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fumes at an indoor race track

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fumes at an indoor race track

Old 01-13-2020, 08:03 PM
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Default fumes at an indoor race track

Hello, and sorry if this has been talked about or brought up before, no one wants to beat a dead horse.

But what is everyone opinion on all the gnarly fumes and smells we all inhale at the indoor race tracks?

Ive been racing for only about 7-8 months. Once a week for 7-8 months.

Between all the different tire sauces and people grinding wheels, and people frying ESCs, and people vaping, and all the other various fumes, does this ever worry you guys?

Recently I have not been feeling well, and I just cant place a finger on it, but Ive taken a couple weeks off from the track and I dont really feel as bad.
It makes me wonder ya know?
I also wonder about the people that go to the track like 5 times a week, do these fumes get to you?

I cant help but feel like im being poisoned every time I go there.
When I step outside to go get food between races, or to get fresh air, Its so much more noticeable when I walk back in, like I just got hit in the face with the fumes.

Am I just going crazy or am I paranoid?
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Old 01-14-2020, 02:01 AM
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It's an interesting topic. But maybe at your track there's no areation...
I race at IBRpadova (Indoor Buggy Race) and the facility is wide open on the sides plus about 10 big fans that blows the fumes away.
Well...i must say, when a race is going with 15+ cars on the track i always wonder how the corner marshalls can breathe without a mask.
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Old 01-14-2020, 06:36 AM
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I am very fortunate to race at an outdoor (covered) track where the sides of the structure are not enclosed so plenty of natural ventilation from the smokers, many who continue to smoke under the structure when the RD clearly spells out the rules of no smoking under any cover during the RD meeting each day. One of the main reasons I took a break from running on the 1/8 track is getting headaches toward the end of each race day when nitro fumes are too much, I would often go home and blow chunks of black soot from my nostrils using a neti-pot. No longer an issue after running electric only events. The only problem I experience now are the inconsiderate folks who apply tire sauce and vape in the enclosed pit room. I repeatedly tell the same folks to quit it (they apologize) and continue their offensive behavior the following week (rinse and repeat my "nagging" to the same people), sometimes I just want to smack them as hard as I can so they can feel the same discomfort I have to endure when my sinuses block up from the fumes. I have learned to minimize my time spent in the pit room by racing 3 classes which really makes the day go quickly if there are only 6-7 heats

If someone has a creative suggestion to help influence people to follow the rules of no vaping/saucing in the pit room please share, I'm willing to try anything that won't cause me to get arrested!
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Old 01-14-2020, 06:45 AM
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If you are feeling bad then time to get some blood work done.. Id ask the td to open a outside door then sit by it..In the 90's there was this 1 sauce that was bad on me I started wearing my Air flow gear .. do what you have to do to feel better no matter what(well no really )..take care of yourself 1st..
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Old 01-14-2020, 11:58 AM
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Fumes are an issue, and in my humble opinion, a track responsibility to monitor, correct and enforce. When it becomes a personal health issue, then it is time to take a step back and ask if it is really worth enduring the hazard.

Years ago, I made a personal decision to not attend races in an enclosed facility, and tend to dislike even a covered track. That was in the days of nitro and electric classes running same track same day. Things are different now with indoor carpet electric tracks and perhaps bear a re-look. Gone are the nitro fumes, but linger on do the saucing fumes. Here in Houston, with high humidity and minimal winds, air inversions tend to trap the air and its contaminants at ground level, compounding the problem. Covered tracks still make me uneasy, as in an air inversion, they'll trap fumes even with open sides.

Fumes were a determining factor, albeit not a deciding factor, in my abandoning nitro power for electric power. It would be interesting for an independent health assessment team to assess hazards extant at RC tracks, and offer a professional opinion of the risks and solutions. Something like this, it would seem, falls within the oversight of a national sanctioning organization in bearing that expense.

Good discussion topic. Cheers and Regards. 'AC'

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Old 01-14-2020, 06:29 PM
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Thanks for the replies so far guys.
I do feel its a good discussion topic, and I feel its a big one.

With this being the only track in my area, its tough. I either race or I dont, and that sucks to think about really.
I have enjoyed racing so much, but I cant help think about my health.
I actually did go in to the doctor last week to get a checkup and all sorts of blood work done, so waiting on those results will be fun.
Im not saying its the toxic fumes at the track that are all the causes of my ailments, but somehow, I cant help think its contributing in some way.
We also have that inversion effect here, so our air quality is already poor in salt lake city.

