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Given that indoor air quality in American homes is generally poor; the fact that the artificial materials, coatings, plastics, preservatives in wood, and so on in homes are constantly giving off volatiles such as formaldehyde and other chemicals; not to forget particulates, dust mites, and so forth, I think the short and intermittent use of train smoke is probably of little concern vs. just living and breathing in your home everyday, your car on the roadway, or outside air in some locations.

All and @Arnold D. Cribari

Short answer according to OSHA is "maybe but really no".  OSHA Guideline for Mineral Oil Mist

While OSHA has 8 hour worker exposure limits and suggests PPE be worn in certain conditions and there may be respiratory symptoms with high exposure, they further acknowledge  "pulmonary effects ... are rarely reported". Animal (mouse) studies have not detected any deleterious effects.  Toward the end of the document they note there is a striking lack of cases in exposed workers across several industries with such exposure over years.

Back in the day I had to go to an industrial library to access this kind of information. Today figuring out the right search string is the challenge.

FWIW - I used to work in a wire factory with lots of rotating equipment slinging oil into the air. After an 8 or 12 hour shift, my skin would be coated with a thin film of oil. I could not wait to get into a shower to get that stuff off.  Always wondered what it was doing to my lungs - apparently nothing 40 years later. I don't use the smoke all that much, but the fact is the oil is going to settle out somewhere in the train room unless you have a decent exhaust. Maybe the stage smoke using glycerine is a better idea - but having to empty the smoke unit every time would not be my first choice.

@ScoutingDad posted:

All and @Arnold D. Cribari

Short answer according to OSHA is "maybe but really no".  OSHA Guideline for Mineral Oil Mist

While OSHA has 8 hour worker exposure limits and suggests PPE be worn in certain conditions and there may be respiratory symptoms with high exposure, they further acknowledge  "pulmonary effects ... are rarely reported". Animal (mouse) studies have not detected any deleterious effects.  Toward the end of the document they note there is a striking lack of cases in exposed workers across several industries with such exposure over years.

Back in the day I had to go to an industrial library to access this kind of information. Today figuring out the right search string is the challenge.

FWIW - I used to work in a wire factory with lots of rotating equipment slinging oil into the air. After an 8 or 12 hour shift, my skin would be coated with a thin film of oil. I could not wait to get into a shower to get that stuff off.  Always wondered what it was doing to my lungs - apparently nothing 40 years later. I don't use the smoke all that much, but the fact is the oil is going to settle out somewhere in the train room unless you have a decent exhaust. Maybe the stage smoke using glycerine is a better idea - but having to empty the smoke unit every time would not be my first choice.

Thanks for that document link. Basically ‘breathing this can’t be good for you, but no one had died from it because they die from all the other nasty stuff we breathe in first.’

Regarding smoke oil mist, most of my train running is on modular layouts at public shows.  We run hard and bring the modules home to store "wet".  In my case, in a non-climate controlled garage.  I observe that since the advent of smoke oil steamers, my tinplate track does not rust.  Instead, it gets a layer of grunge that gets cleaned with a metal polish (Brasso) before the next show.

I love smoke and always use it when I'm by myself. But it does cause a lingering smell in the basement. Luckily I will have an exhaust system to counteract that when I get the permanent layout built. I would turn it off without a question for anybody who was bothered by it though.

This is likely a dosage problem. It's infrequently inhaled so it's not an issue. I'm sure huffing it all day every day would cause issues.

Fun fact, I'm apparently still new enough that I haven't seen this topic come up before.



Do you have MSDS for everything in your home? Lighter fluid? Ivory soap? Comet cleanser? Shoe polish? Vinegar? Why would anyone need that for their home? We're not talking about Draino or wasp killer here, it's mineral oil, you know, the stuff you can take internally when you can't go. Most homes don't have a binder full of MSDS paperwork on everything they have in the house.

I think we've pretty much beaten this dead horse to a pulp on this and a number of other topics, plywood vs OSB, kitty litter ballast et al but like Jason Vorhees it will rise again in the future.

