Author Topic: QE2 Asbestos and Fireproofing  (Read 28275 times)

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lshaw16

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QE2 Asbestos and Fireproofing
« on: Jun 22, 2009, 11:15 AM »
When the QE2 was first built, the fire insulation product of the day was asbestos and my research has shown it was used in the internal walls throughout the ship and for insulating wires and boilers.  

I was wondering if this was ever removed, as the times have changed.

Not sure if I have this in the right place!
« Last Edit: Mar 13, 2012, 08:31 PM by Lynda »

Online Rob Lightbody

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Re: Asbestos Removal?
« Reply #1 on: Jun 22, 2009, 12:15 PM »
Some of it will have been disturbed/removed in 1986/1987 when they rebuilt her engine rooms etc. but the vast majority will still be there.

Asbestos is only a problem if it is disturbed, and turns to dust etc, as long as they left it alone, it didn't matter.

The recent refit of the "Rotterdam" for her static role as a hotel raised the same issues - I believe they removed all her asbestos while also then managing to replace most of her original interiors, presumably with modern fireproofing material.
Passionate about QE2's service life for 37 years and creator of this website.  Worked in IT for 27 years and created my personal QE2 website in 1994.

lshaw16

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Re: Asbestos
« Reply #2 on: Jun 22, 2009, 02:02 PM »
Thank you Rob...filled a blank in my research.  Do you have a source for that?

hull736mole

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Re: Asbestos
« Reply #3 on: Jun 22, 2009, 03:02 PM »
Hi Lynsey

A full time environmental officer travelled on board whose job was continually monitor the level of asbestos in the air onboard QE2...for safety purposes

A company called Adamson Laboratory Services were heavily involved

Hope that helps!

Offline Andrew Collier

Re: Asbestos
« Reply #4 on: Jun 22, 2009, 03:22 PM »
Hey Lynsey,

David Hutchings book 'A Ship for all Seaons' describes the fire resistant paneling used for the interiors and the asbestos in them, I will check it out this evening when I get home if you would like as cant remember the exact details off the top of my head.... I remember one story about health concerns raised when a huge amount of dust from these boards filled the new galley when it was being fitted out in the location of the former lookout bar in 1972. That book is a really excellent reference.

Cheers, Andy
The Virtual Staff Captain

Online Rob Lightbody

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Re: Asbestos
« Reply #5 on: Jun 22, 2009, 03:58 PM »
Thanks to Andy for tipping me off which book to look at... from page 25 of the Hutchins book -

2,000,000 square feet of "marinite" asbestos-based sheeting was used on board the ship.  This was used as a backing to formica or wood veneer facings and also used as ceiling panels concealed behind cedar or aluminium panels.

"the perilous effects of working with asbestos were just beginning to be recognized " and the legislation surround its use had to be fully complied with.  Drilling and cutting machines had vacuum extractors fitted, and all waste was very carefully removed and disposed of.
Passionate about QE2's service life for 37 years and creator of this website.  Worked in IT for 27 years and created my personal QE2 website in 1994.

Online Rob Lightbody

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Re: Asbestos
« Reply #6 on: Jun 22, 2009, 04:25 PM »
I was just reading some more.

And its an example of how no expense was spared for QE2 & Safety, and how she managed to sail on through decades worth of safety legislation...

Cunard had the option of EITHER using as little flammable material as possible (the American method) OR the British concept of having water and gas sprinklers everywhere, they did BOTH.
Passionate about QE2's service life for 37 years and creator of this website.  Worked in IT for 27 years and created my personal QE2 website in 1994.

lshaw16

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Re: Asbestos & Fireproofing
« Reply #7 on: Jun 22, 2009, 04:44 PM »
Guys this information is truly fantastic.  My pad of notes from this forum alone is growing by the day.  I will make sure to put this forum in the acknowledgements section of the dissertation!

Offline Louis De Sousa

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Re: Asbestos & Fireproofing
« Reply #8 on: Jul 03, 2009, 10:10 AM »
You see lots of theses during refits

lshaw16

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Re: Asbestos & Fireproofing
« Reply #9 on: Jul 06, 2009, 10:12 PM »
Is that a photograph you have taken yourself mate?  If so when did you take it and can I put it in my evidence archive?


Online Bob C.

Re: Asbestos & Fireproofing
« Reply #10 on: Jul 13, 2009, 09:56 PM »
Lynsey, how was your research trip - or has that not taken place yet?

lshaw16

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Re: Asbestos & Fireproofing
« Reply #11 on: Jul 16, 2009, 11:24 PM »
Haven't managed to get to John Brown's archive yet mate, though I do plan to go next week at some point.  I keep putting it off for no apparent reason, I am in holiday mode.  I managed to get down to London to the National Maritime Museum, which does hold some fascinating documents.  However, one day was not enough.  Will need to get back down there when I am not skint! 

Offline Twynkle

Re: Asbestos & Fireproofing
« Reply #12 on: Nov 22, 2009, 11:46 PM »
Re. Workers exposure to asbestos
(not referring to asbestos in enclosed casing)

From British Asbestos Newsletter
Issue 32: Autumn 1998

Shipboard and shipbreaking exposures

'.....Last year[1997], Cunard was cautioned about the risks of ship-board asbestos exposure by Dr. Nigel Roberts, the principal medical officer on the QE2 for twenty years. According to his solicitor: "Filipino crew members were used to strip out the vessel without any protection. Dr. Roberts objected most strongly to that and was concerned about the health and safety of crew members." Roberts initiated an action for unfair dismissal after being made redundant in September, 1997....'