And you guys are correct, our health is more important than everything, and my recent health scare has put a LOT of things in to perspective.
Im 45 and not a young pup anymore, lol, its about time I took care of my body.
I would absolutly hate to give up racing, but if I cant shake the feeling that the fumes are contributing, it might come down to that.
Or maybe just take winters off since the place is sealed up like a drum due to the cold weather. I dont know.

It doesnt help either that the track owners also own vape shops in town. :/

I think more studies need to be done on the sauces and fuels and glues and tire sanders etc etc, but then again, its just RC racing, will people even take it seriously?
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Old 01-15-2020, 05:05 AM
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What form of racing doesnít have fumes?
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Old 01-15-2020, 05:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Losiracer12 View Post
What form of racing doesnít have fumes?
many forms and many locations dont have fumes...one that dont allow any tire sauce with good ventilation in a hall with poor windows that allows a lot of airflow.
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Old 01-15-2020, 08:07 AM
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Originally Posted by morvlorv View Post
... my recent health scare has put a LOT of things in to perspective.
Im 45 and not a young pup anymore, lol, its about time I took care of my body....
I feel you man, I'm 47 and had a health scare myself about 4 months ago, I'm down 45 pounds and feel so much better, no more back aches at the end of a race day and no more mysterious muscle pulls when marshaling. I have had to adjust my driving style since losing my belly, I used to use it as a rest to lay my radio, I've had to rest the radio on my chest now which I'm sure looks funny with the steering wheel just under my nose, but we need to be adaptable, ha!

Originally Posted by morvlorv View Post
It doesnt help either that the track owners also own vape shops in town. :/
I would explain this concern to them, maybe share the link to this thread so they understand that you're not the only one. Maybe they will let you bring in a box fan to blow the fumes away from your pit table? I try to sit toward the front of the pit room and have distanced myself from the people who vape in the back of the room, there is a large fan that blows the fumes to the back of the room, but I still smell the chemicals they are exhaling, it's really a disgusting habit but I choose to accept the risks of getting lung cancer from second hand smoke because I have not found another hobby that gives me this much fun.
Originally Posted by Losiracer12 View Post
What form of racing doesnít have fumes?
Turf and Dirt
The only people saucing tires at our track are those running oval which shares the same program, there are odorless sauces which I will bring up with the RD to start enforcing because of the inconsiderate jerks who sauce inside the pit room and/or break in their tires in the pit room, what used to really piss me off was when guys would fire up their nitro engines in the pit room... I know exactly who the inconsiderate people are, don't expect me to put any extra effort marshaling their cars on the track when they wreck!
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Old 01-15-2020, 09:06 AM
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To the OP, the fumes and dust are 100% contributing to how you feel. There is no excuse for using solvent and fuel based sauces in an unventilated environment. Unfortunately, many racers don't take their health in general seriously. You only have to look at the food consumed at the track and how many racers smoke and or vape. My advice to you is simple, race less and take frequent breaks to go outside. Racing doesn't have to have toxic fumes, and RC is not a motor sport. It is a hobby, nothing more.

The only sauce I use is TDK (non-toxic, made from coconut oil.) I have convinced others to use it, but it is different than solvent based sauces and some of the adopters have gone back to other sauces. The excuse I always hear is that they don't care what's in it as long as it works the best. The mantra of the hardcore racer.

The best way I have found to judge how strong the fumes are is to walk outside for a few minutes and come back in. If the smell is overpowering, I leave. It's your health and ultimately no one at the track will care if you get sick, as long as they can continue to race.
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Old 01-15-2020, 09:02 PM
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I think I read in some labor relations law or codes that an anonymous complaint can be filed on your employer with OSHA or some regulatory about air quality and they will do air quality sampling. It might be worth looking in to and since its anonymous the requirement to be an employee may not actually be a requirement.
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Old 01-15-2020, 10:41 PM
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Originally Posted by billjacobs View Post
To the OP, the fumes and dust are 100% contributing to how you feel. There is no excuse for using solvent and fuel based sauces in an unventilated environment. Unfortunately, many racers don't take their health in general seriously. You only have to look at the food consumed at the track and how many racers smoke and or vape. My advice to you is simple, race less and take frequent breaks to go outside. Racing doesn't have to have toxic fumes, and RC is not a motor sport. It is a hobby, nothing more.

