In a message dated 6/14/2005 1:36:43 PM Eastern Standard Time,
[log in to unmask] writes:
I took a good look at the machine over the weekend and noticed the primary
motor drive belt was flaking. Upon closer examination, I could see fibrous
material that looked like woven cotton and immediately panicked: Asbestos!
It probably is woven cotton. Cloth belts were often used in early projectors,
or metal springs, before modern synthetic rubber products were perfected.
I don't understand the panic over asbestos. When I was a child, in the
1940s, we had asbestos hot pads in the kitchen, asbestos insulated electric cords
on appliances (usually fraying), asbestos floor tiles and asbestos shingles on
the roof. Many people had asbestos siding on the house.
We had asbestos coated cardboard insulation on the steam pipes with the
joints covered with asbestos cement. I used to play with some left over asbestos
On weekend trips to the Adirondacks, I used to pick up asbestos rocks. It was
fun to peal the fibers off.
Everybody lived in that environment. I don't know of anybody who developed
asbestosis (there were no shipyards in the area). Where are the bodies?
From everything I've heard, it was only the people whose lungs were
sensitized by years of cigarette smoke (which, of course, was just about everybody) who
had problems in the environment of extreme asbestos dust exposure.
It bothers me when I hear of people who feel that they must run to the
doctor, the EPA, or to a lawyer whenever they see a speck of anything that they can
imagine might be asbestos. Something is not quite right here.
People somehow need to get a realistic picture of the nature of the real
world. This should be a principle task of our educational system. Instead it
seems to be left to the sensational news media and those who have vested interest
interests in making mountains out of molehills. Someone should be resisting