Report  complied by Laurie Kazan-Allen
copyright Jerome Consultants
« Last Edit: Nov 23, 2009, 12:22 AM by Twynkle »
QE2 had been waiting alongside in Dubai for nearly 12 years.  Please restore her Lifeboats and Tenders to where they truly belong - she looks naked without them - please spare her this ignominy.

Offline Twynkle

Re: Asbestos & Fireproofing
« Reply #13 on: Nov 22, 2009, 11:55 PM »
Article highlighting 
reasons for current concern regarding asbestosis disease and personal injury claims
made by individuals who worked on QE2, where there  disturbance of asbestos.


« Last Edit: Apr 16, 2015, 08:53 AM by Lynda Bradford »
QE2 had been waiting alongside in Dubai for nearly 12 years.  Please restore her Lifeboats and Tenders to where they truly belong - she looks naked without them - please spare her this ignominy.

Offline Twynkle

Re: Asbestos & Fireproofing
« Reply #14 on: Nov 23, 2009, 12:06 AM »
This notice could be relevant - someone at the lab will know the results of testing.
Presuming this related to testing the environment for asbestos.

http://www.ukas.com/websearch.asp?qt=asbestos&SUBMIT=Search
« Last Edit: Apr 16, 2015, 08:56 AM by Lynda Bradford »
QE2 had been waiting alongside in Dubai for nearly 12 years.  Please restore her Lifeboats and Tenders to where they truly belong - she looks naked without them - please spare her this ignominy.

richc1977

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Re: Asbestos & Fireproofing
« Reply #15 on: Nov 23, 2009, 06:14 PM »
Reading that article it's a very sad legacy.

lshaw16

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Re: Asbestos & Fireproofing
« Reply #16 on: Mar 02, 2010, 06:29 PM »
I have just caught up with this I do apologise!  Thanks very much to everyone for their responses.

It is the sad legacy that I am researching.  The figures for mesothelioma was 512 per million of the population. That is set to rise over the next 20 years. The high figures have been attributed to the high concentration of the labour force working in the Clydebank shipyards and the presence of the Turner Asbestos Cement factory, Kilbowie.  Due to the large amount of asbestos used in the initial construction of the QE2, it makes for a very good case study.  However, we must remember that asbestos was a very effective fire safety product and had been used extensively in shipbuilding from the 19th century.  Some historians have even gone as far to say that it saved more lives than what it has taken.  I have found some good news in terms of this and I will be happy to report once the research is completed. 
« Last Edit: Mar 02, 2010, 06:31 PM by Lynsey Shaw »

Online Rob Lightbody

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Re: Asbestos & Fireproofing
« Reply #17 on: Jun 21, 2010, 10:31 PM »
See attached - thought it was interesting!
Passionate about QE2's service life for 37 years and creator of this website.  Worked in IT for 27 years and created my personal QE2 website in 1994.

dundurn

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Re: Asbestos & Fireproofing
« Reply #18 on: Oct 01, 2010, 05:59 PM »
I've registered purely to add my 2 penn'orth to this thread. Between 1969 and 1972 I worked for a timber importer in Scotland, mainly dealing in playwood sales. Two of my colleagues had associations with the Clyde; one had worked for Barclay Curle while the other's father had worked for John Brown. The topic of the 1968 Canaries Cruise came up one day and the following information emerged. How accurate this was I have no way of knowing but the subject of Marinite was brought up with no prompting by me and both of them seemed to be fully aware of the situation.

Their view was that Cunard had taken the decision to operate the QE2 both as a transatlantic liner in the old style and as a cruise ship operating in the Caribbean. In the latter role she would be operating from American ports and as a result had to comply with American regulations. It was this latter requirement that led to the extensive use of Marinite.
Stage 2 of their story was that progress on the fitting out was behind schedule. One of the principal reasons was that every time a Marinite panel was breached the waste had to be bagged and disposed of offship. The Health & Safety (not called that in those days, but the effect was the same) were seen as a nuisance rather than the necessary safeguard they were.
Stage 3 was the relatively sudden departure on the 1968 Canaries Cruise. This had the happy result that while many of the workers went along and completed the fitting out, most if not all of the safety people were left behind. Unbagged waste was simply tossed overboard.

Is I say, I don't know this first hand, but it may explain some of the historyy.

Offline Rod

Re: Asbestos & Fireproofing
« Reply #19 on: Oct 06, 2011, 08:32 PM »
As mentioned before, marinite was used everywhere and very littlle to no warning was give to the early ships staff regarding safety. Theoretically, if you drilled a hole in the marinite to say, put up a picture, it released asbestos. The elevator shafts were coated on the inside with blue asbestos, which at the time was one of the most dangerous forms. These quite often got damaged for one reason or another and they just coated them in latex paint to seal them. Brakes drums...(anyone know where they are?) on the ship to begin with all had asbestos break pads that were relined by ships staff with no protection.
During the 86 refit, when they did renos where asbestos was present, they sealed it off then dumped the bags on an open container on the dock?
However, for those of you that live in older houses in the US......alot of your pipes are covered TOTALLY in asbestos!