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Topic: Fire eating
Message: Posted by: TAIT (Apr 13, 2004 12:52PM)
Hi I am starting to work on my fire eating can any of you gays help I want to now where to get paraffin in the uk
Message: Posted by: Slim Price (Apr 15, 2004 03:07PM)
My friend Mike is a 3rd year resident at the University of Michigan Medical Center. He is also a fire hobbyist. My accident tipped him into working with a Respiratory Specialist to see if they could find more out about Fire Eaters/Breathers Lung...this is the preliminary of the report they are writing. "The human respiratory system is quite remarkable. The lung is a spongy organ with a total surface area equal to about that of a tennis court. Tiny blood vessels run through the lung and bring the blood to within less of a millionth of a meter away from the inhaled air. This close proximity of the red blood cells to the atmosphere is necessary because oxygen does not dissolve well in water, and if it had to travel any appreciable distance through any watery fluid (like plasma), it would never reach the red blood cell. However, the human respiratory system is also delicate, and it defends itself zealously against invasion. If any foreign agent manages to get into the alveoli (the tiny air spaces where oxygen exchange occurs), a massive immune reaction occurs. Plasma from the blood leaks into the alveoli, laden with white blood cells and antibodies to attack the invaders. The alveoli fill up with fluid and the filled alveoli become incapable of oxygenating the blood. When the alveoli are filled with fluid, this is called pneumonia. The problem is that the lungs are not very bright. Sometimes, the invader isn't actually a bacterium or a virus, but rather, a chemical agent. The lungs overreact to the agent, which causes even more damage to the lungs and begins a vicious cycle of damage and reaction to damage that fills the lungs with fluid. Because this happens quite quickly, it is called the Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, or ARDS. "Firebreather's Lung" is a special case of ARDS. It's no different than other types of ARDS except for the fact that the cause is fuel. Even a relatively small amount of fuel inhaled into the lungs can trigger ARDS. For whatever reason, a type of chemical called a hydrocarbon (oil, gasoline, kerosene, etc.) is especially good at triggering the syndrome. It just takes a shift of the wind to blow the spray back into your face as you inhale. And that's it. ARDS will develop within hours. The treatment for ARDS is to increase the pressure of the oxygen inside the lungs and to wait for the syndrome to settle down by itself. To increase the pressure of the oxygen inside the lungs, it is necessary to insert a tube into the trachea (the windpipe) and attach the patient to a ventilator (breathing machine). It can take many weeks for ARDS to resolve. Being intubated (having the tube in your trachea) is very unpleasant. Patients feel starved for air all of the time, in spite of the best efforts of the medical personnel to give them all the oxygen they can. Furthermore, after weeks of bed rest, the muscles of the body become very deconditioned, and even very fit patients are unable to stand on their own because their muscles are so weak. It takes months of physical therapy to regain that muscle strength. Even after the ARDS is resolved, the lungs have suffered a lot of damage. The damage may be permanent and some patients may be dependent on home oxygen for life. Other patients may not be dependent on home oxygen, but may never regain all of their lung function and will get out of breath while performing tasks that used to be easy, like climbing stairs." Just thought that this would be of interest, or possibly helpful to someone. He also has given permission for people to print it out and use it, for whatever reasons. All he asks is the his name is on it...Mike Ginsberg.

Last changed: 04/15/04
Message: Posted by: Roslyn (Apr 15, 2004 05:06PM)
In answer to the question you can use parafin from any DIY store, but tends to be very dirty. Use lighter fuel instead.

Message: Posted by: Glenn Alloway (Apr 15, 2004 09:27PM)
What is a DIY store?

Anyway, I use parafin because it has no taste. I suppose this can be both good and bad. I use it for fire breathing only. I have never tried fire eating, but I believe lighter fluid is better for this. That is because the vapour from the lighter fluid burn at a lower temp that the Parafin oil. But be careful with the lighter fluid, it is easy to inhale burning vapour when trying to eat fire.

As for Parafin being dirty? I'm not sure what you mean. In Canada the only parafin I have seen was 99% pure parafin, unless you buy the scented stuff. This is a clear oil with no smell or taste. Great for breathing fire.

Here is a tip, before breathing or eating fire for the first time, phone the poison control hotline in you area. That's what I did. The nice old lady yelled at me for wanting to try it, but then she gave me helpful information. She told me exactly what to do if something goes wrong. It is always nice to know what you are dealing with.
Message: Posted by: Roslyn (Apr 16, 2004 04:11AM)
The 'DIY' in DIY store stands for Do It Yourself. It's what us Brits call a hardware store. Sorry for the confusion.
Another point on learning would be to find someone who already does it. Not the easiest of things to do, but if you have a juggling club in your area or you can get to juggling convention you will probaly find someone who can do it.
If your in the UK the British Juggling Convention is on this weekend in Darby. There's a link from http://www.unicycle.uk.com to the BJC's website for more details.

Message: Posted by: TAIT (Apr 16, 2004 09:53AM)
Thanks for all the info