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Old 12-12-2009, 10:34 AM   #1
stevehof
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Default Nitro fumes???

I flew nitro in the 90's and as a person with genetically induced COPD (lung disease) I don't think I'm going buy any nitro heli's this time around. I enjoyed my previous nitro experience but due to my health problems I'm torn about getting back into nitro. The smoke that everyone seems to enjoy just can't be healthy to breathe. The other day at the club field we were watching a guy flying low and close with a 90N with the wind in our faces. Me and another guy's eyes were just watering from the smoke/fumes...Have any studies been done on possible health problems related to long term inhalation of partially burned alcohol, oil and nitro methane? Is the RC heli industry doing anything about making fuels and motors that don't pollute as much as the current setups do? Depending on where you fly you can't always position yourself such that the wind blows the smoke away from you. This stuff just can't be healthy to breathe...
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Old 12-12-2009, 10:55 AM   #2
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Well, you have to think of the intended use of the product. Model aircraft were not originally meant to be flown 10 feet from you. The assumption would have been that the aircraft are actually being flown, at altitude, away from you so the smoke shouldn't be an issue. There really isn't a way to create a fuel that can be combusted and have a healthy exhaust byproduct. The choices are to fly an electric or fly the nitro at a distance where you are not enveloped in smoke. Since 3D is the current craze, and it is flown close in, you get to be covered in smoke. It's not the intended use of the product however, so if a person were to try to sue a glow fuel company for injury, they would not win. It's an assumed risk.
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Old 12-12-2009, 11:05 AM   #3
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Not that things can't be improved, but if I may suggest, if you find yourself in such a situation and it is a health risk, you may have to take it upon yourself to move or to simply stop and leave.

The world can not be made 100% safe.

Consider the fumes from the adhesives, paints, cleaning fluids, soldering flux, household cleaning, and so on. My dad had COPD so I am not without empathy regarding this.

Simply observing that nothing that is run through an engine is going to be safe.

We choose to accept some risks in all we choose to do.

At home, you can set up ventilation fans to the extent the workbench could be partially inside a paint booth style ventilation system with a large capacity to draw air away to the outside. This would be maybe noisy and cost in a lose of A/C or heated air in some seasons and locations but if perfectly clean air is a requirement, it is possible.

Back to the specific question, if I were you and concerned about nitro fumes, there is no way you will be able to be right there with your face at the model and do adjustments without inhaling fumes no matter which way the wind blows, it swirls around you, just worse at some times than others.

Even if safer fuels and additives are used, the exhaust is still not going to be safe, especially for those impacted by even lessor amounts of it so even then, you would still have the need to stay out of it, changing the chemicals won't eliminate that need.

And of course, do what you can to not aggravate it or make it worse, for my dad, that meant quitting smoking. Which was a contributing factor of course and his personal choice.

Just my thoughts about an imperfect and unfair world, there are simply the subjective and objective things we have no personal control over.

Regards and very very sorry to hear of your affliction of COPD. It impacts your very mobility or can. Know that it is hard to suffer it but also know, it is hard for your loved ones to observe you having to deal with the affliction.
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Old 12-12-2009, 04:43 PM   #4
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Some days the nitro smoke hangs over the field so bad that by 3pm you can hardly see through it.
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Old 12-12-2009, 05:34 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by dwesnor View Post
Some days the nitro smoke hangs over the field so bad that by 3pm you can hardly see through it.
That's not a problem at my field the vast majority of the time. The wind doesn't die down enough for the smoke to linger.
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Old 12-12-2009, 08:21 PM   #6
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Being a gearhead, I'm naturally fascinated by the wonders of internal combustion... but that being said, I have to admit... I have zero interest in nitro heli's at this point. The price of fuel (and my remote location with no where locally to buy it) is one limiting factor.

Plus, quite frankly... I just don't dig the massive amount of smoke and the "angry weedeater" sound... maybe it's my gasoline roots where huge volumes of white smoke pouring from the tailpipe is generally considered... not good... lol.

On top of that is the fact that electrics have made leaps and bounds with Lipo and brushless motors, both in price AND performance... so it's pretty much a toss up (and hotly debated topic) as to which one is "better".

