Most types of lights have ‘tails’ with heavy rubber jackets, but some units, like striplights, far cycs, and cyc strips, are hung and tilted down (positioning the tail on top of the light where the heat vents) which makes the heat too much for standard coatings, and a special fireproof jacket is used.
Back in the day, these jackets were made of asbestos, but now they’re a type of woven fiberglass cloth stuff:
I’m not 100 % sure which material we’re looking at here.
Whatever this is sheds bits all over the place, and any contact that it makes with bare skin results in ferocious itching. Should one manage to wash the whatever-they-are particles off the skin, the particles that have lodged in one’s shirt will take up residence on said freshly washed arms.
My first job Monday morning was to circuit (connect to power, label, etc..) the far cycs, and I got that fiber all over me.
Certain types of pain one just learns to live with. I’m standing for 12 hours and my feet hurt. Got it. I’m lifting things all day and my shoulders hurt. Expected. The painters are spraying right under me and my sinuses are clogged. Yup, that’s normal.
But then one thing like itching gets thrown in the mix and it all goes to hell. All of a sudden I notice the aching feet and the smell of paint and the sweat pooling up in my bra. And it bothers me.
Right at the apex of my itchy nightmare, I was sent ‘up high’ to feed some cable out of the perms.
Oddly enough, the sweat rolling off me (no, really. It was about 110 degrees in the perms) was what finally stopped the itching.
Today, I outsmarted the fiber from hell and wore a long-sleeved shirt while I worked. Then, I finished and removed said shirt by pulling it over my head, which deposited the fiber in my hair, so my head itched all day.
I can’t win for losing.
Just for posterity, I’d like to point out that actual asbestos is marginally less itchy than the fiberglass stuff.
How I know that is probably a blog post all on its own.