If you have a medical condition that can be aggravated by it, THEN DON'T USE IT! ( valid concern, the only one actually )

If your spouse doesn't like the smell, THEN DON'T USE IT!

If you're paranoid about growing a third eye or a symbiotic twin, THEN DON'T USE IT !

We are all grown adults here and this isn't that complicated.

To paraphrase Linus Van Pelt "Some people can manage to take a wonderful hobby like model railroading and turn it into a problem!"



Jerry

I just learned mineral oil helps you go!  Perhaps we can flush the fiber supplements and use that fine oil we burn through our trains instead

So are we really beating a dead horse?  When you peer through the smoke, let it smoke, and talk about the smoke, sometimes we see new tidbits on old topics.

dead horse 1

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IRON HORSE: The dead horse pix was really gross and has nothing to do with our hobby.

I'm not making this up.  I found the picture online and clipped it.  It is a LIVE horse faking that he is dead, which I thought was pretty funny.  That's why I posted it.  Look closely:  He doesn't look dead to me!  I was torn, though, between that picture and this one:

dead horse 2

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Last edited by IRON HORSE

i'm more worried about getting diagnosed with colon cancer at 27 than my train smoke being safe

although i don't have anything that smokes yet

i really want an lc 2.0 diesel and diesel scented smoke fluid so my bedroom smells like a real locomotive but i know my dumb self would either fill it too much or too little

i'm eyeballing a GP20, rs3 , gp7 or tier 4 from trainworld to be wrapped for me under the tree this year but i really don't see it happening

Attached is an older video clip of my Airpura air purifier running with my MTH engine at full smoke.  The Airpura unit was recommended from a fellow forum member.  It's a little hard to see.  The smoke rises toward the ceiling but then shifts downward toward the black air purifier on the floor. Once it travels to it, it disappears.  And within a few hours after running trains the smell of smoke is completely gone.  It also reduces dust and works great when you're painting or use foam burning tools or soldering.

As I stated earlier, I like it because you can physically see where the smoke is and disappearing, allowing you to stay away when you don't want to breathe it.

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Last edited by IRON HORSE
@IRON HORSE posted:

Attached is an older video clip of my Airpura air purifier running with my MTH engine at full smoke.  The Airpura unit was recommended from a fellow forum member.  It's a little hard to see.  The smoke rises toward the ceiling but then shifts downward toward the black air purifier on the floor. Once it travels to it, it disappears.  And within a few hours after running trains the smell of smoke is completely gone.  It also reduces dust and works great when you're painting or use foam burning tools or soldering.

As I stated earlier, I like it because you can physically see where the smoke is and disappearing, allowing you to stay away when you don't want to breathe it.

Very cool! Thanks for that demo!

We had a similar air purifier (though a much simpler device) we used at the daycare near the diaper changing area, worked wonders!

@IRON HORSE posted:

Attached is an older video clip of my Airpura air purifier running with my MTH engine at full smoke.  The Airpura unit was recommended from a fellow forum member.  It's a little hard to see.  The smoke rises toward the ceiling but then shifts downward toward the black air purifier on the floor. Once it travels to it, it disappears.  And within a few hours after running trains the smell of smoke is completely gone.  It also reduces dust and works great when you're painting or use foam burning tools or soldering.

As I stated earlier, I like it because you can physically see where the smoke is and disappearing, allowing you to stay away when you don't want to breathe it.

Great demo Russell.

My layout is in what is referred to as the Florida Room  (  I'm in central Pa. ) .   The layout is almost surrounded by 48 linear feet of windows with solid draw string window blinds that are only very  slightly drawn opening . 

I seldom run smoke on my MTH steamers but after a year or so , there is some" fogging " on the window glass which I assume comes from the smoke oil.   I only use MTH or Lionel smoke fluid .

Thanks for the info on the Airpura Russell .                   I'll have to look this item up.

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