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Lung Damage From The Roof Cleaning Chemical

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A very educational experience is to stand across the street, when the roof man is spraying, and the ground man is doing his job following the roof man around the house. You will see that when the spray hits the roof, the SH particles atomize, and a "cloud" forms that the roof man, and eventually the ground man, walk through. It is these atomized particles that cause the problem. Of course, a full blown respirator is always the best plan, but for God's sakes, at least wear a cheap disposable mask, or a cheesecloth. In fact, it is always beat to use a prefilter for your respirator cartridges, so they last longer.

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My Lungs are BURNT up from it, and so are the lungs of one of my roof cleaning friends Dave up in Georgia. I have stage 3 COPD with only 30% of lung function left, I step away from Oxygen  My Lung Doctor did a Bronchiscopy where they insert a camera up your nose to look into your lungs. He said the tissue damage was about the worst he has ever seen. This shit will kill or cripple you, and since your lungs have no feelings, you will not know, until it is too late! ALWAYS ALWAYS WEAR A RESPIRATOR WHEN YOU ARE AROUND IT.

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 I sincerely HOPE I scared you and anyone else reading this.  Not only is your Life in Jeopardy, but so is your Marriage. When you get COPD, and 30 % Lung Function, I will give you one guess what happens to your Johnson  I feel responsible, since I taught many people, who taught many people, who taught some of you to clean roofs. I had no idea what this shit would do to me or the people I taught. LOL, I was a roof cleaning Gangster in my day, making thousands of dollars a day, in my day. I was wealthy and healthy, and in shape. Here is an older pic of me, introducing the first plastic hose reel swivel to this industry. 

 I know it is Hot up cleaning a roof, I live in Florida. I can remember doing 6 roofs a day sometimes, starting work at the crack of dawn, and finishing well after evening rush hour. LOL, I used to get called "Rocky Raccoon" because the respirator mask made part of my face white, and the Sun left me with a year round Suntan . I can tell you COPD Sucks, big time. And, COPD is in the future of all those foolish enough to not protect themselves. Think of this, ever see a roof SH will not clean ? Not very many, right ? Well, I have yet to see the lung tissue the SH will not destroy!

chris swivel.jpg

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Sad to hear about the COPD... How did you get lung damage if you were wearing a mask? Assuming the tan lines from the mask from long time use

I started wearing a mask 10 years ago, but have been cleaning roofs nearly 25 years. The damage was already done by then. :( 

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Sad to hear Chris, but, I can understand only to a brief point in experience using SH... MEANING... When I clean our flipped properties ( interiors ) I always use a SH based cleaner to obviously clean up mildew, existing stained tiles, etc... etc... I never wear a mask and I can tell you this much... From being close up and basically directly inline with the SH stench it clogs my nasal passages... Makes my face feel swollen and my eyes feel like popping out of my head... I have yet to clean roofs, but, since living in South Florida I have noticed ALL roof cleaners wearing ZERO mask...

I spoke to one PW that cleans consistently for Toll Brothers... Weekly he cleans the model homes... Monthly he cleans the roofs... He does not use a mask while cleaning their homes, but, as soon as he steps on the roofs for their model homes the mask comes on... I know him well and he told me the same advice that you are given... He says, " MAKE SURE YOU WEAR A MASK WHILE CLEANING ROOFS " .... Period... !!!

YES... I know... Why the hell is he walking on their roofs... ???

Anyways... Def. great idea to wear a mask... BUT... It is hotter than hell to wear that mask... In our last shop that we had in Raleigh, NC we would always spray laquers for our cabinets... Stinks like hell... Did I wear a mask... NOPE... I tried but soooo annoying... Outcome was the same... Clogged up nasal passages... swollen face = WEAR THAT MASK... !!!

 

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I've done my fair share of cleaning without a respirator. It's just not worth it. I can feel the burn in my throat when I've been around too much SH. We are strict about wearing respirators. I make it mandatory on roof cleanings, and any enclosed area like screen enclosures, etc. Even just a downstream mix when pressure washing here in Jacksonville, Florida inside of these pool enclosures can be tough on the throat and lungs. Don't forget eye protection, because there is always the risk of lines under pressure erupting and fittings breaking etc. that can lead to serious trouble. 

Everyone should learn to listen to those who pioneered this industry, like Chris Tucker and others around here certainly have.

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I've done my fair share of cleaning without a respirator. It's just not worth it. I can feel the burn in my throat when I've been around too much SH. We are strict about wearing respirators. I make it mandatory on roof cleanings, and any enclosed area like screen enclosures, etc. Even just a downstream mix when pressure washing here in Jacksonville, Florida inside of these pool enclosures can be tough on the throat and lungs. Don't forget eye protection, because there is always the risk of lines under pressure erupting and fittings breaking etc. that can lead to serious trouble. 

Everyone should learn to listen to those who pioneered this industry, like Chris Tucker and others around here certainly have.

Yes, if you wear a respirator out in the sun cleaning several roofs a day, you will look pretty "stupid", because there will be a white non tan area of your face. But, once your lungs get toasted from the SH, and you get COPD, you will wheeze all the time, get tired from doing nothing,  and gasp for breath from watering the lawn, or even walking to the mailbox. 

