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Old 30.06.2011, 18:01
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Is dust from train brakes hazardous to our health?

Sometimes when a train stops, I sense a dusty, pungent stench. I believe that it's caused by the brakes. Is is hazardous to our health? I know that in the US, the use of asbestos in brake pads has been outlawed for a while now...but I can imagine, that this might not be the case in Switzerland as yet. Could someone provide some more insight on the matter? Thanks!
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Old 30.06.2011, 18:09
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Re: Is dust from train brakes hazardous to our health?

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Sometimes when a train stops, I sense a dusty, pungent stench. I believe that it's caused by the brakes. Is is hazardous to our health? I know that in the US, the use of asbestos in brake pads has been outlawed for a while now...but I can imagine, that this might not be the case in Switzerland as yet. Could someone provide some more insight on the matter? Thanks!
Asbestos brake shoes - potentially lethal. I doubt these exist in CH

All others, unpleasant, but probably safe breathed in now and again. The pungent smell is offensive.

Any dust in your lungs has the ability to embed and become carcinogenic. Hold your breath and walk away, enjoy a good deep cough.


This smell, and oven smoke are one of the very few things that trigger my latent asthma.
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Old 30.06.2011, 18:23
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Re: Is dust from train brakes hazardous to our health?

Asbestos is banned in Switzerland as well as the entire EU.

However, even if the brake shoes were asbestos, I wouldn't get too excited. Asbestos is bad stuff, but like anything bad, it depends on the exposure. It's naturally occurring in nature, and is practically everywhere. We all have asbestos fibers imbedded in our lungs.

Years of careless use and lax protection for those mining and processing it led to a lot of unfortunate and painful deaths... but that's true for many industrial products. It's just asbestos' luck that it truly is a miracle product and has been used for all sorts of things over the years, and so the restrictions on use that should have been used decades before turned into a backlash and total ban in most 'advanced' countries.

They should have been more careful... don't put asbestos in hair dryers and cigarette filters (). It made super nice brake pads though... then the mechanics blew out the dust when servicing...
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Old 30.06.2011, 19:00
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Re: Is dust from train brakes hazardous to our health?

yes it's dangerous so no brakes please

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Old 30.06.2011, 19:59
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Re: Is dust from train brakes hazardous to our health?

For the sake of racial harmony, and proper balance .......

dust-train-brakes-hazardous-our-health-45744-sexy-damsel-distress-pinup-woman-tied-down-train-track-poster-art-print.jpg
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Old 30.06.2011, 20:17
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Re: Is dust from train brakes hazardous to our health?

I wouldn't expect asbestos here, what one smells though probably is burnt rubber. Not particularly healthy, nor is actually air loaded with dust, either, which trains swirl and make us breathe (but it is more annoying than anything, when the resins melt or whatsit). I know there has been a research done back home (family) over the dust/electromagnetic stuff/heavy metals in gardens, produce cultivated along busy train tracks and air samples in people's homes nearby busy trains, and it was definitely pollution, it's also the speed of a train that picks up the dust and swirls it, distributes it within certain areas, so it is more concentrated than elsewhere. On the other hand, I have hardly ever seen cleaner train stations and trains than here. So, there might not be so much dust to swirl and deliver to our nostrils and mouths. I still wouldn't live nearby big busy trains stations, tracks or places where lots of train cargo gets carried, etc.
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Old 30.06.2011, 20:26
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Re: Is dust from train brakes hazardous to our health?

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I wouldn't expect asbestos here, what one smells though probably is burnt rubber.
..no,no, definitely not rubber. It has a distinct smell but I can't define what it is.

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On the other hand, I have hardly ever seen cleaner train stations and trains than here.
Where do you hitch a ride? The train stations here are grubby, full of filth and stench. Simply compare Zurich HB with Paris Gare de l'est and you'll realize that they're worlds apart.
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Old 30.06.2011, 20:36
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Re: Is dust from train brakes hazardous to our health?

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..no,no, definitely not rubber. It has a distinct smell but I can't define what it is.
Isn't it a warm, oily smell? It might be a vent opening when the brakes are applied which lets a guff of the engine smell out.
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Old 30.06.2011, 20:37
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Re: Is dust from train brakes hazardous to our health?

No it will make you high, sniff it down.
Put you head near the tracks for an increased sensation, but not near the S9, that one has rubbish brakes and takes me home.
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Old 30.06.2011, 20:47
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Re: Is dust from train brakes hazardous to our health?

I have a really old outhouse type shed, with a light grey (although now weathered and covered in moss) etinet-looking corrugated roof - which turned out to be asbestos. Reassuring to find this out, several years after taking my angle-grinder to some of the corners, because I kept banging my head - plenty of dust.

The smell of a train coming into a station is interesting, though.

As an excited small boy, I always remember a distinct smell at the local station (where I grew up), on those special occasions when I had a trip up t'smoke, to spend my combined Christmas and birthday money at Hamleys.

This smell was unique and I only ever smelt it at a station when the trains came in ......

...... until this last year, here on the streets, in CH.

In my area, there are a couple of downhill, curvy bits of road, which have an opposing camber on a couple of the turns - where there have obviously been accidents due to cars skidding out of control, in the wet. There has now been a special anti-slip surface applied (strangely, apparently, a technique from England), and even some little time after it was done, I smell this smell everytime I drive on the stretch of road.

