Electronics is fun

ian field

Joined Oct 27, 2012
6,539
My wisdom-marinated conclusion after snorting solder fumes for 50+ years.
Sometime last year, I heard on the radio of a fatality in someone exposed to fumes from cadmium LMP solder.

Years ago there were far more abundant sources of cadmium exposure in the electronics industry, and as far as I know it causes osteoporosis - death is likely to be incidental, like a fractured rib spearing a lung or something.

Lead causes brain damage - before they banned it in petrol, the petrochemical industry annual lead procurement was in tons and a number with a lot of noughts on the end. Those particulates were what was in the air we were all breathing.
 
Sometime last year, I heard on the radio of a fatality in someone exposed to fumes from cadmium LMP solder.

Years ago there were far more abundant sources of cadmium exposure in the electronics industry, and as far as I know it causes osteoporosis - death is likely to be incidental, like a fractured rib spearing a lung or something.

Lead causes brain damage - before they banned it in petrol, the petrochemical industry annual lead procurement was in tons and a number with a lot of noughts on the end. Those particulates were what was in the air we were all breathing.
Yup, I am sure we all would have had iPhones by the early 1970s if there wasn't lead in the gas and the air we all breathed. Since there was lead in the air, we had to wait for the Gen-Xers and Millenials to build smart phones for us.
 

Mark Colan

Joined Feb 18, 2012
13
>>Lead causes brain damage

But how much lead do we absorb by working with electronics? Most of what is in the air while soldering is burning resin. Lead is heavy and is unlikely to float in the air. Touching it should not absorb much either.

Still, I found out that the lead content in my blood is higher than normal. I'm not convinced it is from working with electronics.
 

Kermit2

Joined Feb 5, 2010
4,162
Lots of old water distribution systems have lead in them. Hell, ALL the ones built before 1972-1974 do.
The only thing that has changed is many water districts are trying to save money. One of the things that is cheaper is an alternative to chlorination that use ammonia and chloramine instead of the more base compound hypo-chlorite. The slight decrease of pH towards a more acidic level allows the water to begin to dissolve any exposed lead. It's happening all across the country.
 

tracecom

Joined Apr 16, 2010
3,944
I think it's fun, too. But then, I grew up fishing with lead sinkers and using my teeth to clinch the split shots on my line. I started casting lead round balls and bullets in my 20's and did that for years. I remember playing with mercury from a thermometer every time I found one; I liked to rub it on a silver quarter and make the quarter shiny. Once, I had a particularly big glob of mercury and decided to put it in my mouth to see what it felt like. I don't think I swallowed much of it. I had some [edited to say] sodium or potassium that was fun to cut chunks of and drop in a bucket of water to watch it fizz around in circles (unless the piece was too big, in which case it exploded.) But the worst thing of all was that I ate peanut butter every day and my parents refused to give me ritalin. It's a wonder I lived; as the old saw goes, "If I had known I would live so long, I would have taken better care of myself."
 
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SLK001

Joined Nov 29, 2011
1,548
Lots of old water distribution systems have lead in them.
Boston's water distribution system is STILL lead in areas. Mark Colan is from the Boston area. The only reason that it didn't kill everyone who drank Boston water was the high mineral content, which scaled over the lead, thus sealing most of it from leaching out.
 

RichardO

Joined May 4, 2013
2,271
One of the things that is cheaper is an alternative to chlorination that use ammonia and chloramine instead of the more base compound hypo-chlorite. The slight decrease of pH towards a more acidic level allows the water to begin to dissolve any exposed lead. It's happening all across the country.
On a tour of the local water company they said that they added something (don't remember what) that causes impurities to coat the lead pipes instead of leaching lead out of them.
 

GopherT

Joined Nov 23, 2012
8,012
On a tour of the local water company they said that they added something (don't remember what) that causes impurities to coat the lead pipes instead of leaching lead out of them.
The additive is called methyl ethyl death. It encapsulates the lead and makes it completely safe as a water pipe. The patent owner of methyl ethyl death might start using it to prevent phthalate plasticizers from leaching out of baby bottles. Great product.
 

Kermit2

Joined Feb 5, 2010
4,162
Meanwhile
Whole house water filtering systems are seeing a huge increase in sales.
And speaking of that Latin based word plumber. ...didn't them Roman fellas have a horrible problem with lead poisoning in the general population and the ruling class alike? Remember hearing something about them adding lead acetate to wine because it made it sweeter. CrZy
 

boatsman

Joined Jan 17, 2008
186
@tracecom
I think you are confusing red phosphorus with sodium or potassium metal, both of which are stored in mineral oil. Red phosphorus is relatively safe as opposed to white phosphorus which is stored in water.
@Kermit2
Lead acetate is very sweet, but a different sort of sweetness to sugar (sucrose).
 

tracecom

Joined Apr 16, 2010
3,944
@tracecom
I think you are confusing red phosphorus with sodium or potassium metal, both of which are stored in mineral oil. Red phosphorus is relatively safe as opposed to white phosphorus which is stored in water.
You are probably right. I definitely remember the way it acted in the water. When it exploded, it blew stuff in my face and eyes, but I was near a water hydrant and washed thoroughly. No long term harm done.
 
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