The Phaserl


Yellowstone: Too close for comfort? Important New Data

by Mary Greeley:

Boulder lies more than 400 miles from Yellowstone. Would we actually be affected by such an eruption?

As the crow flies, Boulder lies more than 400 miles from Yellowstone. Would we actually be affected by such an eruption? The short answer, says U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) volcanologist Lisa Morgan Morzel, is “most likely.”

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5 comments to Yellowstone: Too close for comfort? Important New Data

  • Craig escaped Detroit

    If you have ever looked at the historical (ancient) ash fallout patterns from ancient Yellowstone eruptions, you’ll see that some of the “KILL ZONES” reaches as far to the south east, as the state of Georgia!

    The scientific studies of Yellowstone ash from the underlying magma, shows that this particular ash, is microscopic shards of razor sharp volcanic glass. This is important because when this stuff gets into the lungs, it slowly/quickly damages the lining of the lungs, causing so much damage, that it results in death within about 5-9 weeks of time. (Death results from fluid building up in the lungs as a result of the cellular damage.)

    Medical proof of this, is the well known medical condition of calcium quickly building up on the outside of bones, etc, caused by this particular lung damage, slow suffocation, etc, and this type of calcium deposits are commonly found on fossilized animals that have died in the ash-desposit areas at the time of Yellowstone eruptions.

    So, even if you don’t live near enough to even feel the eruption, but if your area gets blanketed with wind-blown ash, then your life is in deep trouble if you don’t have enough proper dust masks or respirators & air filters to help you to breath ash-free air, for all the weeks or months it takes for the ash to be gone from your air.

    You’ll see from the above pages, the maps that show previous ash fallout maps. Anyplace within 500 miles of Yellowstone is the most “at risk”.

    Keep in mind, that Yellowstone is not the only dangerous system, there are several around the world that can put dangerous ash into the atmosphere.

    So, along with industrial accidents, forest fire pollution, nuclear accidents, etc, it’s a good idea to add a good supply of EFFECTIVE, decent dust masks, respirators and plenty of extra filters to your prepping kit.

    If you’ve EVER tried to wear a cheap dust mask for 8 full hours, you already know they quickly get humid, wet and nasty in a short period of time. The ones that are MUCH better, are the ones that have an “exhale valve” built into it so your humid exhaling breath can exit the mask instead of having to push its way thru the filter fabric.

    You can MODIFY the cheap dust masks, by slicing a small slit in front, and then stapling what used to be a finger from a rubber glove (latex, etc) into the slit. Cut the tip off the finger.. and when you do it all the right way, you’ll have a quick-exit exhaust valve. When you inhale, the suction makes the rubber flap CLOSE, and when you exhale, it is easily forced open and allows the hot, humid air to exit the mask.

    It’s like taking a rubber ballon, cutting off the end of it, and you can blow thru it, but it sucks closed if you try to inhale. That’s how you can modify cheap masks to be more comfortable to wear for extended periods. BUYING dust masks with exhale valves, over the counter, will set you back, $3-$8 per mask at the hardware stores.

    In an emergency, you can use some paper COFFEE filters as dust masks!
    No matter WHAT the situation is, even if it’s just ALLERGY season with all kinds of nasty tree or grass pollen in the air, we should ALL have some decent dust masks in our preps, even if we never need them for ourselves, we may need them for a family member, neighbor or friend.

    There are all kinds of dust masks and respirators.

    N95 = 95% effective removal of particles.
    N99= 99% effective. (and a bit harder to breathe thru the thicker material, but is better protection.)

    Box of 10, for less than $15.

  • Craig escaped Detroit


    I made a mistake when I read the dusk mask at Amazon.. it’s NOT 10 per box… it’s only ONE per box.

    They use a very misleading model name … they call it “PK 10″… and I thought it meant “pack of 10″… but there is only ONE mask for $10.

    Don’t fall for it like I almost did.

    If you do some better reading and searching, you can find a box of 10, for less than $25…that’s why it might be less expensive to buy a bunch of the cheaper masks and insert your own, home made exhale valves into them.

    I’ll bet you can also REMOVE an exhale valve from an old mask, and install it into a new mask!!!

  • joey

    Craig- as always, good info and food for thought. I shall investigate further…

  • Well done Craig :
    I’m a renovator , and use a respirator when needed. It cost me about $50.00 Canadian. Half that for you. I tape paper towel over the filters , which obviously picks up the larger particles , then replace it as often as you want. Saves on the filters big time.

