns it every once in a while.
 
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