Those considerations alone are enough to keep me from venturing into nitro's. If I was in your shoes and had my health to consider as well... I don't see how it's even a question?

Just my $0.02. At any rate, good luck and happy flying!
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Old 12-12-2009, 08:38 PM   #7
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That's not a problem at my field the vast majority of the time. The wind doesn't die down enough for the smoke to linger.
Yeah, no kidding. Come live where I am at. This year was so windy I can probably count on 1 finger the days where it was actually calm when I was flying my nitro.
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Old 12-12-2009, 09:10 PM   #8
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If your eye's are watering from it that's your body telling you something. I forget the two terms but one is acute and the other is long term, an acute poisoning is when you ingest a larger does of something and get sick or die, long term poisoning is small doses over a long period of time like smoking cigarettes. The long term affect is what your concerned about and there is no data on it but I don't think we need a study to find out that its harmful to our body. If your concerned about it then don't be around it. For me, I don't worry about things like this, if I did I would eventually end up living in a bubble.
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Old 12-12-2009, 09:57 PM   #9
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If your eye's are watering from it that's your body telling you something. I forget the two terms but one is acute and the other is long term, an acute poisoning is when you ingest a larger does of something and get sick or die, long term poisoning is small doses over a long period of time like smoking cigarettes. The long term affect is what your concerned about and there is no data on it but I don't think we need a study to find out that its harmful to our body. If your concerned about it then don't be around it. For me, I don't worry about things like this, if I did I would eventually end up living in a bubble.
The "long term" term is "chronic".
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Old 12-12-2009, 10:30 PM   #10
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Default Nitro fumes???

Smell delicious.
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Old 12-12-2009, 10:38 PM   #11
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<snip>The long term affect is what your concerned about and there is no data on it but I don't think we need a study to find out that its harmful to our body.<snip>
I did a search of this board and found that this issue has been brought up before. I found a post from 2006 stating some concerns that F3C had for their judges. I guess I was wondering if anything constructive had come out of these proposals. Even healthy folks are concerned about the possible effects of breathing RC heli exhaust.

I think that it would probably be beneficial if motor and fuel, and RC heli manufacturers would get together and see if some progress could be made on this before some government entity gets into the plot....

Anyway, here's the link from the 2006 post for anyone who might be interested....

http://www.helifreak.com/showthread....ng+nitro+fumes
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Old 12-13-2009, 03:32 AM   #12
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You should try 1/8th scale nitro indoor racing. Talk about choking thick, eyes watering, ears ringing nightmares. That's part of the reason I switched to helis.
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Old 12-13-2009, 07:27 AM   #13
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There is nothing like the smell of nitro in the morning... it smells like......VICTORY!

I took a 12 year hiatus from this hobby and I got back into it about a year ago. One of the main reasons for comming back was when I went back to the field to see if anyone I knew was still flying and when I got out of the car and smelled the nitro, I was hooked!! That was five helicopters ago.
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Old 12-13-2009, 07:34 AM   #14
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Quote:
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There is nothing like the smell of nitro in the morning... it smells like......VICTORY!
.
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Old 12-13-2009, 10:40 AM   #15
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it is horrible that health conditions keep people from enjoying a hobby.

now, that said:

i love the fumes of nitro helis when i can get to the field and the smell at the drag strip also.

non related: i was a welder when i was younger, talking about fumes from a MIG welder, enjoyed that also
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Old 12-13-2009, 11:11 AM   #16
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Anybody a big fan of fumes at the gas station?

Hmmm ... that might explain some things.

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Old 12-13-2009, 01:25 PM   #17
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i have limits
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Old 12-13-2009, 01:41 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by terrabit View Post
Anybody a big fan of fumes at the gas station?

Hmmm ... that might explain some things.

I don't mind the odor of nitro or JP-8.
They are day brighteners

The odor from a gas station or a catalytic converter, not so good.
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Old 12-13-2009, 01:50 PM   #19
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Default A green alternative on the way!!

I found this on the Compass site, might be a better possibility not to far away.
http://www.compassmodel.com/projects.php
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Old 12-13-2009, 03:00 PM   #20
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I personally like the smell but that does'nt answer your question. I don't have the answer, but sitting in traffic is probably more harmful since we all do it more frequently.
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