    • Craig escaped Detroit

      Hey Jeff,
      Try this experiment… put a coffee filter over your expensive filter cartridges, hold it in position with a fat rubber band. You can “puff out” the coffee filter so that it’s not laying directly on the cartridge face so that you’ve got more surface area acting as a “pre-filter”.

      It might (or might not) be an improvement over the paper towel. But I LOVE your little “hack” of putting your own PRE-filter on top of the canister-cartridge.

      Back when I was shopping for a respirator (I bought a “half-face” model, and can wear goggles when needed). I also own a pair of genuine military gas masks and extra cartridges for them.

      Anyway, I was able to buy (from Ebay), a couple dozen mining-certified filter cartridges in a bulk lot for a lot cheaper than buying them from any retail shop.

      I sometimes buy things directly from China (on Ebay, Amazon, etc) and save good money. Such as my unlocked smart phone with a big screen for just $130 and it compares really well against phones that cost $300.

      I’d not be surprised, to learn that even a couple layers of toilet tissue might do a good job as a pre-filter, just be careful not to get it torn because toilet tissue is so delicate.

      Too bad that Positive pressure ventilation suits /systems cost as much as they do. I like the idea of a battery powered filtering air system for those really bad situations.

      Having some sturdy rubber gloves that won’t easily get holes in them, and full body suit, rubber boots and full head cover (and duct tape to seal all the gaps), is something I’d call a “Fukushima suit”… (or HANFORD suit).
      You can buy multi-packs of SHOWER CAPS at the Dollar stores. Inexpensive way to keep dust and contaminants out of your hair and scalp.

      I used to work in a car factory CHROME plating department, where the bare metal parts, first were copper plated, nickel, and then chrome.

      We had to take the parts with the copper plate, and buff them shiny on big buffing motors-polishing wheel. We all wore paper coveralls, dust masks, head covers, gloves, etc, but the copper dust gets into everything. You’d blow your nose and GREEN color (oxidized copper) would come out.
      The company had a show room, and everybody showered before getting dressed in your normal clothes to go home, and in the shower, washing your hair, body, etc, you’d see green tint going down the drain. I’m very familiar with toxic dusty environments.

      I was on that job for a couple of years. Those buffing wheel motors were very powerful, perhaps 5HP @ 3000 RPM.
      Very dangerous, you had to pay close attention to your technique or the buffing wheel could capture the part (bumper or tail light decoration) and yank it out of your hand and take your hand off your wrist too.

      There had been careless or unlucky workers who lost fingers or hands doing that job. There was a couple of times that my part got away from me, flew 20ft up to the ceiling and crash on the floor. Other times, would just slam onto the floor mats. This was pretty common, and happened somewhere along the line, just about every day to one of us. The buffing compound were brick sized jeweler’s rouge’.

      I had also spent a several years in the chromic acid/plating department. Very distinct odor, and the dip tanks were huge (about 1500 gallons each). There must have been a row of 10 large tanks, side by side with automated “dip trees”. De-greasing/soap wash tank, clean rinse tank, alkaline-cyanide tank to prep the metal, another clean rinse, then the chromic acid.
      All those parts had already been copper & nickel plated and polished, and the chrome was the final step. Cyanide is a super cleaner, and those 1000 gallon cyanide tanks contained 500 pounds of pure cyanide (large metal fence around it and ventilation hood), but I had heard that some skilled trade guy fell into it years before. He died quickly.

      Surprised I made it out of there without any damages. The mig welding departments, there was more than one guy who got face-skin cancer from all the rays given off from the arc. Some idiots only wore goggles instead of full face masks. Your face would get sunburned pretty quick.

      I also handled some of the large/heavy spot welder machines (were hung from the beams with “balancers”- like a big fishing reel cable with adjustable spring pressure to carry all the weight, because a unit could easily weigh 200-300 pounds.) And the electric cable to power it, was about 1.5″ or 2″ in diameter. You had to lay into it with all your body weight, fall into it, to get it to move. You twist and hang from it to spin it around, so you could pull the trigger handle and make it fire onto all the spots around doors or wheel wells to hit your 15-20 target welds in all the right places.

      There are not too many easy jobs in the car factories. Even though the long time workers make it look easy, it’s a whole different story when they put your ass on the line and it can take you anywhere from a week, to an entire month to learn how to keep up with it.

      When I was a new hire at 19, they put me hanging car bumpers onto moving hooks, (handling about 15 tons per shift), and I remember dragging my ass to my car at the end of the day, collapsing behind the wheel, and crying for 10 minutes while my dead arms lay at my side before I’d have the strength to put them on the wheel and drive home. There were some rough days.

      Glad to be retired! Amen.

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