David F. Delman (Delman01@COMPUSERVE.COM)
Fri, 11 Apr 1997 08:31:40 -0400
< Mon, 31 Mar 1997 10:40:36 -0800
< Paul Ferris <paul_ferris@CYBRZN.COM>
<---New one from Alan------------------>
< Wed, 9 Apr 1997 18:18:06 -0500
< "H. Alan Schup" <aschup@WHY.NET>
< Acute Allergy to Campfire Smoke
I have read many smart replies to this original note which is great.
Sorry for the long delay, been out to Washington camping and its been
tough catching up. I am still interested in this dialog. Particularly
if we could get a Toxologist, Environmental Allergist or Clinical Ecologist
Remember years ago (10+) reading an article in Science News about a frozen
woman (Alaskan I believe) being found in NW America from before the time
of writing. She died a smokers death i.e. significant lung and bronchial
damage. Her death was postulated to be caused by the practice of keeping
warm in caves with wood fires. i.e. she breathed regularly the products of
wood fire combustion.
Also remember from someplace that with either wood fires, fossil fuels,
or burning of coke in steel mills that inhalation by man of any mixture
of air beyond normal atmospheric ingredients causes some damage. It causes
early death if repeated continually or in extreme doses. For people with
allergies inhalation can result in breathing or temporary mental
For those who wish to read about the allergy connection from some MD's
perspectives try books by Zamm or Dr Theron Randolph.
I could go on about my own theories about why wood smoke, fossil fuel
combustion products and second hand smoke are probably similar in effect
upon our bodies one being more habit forming than the other but just as
bad physically if kept at the same life time inhalation levels.
Minimize inhalation or ingestion of anything foreign to a clean breathing
kind of life should be the practice. For the fire that is great for campouts
and a sense of community I would do the fire and reduce the inhalation as
much as possible. For those who can do it after the fire use the simple
of 50/50 Water/Alkalol. Alkalol costs about 2.50$ per bottle and does wonders
to clean out your nasal passages. Afterwards a salt water gargle is needed. I
use this technique regularly when ever I come back from doing anything
me up. You wouldn't believe what comes out.
Also watch the wood you burn, sometimes we let the boys burn bad batches that
are either filled with pine tar, moldy, or whatever. i.e. ground wood. Some
of that ground wood is filled with many spores due to the decaying process.
In this case people with allergic problems will have a terrible campfire
experience, a bad headache, and take 2-5 days to recover.
For Alan's Allergic Person:
Charcoal Masks of highest quality are yuky "Space Alien" but work,
Don't recommend because people also become allergic to them after a time.
Try burning other than pine or spruce and bringing aged wood
rather than ground pick up.
Keep the boy out of the smoke as much as possible
Make sure his tent is away
See if you can convince the parents to teach the scout
The Alkalol solution for Nasal clean out
Some eye cleaning techniques
Some facial and scalp wash down techniques
Removing his outer smoke filled clothes and not taking them
in the tent with him where he sleeps. Of course make sure who
ever sleeps with him does the same with smoke filled clothes.
Also watch where he places his tent preferrably safe for mold around
him and a place where some air flows.
YiS and IMHO
Mr Dave (David Delman (Susquenango Council (Binghamton, NY
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City