I don't know if it is the tar, or some other part of the process or constituents - but it takes me right back to that childhood station platform.
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  #11  
Old 30.06.2011, 20:57
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Re: Is dust from train brakes hazardous to our health?

Yes, most definitely.

Dust from train brakes could be hazardous to health.

If you breath the exhaust fumes from autos it is also hazardous.

But cigarette smoke is the most hazardous - hence being banished from all restaurants and pubs, and in South Africa even from areas out in the open that have a roof cover, even an open sun umbrella at pavement cafés, and banned even from vast covered parking garages.

Cigarette smoke, the most hazardous of all smoke, more hazardous than smoke from exploding nucleur plants, is what one should be worrying about.

Trains should be banned.

In fact, anything that produces smoke should be banned.
Even things that produce smells should be included.

Without all the smoke and smells, maybe some of us could get out of this life alive!
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Old 30.06.2011, 21:02
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Re: Is dust from train brakes hazardous to our health?

The smell may very well be caused by the brake lining material but this is extremely unlikely to be asbestos.
Does the smell remind you of a burnt clutch smell? You know, if you let the clutch slip on a car rather than using the hand brake it can get too hot and will start to smell? The burnt brake lining smell is similar as the material used for both brake lining and clutch friction plates is similar.

Is it hazardous? I don't know but I wouldn't think it's especially harmful in the very low exposure you'd experience standing next to a stopping train. A different matter if you worked as a mechanic and regularly changed the linings - the dust is harmful which is why any decent mechanic will have a can od "Duck Oil" handy to supress the dust when removing brake drums etc.
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Old 30.06.2011, 21:16
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Re: Is dust from train brakes hazardous to our health?

A few years ago SBB banned all asbestos brake linings.
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Old 30.06.2011, 21:23
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Re: Is dust from train brakes hazardous to our health?

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..no,no, definitely not rubber. It has a distinct smell but I can't define what it is.
I don't know what it is either but I know exactly the smell you mean. When the train just brakes normally you don't smell it, but it can be very strong if the train brakes suddenly and more strongly than usual. Presumably something is heating up more than usual when the brakes are applied hard.
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Old 30.06.2011, 21:31
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Re: Is dust from train brakes hazardous to our health?

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Yes, most definitely.

Dust from train brakes could be hazardous to health.

If you breath the exhaust fumes from autos it is also hazardous.

But cigarette smoke is the most hazardous - hence being banished from all restaurants and pubs, and in South Africa even from areas out in the open that have a roof cover, even an open sun umbrella at pavement cafés, and banned even from vast covered parking garages.

Cigarette smoke, the most hazardous of all smoke, more hazardous than smoke from exploding nucleur plants, is what one should be worrying about.

Trains should be banned.

In fact, anything that produces smoke should be banned.
Even things that produce smells should be included.

Without all the smoke and smells, maybe some of us could get out of this life alive!
THANKS!!!!!!

Can we start with perfume and eau de Cologne?

Tom
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Old 01.07.2011, 10:16
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Re: Is dust from train brakes hazardous to our health?

Unlikely-To-Be-Successful Chat-up Lines, #3714: You know, when a train brakes hard, that's hot carbon-ceramic material you're smelling.
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Old 01.07.2011, 10:42
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Re: Is dust from train brakes hazardous to our health?

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.

Where do you hitch a ride? The train stations here are grubby, full of filth and stench. Simply compare Zurich HB with Paris Gare de l'est and you'll realize that they're worlds apart.
I'd agree with that.

I think part of the problem is the SBB CEO, Andreas Meyer, who incidentally, gets paid over a million and is higher paid than any National company chairman, is in a big cost-cutting guide. However, if he makes cuts to the timetable then this is noticed so here is a national outcry. Instead, it appears that cuts are being made to services that are not so easily measurable - such as train cleaning and station cleaning.

Anyway, Andreas Meyer is scum and he's ruining a world-acclaimed institution.

Off topic but then this threads in Off-topic.
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Old 01.07.2011, 10:50
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Re: Is dust from train brakes hazardous to our health?

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Sometimes when a train stops, I sense a dusty, pungent stench.
The train from Berne?
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Old 01.07.2011, 10:56
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Re: Is dust from train brakes hazardous to our health?

Stench from brake pads is highhhhhly toxic and I cannot stand it anymore that's what I told them when applied for scarce parking space ...
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Old 01.07.2011, 11:14
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Re: Is dust from train brakes hazardous to our health?

Well the brakepads used now days in trains is a form of plastic believe it or not, and yes it is hayardus to your health in the same way that candles are.

I am currently undertaking a study in ultrafine particles produced by trains inside the cabin, both the engine exhaust and brakes that is being pumped through the cabins. There is an overwhelmingly large amount of ultrafine particles (in the nm range) in the standard trains. The newer trains have been fitted with filters, but they only filter out the fine particles, but not so much the ultrafine. In the very old trains bad/old electrical components can also be a contributer to the bad odor that one smells. Ageing trains are only used as extra trains in peak hours to minimze their use.

As for the clean train staitions, well imo Switzerland has very clean stations... the only thing making them dirty is the crazy amount of cigarett butts everywhere... As for the paris train station, I don't know which era you went there but paris has got to be one of the most filthy western european cities i've ever been to, so much dog s**t and grabage that i felt sick... Only clean place i went was Le L'ouvre Don't even compare Paris to Zurich... because they ARE miles apart...
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