Monday, 25 May 2009

Have you ever had one of those OMG moments ?

I have, just now whilst surfing the Internet seeking information about something that jumped out of the pages of a 1985 medical book that my wife was reading the other day.

Benzene .Not a big word really, but one which has just sent a shiver down my spine in relation to the words that preceded it, namely "Chemicals that may cause Leukaemia".

Why the concern? Well many years ago in the early 80's i was a young fella who had just started a new career in the Royal Air Force, and over the next 12 years i spent my time quite often up to my elbows in AVTUR (F34) jet engine fuel.And....your ahead of me now aren't you? Guess what one of the "nasty" ingredients of AVTUR is ?....Benzene ! :-(.

I spent 4 years at RAF Cranwell, 2 of which i spent on the flight line, and some days i would spend whole days pumping hundreds of gallons of AVTUR into fuel tanks...occasionally getting soaked when the open lines tanks overflowed due to a sticky filler trigger.
I spent 2 years in a fuel tank bay at RAF Lossiemouth, often crawling into them to carry out work, and although later there was forced air breathing equipment provided, for the most part we used crappy face masks which did bugger all and hardly made any difference.

On one occasion, whilst at RAF Lossiemouth i was testing a drop tank when a hose on the test rig ruptured and soaked me from head to toe in AVTUR. I went to the MO at the centre, was left to sit in drenched overalls for almost an hour, then went home and had a shower on his directions, i was a little burned by the stuff, but it did not really concern me...but now....well now i am beginning to feel a little anxious that the exposure over those years to AVTUR,MEK,OM15,Yellow Chromate and the likes may, just possibly have some link to my leukaemia.

I will be doing a little more research on this subject.I will keep you posted of any developments or discoveries that i make.

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