|Why I am not going to
hang gliding at a particular site Dockweiler Hang Gliding Park anymore:
I've correlated an important set of symptoms with sessions of long play
in the wind at Dockweiler Hang Gliding Park.
The vector suspected: respirable
wind is wanted. The wind comes off the ocean and wafts over a
stretch of sand. I grew up playing at the surf zone at Venice
and in the surf; no problem. But I did not grow up playing at the
leeward end of the sand: problem therein. And playing at the leeward
end of the sand for six to 10 hours sessions exercising hard hang
gliding: this is a new deal. And it seems now that the new deal has
brought the beginnings of lung disease. The suspect will be described
The sand has high content of silica. The
sand is ground finer and finer by these actions:
sand-sifting vehicles used by the
County to sift trash from the sand inadvetently crush and grind sand
particles against each other to form finer and finer particulates of
silica. These big vehicles are used on a frequent regular basis to keep the beach sand clean.
- Thousands of people walking over the sand regularly crush and grind sand against itself.
- My shoes at each flight returning
walk-wing-carry grind the sand to finer silica particles.
- Police cars drive on drier run of the beach sand only to crush and grind the sand finer.
- Emergency trucks drive on the drier run of the beach sand.
- Junior lifeguards have regular running on the dry sand to grind sand to finer particulates.
- Wind tumbles the sand to abrade the sand to finer particulates.
The flocks of
seagulls poop on the sand; calculate unending tons of poop being mixed
with the sand; each bird resting and pooping near the shoreline; that
poop gets into the sand and eventually feeds microbes and the wind that
reaches my lungs. The sand is heated daily. Night dew and
from the continuous wave breaks moisten the broad stretch of sand.
Microbes grow in the moist sand just beneath the sun-soaked top layer
of the sand. The wind and activity of people and machines and lifeguard
vehicles continually churn the sand to grind it to finer and finer
texture; and wind and activity give upwelling to the detritus of the
microbes. The net result is that the wanted wind wafts over the sand
and brings to the high-intensity-exercising-breathing hang glider pilot an air soup of
of fine order
. Those fine particulates reach the lower
finer levels of the lung and brings disease.
Beginning silicosis and
brings symptoms that match the symptoms that I am having on the night
and days following long-hour sessions at the Dockweiler hang gliding
site. Headaches, voice changing, and malaise are pointedly noticed; and
such is different from what I know from long hours of work and
exercises done in environments that do not have the fine particulates.
thought prejudice that the "beach" was a place of health has been
still believe that the wave-area of the wind-receiving beach and the
water place for playing, running, standing to fly kites, swimming,
surfing, etc. brings good airs to the lungs. But the leeward
end of the broad sand is
now something that deepens lung injury. I am not going to play
at the leeward end of broad beaches, but only at the wave-area windward
side of onshore-breeze-swept beaches. That means that Dockweiler hang
gliding for me is permanently a no-more item of my life. A new
normal has arrived. I will hang glide only at other sites
that do not present such a health challenge. This is a big change for
"Normal sand is not Silica sand. Though normal sand composition consists of silica(Si02) it is not 100% silica."
Will I be willing to wear a
order to have long sessions of exercise via hang gliding at the
Dockweiler site? Don't think so. Rest and living
do not remove the fine silica particles from the lung.
I am no longer in good conscience able to advocate doing
gliding at the Dockweiler hang gliding park.
The bad effects have accumulated; I want to avoid entering fatal
silicosis and possibly fungal infections from non-silica dust. I cannot wish the conditions on others.
"Silicosis is a lung disease. It usually happens in jobs where you
breathe in dust that contains silica. That's a tiny crystal found in
sand, rock, or mineral ores like quartz. Over time, silica can build up
in one's lungs and breathing passages. This leads to scarring that
makes it hard to breathe."
"Chronic silicosis usually takes anywhere
from 20 to 45 years to develop, but even 5 to 10 years exposure time at
higher concentrations can result
in an accelerated version of the disease."
Wishful thinking or
hoping that something is not so, does not change facts.
deliberately to want wind in face during heavy exercise should perk up
critical thinking; does that wind
carry things injurious to health? I
have not the instruments to measure the facts at the Dockweiler
bluff. But analysis seems to point to a vector of my
experienced symptoms. ??:
# of micrograms per cubic meter of air (µg/m3)
Upon such suspicions, I found some
literature that may be relevant to my experience and thinking.
- Just after a rain while the broad beach is damp might
time for hang gliding there.
spraying of ocean water using wind-power sprayers to wet the full broad
beach might be a mitigation method; but such operation is not likely to
be done by anyone.
- Wearing breathing masks with correct fresh
filters --respirators-- could be a means to avoid further damage. We
wear helmets; maybe wearing an industrial breathing filter could become
the habit. But authorities have such respirator wearing as a last
resort. The dust still gets on things that are carried to car and
are exposed to dust containing crystalline silica for about 8 h per day
and are at the risk of developing silicosis and silico-tuberculosis."
death of Greg DeWolf, super
instructor at Dockweiler, might be
questioned. Was his lung studied post-mortem? I watched his decline
over the years. He was breathing the suspect airs for very many years
five days a week for six or so hours per day. The exercise and
hoped-for "good airs" might have slowly degraded his lungs via
facts are not at hand and may not have been investigated. I sent
query to Cyndia Z-K and Joe Greblo about the matter.
An effort to have the
State of California or the County of Los Angeles to measure matters
will be made regarding the bluffs' airs at different times of day and
at different conditions.