The only sauce I use is TDK (non-toxic, made from coconut oil.) I have convinced others to use it, but it is different than solvent based sauces and some of the adopters have gone back to other sauces. The excuse I always hear is that they don't care what's in it as long as it works the best. The mantra of the hardcore racer.

The best way I have found to judge how strong the fumes are is to walk outside for a few minutes and come back in. If the smell is overpowering, I leave. It's your health and ultimately no one at the track will care if you get sick, as long as they can continue to race.
Thanks for the reply.

I have tried that TDK and tried to get others at the track to use it. I was able to get one guy on it, thats it. lol

Like you said, when I leave and then go back in, thats when it hits the hardest.
Its like getting hit in the face with a bat. lol.
The inside is also super hazy like fog machines have been on. its insane.

I feel like sometimes I should go there with one of those hazmat masks, but in the end, that would be quite uncomfortable to wear for 6 hours.
If I have a travel trailer, I could take that and hang in my trailer and just be inside for my races, and my marshal times. But thats a pretty large investment that shouldnt have to be made. And its too cold to just hang out outside for hours.

The more I think about it, the more serious I feel it becomes.

I do think that since places are required to have wheelchair access, they should also be required to provide adequate ventilation.

Maybe it will just become a summer thing, when less people are there, and the roll up doors and regular doors are open, and the air running, and also when I can just hang out outside when its warm, but its a shame to have to think of that.

I really wish I could start an RC CO-OP, where members couple pay lets say $100 a month, which is less than money spent per month in track fees.
And if we had enough members, we could rent a building and build a track and anyone in the co-op could go there anytime they want, and we could set up races etc.
But in reality, if it failed, someone would be stuck with a huge mess and bills. But wouldnt that be sweet.



Originally Posted by Bry195 View Post
I think I read in some labor relations law or codes that an anonymous complaint can be filed on your employer with OSHA or some regulatory about air quality and they will do air quality sampling. It might be worth looking in to and since its anonymous the requirement to be an employee may not actually be a requirement.

While this could be a solution, its not quite my style.
And also, if this went down, Im about 98% certain the track would get shut down. Im pretty sure there is all sorts of other nefarious stuff going on there. lol
I would hate to be responsible for someone else's livelihood getting closed.

In a situation like this, the people could have the power. But in this case, the people are the ones causing the issues.
Its a real shame.
But I also feel that if I feel this way, there HAS to be some others there feeling the same and that dont like it, but its our only venue to race at.

Ive taken two weeks off.
I might go back Saturday and see how I feel after a couple weeks of no toxicity.
If it makes me feel like poop again my only solution might be to turn into a basher and rock the local parks and bash spots, lol.
It sucks for all the cash invested in racing though. lol

Thanks again for the support guys and for not saying this isnt an issue.
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Old 01-16-2020, 06:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Bry195 View Post
I think I read in some labor relations law or codes that an anonymous complaint can be filed on your employer with OSHA or some regulatory about air quality and they will do air quality sampling. It might be worth looking in to and since its anonymous the requirement to be an employee may not actually be a requirement.
yea letís get another track shut down this year. Why not be adults and talk to the person in charge or simply choose not to go. Every form of motorsports has fumes involved why would competitive rc car racing be any different?
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Old 01-16-2020, 07:19 AM
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An overpowering smell and haze in the building is more serious than most tracks. The smell is probably a combination of the tire sauce and vaping. The effects of the vaping depend on what racers are vaping. The haze is probably from the vaping and burning in the sauce. All of these are bad for you. Things will only change if 1) the owner starts to feel the effects, 2) racers stop coming and tell the owner why.

What I have found is that many racers work in the trades and are around fumes and smoke all day. They don’t see RC as any worse. Unfortunately, they are wrong, because they don’t know what they are exposed to at the track.
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Old 01-16-2020, 03:21 PM
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I forgot to add that my all-time favorite RC pit area was years ago at a large outdoor 1/8 on road nitro race. It was a warm day and there was a large canopy tent with racers pitting inside. As you walked up to the tent, all you could hear was the revving of the nitro engines. The entire tent was filled with a cloud of nitro smoke and fumes and many racers were sitting over their cars, revving the engine. Some racers even had cigarettes in their mouths and others were eating. The scene was priceless. Do you seriously expect these racers to care about tire sauce and dust?
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