Techical Discussions => General Tech => Topic started by: attkrlufy on June 15, 2009, 09:30:02 AM

Title: Dangerous gaskets? (asbestos)
Post by: attkrlufy on June 15, 2009, 09:30:02 AM
Before I can put new intake gaskets on, I have to remove the old gasket
remnants that have stuck to the valve head exhaust ports. Looking at
them, they seem to be made of some fibrous material - almost like cheap
fiberboard. These gaskets date from 1979, so I was this

I've been wearing one of those thick, blue masks to be on the safe side - but
I'd like to know what I'm dealing with, here. When I was cleaning the old
gaskets off the intake, I wet them down and then scraped them off with
a putty knife - VERY time consuming. A metal wheel(
on a drill would have been faster - but I was scared to pulverize
potential asbestos fibers and spread them around into the air, you know?

if it's NOT dangerous.....well, the mask isn't the most comfortable
thing to, it keeps fogging up my safety glasses. If I
didn't have to wear it - that'd be nice.


Anyone have any insight into this material?  Is is just cork/paper or did they put more nefarious ingredients in them?

Title: Dangerous gaskets? (asbestos)
Post by: Stan Paralikis on June 15, 2009, 11:25:03 AM
No asbestos.  Grind away.
Title: Dangerous gaskets? (asbestos)
Post by: Brian on June 15, 2009, 12:18:33 PM
Asbestos is not as dangerous as they say, well in my opinion anyway...yes prolonged exposure to the air born particals can and will have a detrimental effect on your health but the amount that you need to inhail to cause these problems seem to be excessive.
I make this statement because my father, and all the guys he worked with, were pipe layers doing sewer lines etc from asbestos pipe in the 70's and early 80's.  They used to cut this stuff, then have to bevel the edges etc.  They injested a lot of the fibers over the years and none of the guys my dad worked with, as well as my father,  have any signs of respitory problems.
Just my two cents....(
Title: Dangerous gaskets? (asbestos)
Post by: Steve on June 15, 2009, 01:51:29 PM
Let's put it this way Bob. . .There isn't enough there to worry about.
Remember when you were a kid in school?  You remember that white stuff that covered the Pipe?  Yep!  Asbestos.  Yer still here aren't ya?  (
Title: Dangerous gaskets? (asbestos)
Post by: Snotty on June 15, 2009, 08:09:54 PM
Bob, it's probably cork, old, hard, dry cork.
Brian, having performed a few funerals on Navy men and Firefighters who have died form maseophileoma, I would disagree.  Working with abestos is one thing, crawling on it - as Navy men did - or running through a cloud of it while it burns - as many unmasked firefighters did - is quite hazordous.  That's why that particular cancer is often called the "Firefighter's Disease."
A few mechanics have gotten it too from years of working with brake dust.  The danger of abestos needs to be respected.
Title: Dangerous gaskets? (asbestos)
Post by: steve fogel on June 16, 2009, 02:06:23 PM
It's mesothelioma Snotty.......asbestos fibers can cause "asbestosis" which is inflammation and fibrosis in yer lungs, or mesothelioma, a uniformly fatal cancer that arises from the  pleura (the lining on the outside of yer lungs).    As far as I know, those gaskets don't contain any asbestos, and  if they do, not enough to harm you from removing two of them.  Having said that, you are wise to wear a respiratory mask when working with anything that causes dust, particles or spray that you may inhale.   All of those can damage your lungs in sufficient amounts.   In the old days, the workers were just glad they had a job, and didn't complain about stuff like that.   That's why lots of coal miners, pipe fitters and mechanics died from lung disease.
Title: Dangerous gaskets? (asbestos)
Post by: steve fogel on June 16, 2009, 02:10:31 PM
Another interesting note on asbestos.  The steel beams in the World Trade Center were originally covered with asbestos to prevent structural failure in case of a massive fire.  The asbestos was removed in the cleanups that resulted after it was found to be a toxic substance.   The absence of asbestos on the beams was felt to be a factor in the beams melting and causing the buildings to fall on 9-11. 
Title: Dangerous gaskets? (asbestos)
Post by: steve fogel on June 16, 2009, 02:19:34 PM
As far as I know, those gaskets are made of either rubber, cork or silicone.  You're right though, after being compressed between the cover and the head for 30 years, they become extremely hard, brittle and can resemble asbestos type fibers when scraping them off.  That's why they leak.
Title: Dangerous gaskets? (asbestos)
Post by: Steve on June 16, 2009, 02:55:55 PM
They look to have some Mica in embeded into a tin plate to me.
Title: Dangerous gaskets? (asbestos)
Post by: Snotty on June 16, 2009, 08:36:07 PM
Hey Fogel, I'm impressed with myself - guessing, I only missed by two letters!  Not bad! 
In all seriousness, it's in times like this that I truly appreciate your professional opinion.
No longer being serious, what do you know?  I cleaned off your gaskets!!!  Sheesh!!  I could have been poisened!!!
Title: Dangerous gaskets? (asbestos)
Post by: steve fogel on June 17, 2009, 05:02:27 PM
I'm glad it was you scraping and not me Snotty......those gaskets looked highly toxic to me....I was too busy scraping the old paint off the valve covers (Snotty made me do it twice because he's a perfectionist and I'm a half-asser who just wants to get done and have a beer
Title: Dangerous gaskets? (asbestos)
Post by: Snotty on June 19, 2009, 05:53:19 AM
Yes!!!  We are NOT the Government!!!  It's never "good enough."
Title: Dangerous gaskets? (asbestos)
Post by: steve fogel on June 20, 2009, 06:31:46 PM
I thought we WERE the government