You say you like romance ? Well, wheezing when you are with a lady can sort of spoil the moment. Very few women will stay with a man who has COPD, because it will ruin your Pee Pee, and no amount of Viagra will fix it either :(  Oh, some women will act sympathetic when you say "Honey, I cleaned roofs for a living, and the chemicals burnt my lungs so bad they can no longer oxygenate my blood well enough to get it hard enough so we can have sex" .   Very few will stick by you, many will go find a Man who can still stick them :(  Please, always wear a respirator Guys, when working around this shit. 

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Hi Chris. I've so busy this year I have neglected the forums. I just hopped on and read your string. I'm so sorry to hear about your COPD. I do appreciate your humility and honesty in sharing your experience and warning us. I wear a full face mask myself.

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Hi Chris. I've so busy this year I have neglected the forums. I just hopped on and read your string. I'm so sorry to hear about your COPD. I do appreciate your humility and honesty in sharing your experience and warning us. I wear a full face mask myself.

Thanks Dave! I am glad you are busy!  If I can save one roof cleaner from what I am going through, I will be happy.  We all take breathing for granted, until we can't breathe anymore. 

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Sorry to hear about this Chris. It has been a while since last posting. Question I do often wear mask but most of the time I am spraying from roof line standing on ladder, would that make a difference as opposed to walking the roof? In terms of particles being sucked in?

Hi Kelly, I wondered what happened to you. It is truly an educational experience standing across the street from a roof being sprayed. You will see the atomized particles, and all it takes is once to get into your lungs and fry them. Anytime you are spraying this shit, you need to wear a respirator.  It is true that you get less inhaled particles being on a ladder vs on the roof, but a lung doctor told me all it takes is ONE time, to damage your lungs. 

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Hi Kelly, I wondered what happened to you. It is truly an educational experience standing across the street from a roof being sprayed. You will see the atomized particles, and all it takes is once to get into your lungs and fry them. Anytime you are spraying this shit, you need to wear a respirator.  It is true that you get less inhaled particles being on a ladder vs on the roof, but a lung doctor told me all it takes is ONE time, to damage your lungs. 

ONE time? .... I'm pretty sure I've already inhaled SH fumes more than one time.  Thanks for sharing your information with us Chris. I do wear a respirator on every single job. Once in a while I will involuntary take a breath of SH when mask is off. I'll continue to use the mask on Every Single Job. 

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Not only do you need to wear a respirator...you need to use the RIGHT respirator Cartridges. They need to be Chlorine rated. P-100 or N-95 isn't good enough. Yes, they are an expense, but not being able to breath is a bigger expense. If you have employees, make sure they wear them too. All too many young guys think they are invincible. My lungs are partially trashed due to Quaternary Ammonium Fungicides I breathed in during Mold Mitigation work and it SUCKS. Not as bad as what Chris has...but still not fun. 

 

Chlorine Rated Cartridge on Amazon.

Edited by PeakOfPerfection

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Not only do you need to wear a respirator...you need to use the RIGHT respirator Cartridges. They need to be Chlorine rated. P-100 or N-95 isn't good enough. Yes, they are an expense, but not being able to breath is a bigger expense. If you have employees, make sure they wear them too. All too many young guys think they are invincible. My lungs are partially trashed due to Quaternary Ammonium Fungicides I breathed in during Mold Mitigation work and it SUCKS. Not as bad as what Chris has...but still not fun. 

 

Chlorine Rated Cartridge on Amazon.

The pre filters that go over the cartridges seem to make them last a little longer

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That's the one we use. The pink properly rated 3M filters. We also replace frequently, because they wear out. As someone who came to this from painting, my lungs aren't stellar either! 20 years ago, not many people were doing anything for health and safety, and unfortunately with that trade, they still aren't taking it serious enough. 

It's not the one time whiff of something funny that hurts, although it can. People like Craig Harrison made F9 because he put himself in the hospital trying to use muriatic acid. The real bad thing is the occupational exposure that happens daily, over and over again and it accumulates into a real serious problem. I hope everyone out there doing roof cleaning are heeding these warnings, because this is serious business. There are many people who just spray away without thinking, and I imagine we're going to see a lot more illness showing up in the future because of it. 

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That's the one we use. The pink properly rated 3M filters. We also replace frequently, because they wear out. As someone who came to this from painting, my lungs aren't stellar either! 20 years ago, not many people were doing anything for health and safety, and unfortunately with that trade, they still aren't taking it serious enough. 

It's not the one time whiff of something funny that hurts, although it can. People like Craig Harrison made F9 because he put himself in the hospital trying to use muriatic acid. The real bad thing is the occupational exposure that happens daily, over and over again and it accumulates into a real serious problem. I hope everyone out there doing roof cleaning are heeding these warnings, because this is serious business. There are many people who just spray away without thinking, and I imagine we're going to see a lot more illness showing up in the future because of it. 

We see it everyday around here, people spraying roofs with no protection. 

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