Author Topic: Does air pollution in China lead to degradation of coins?  (Read 4688 times)

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Offline Birdman

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Does air pollution in China lead to degradation of coins?
« on: September 26, 2015, 08:10:07 PM »
http://waqi.info/

Judging from these air pollution measurements, if I lived in China right now, I would certainly want to store my coins in archival bags.  Will that polluted air degrade the surface of coins over time?  Perhaps something to think of if you purchase a coin from China.  When I opened the sealed package on one of my orders, I thought it smelled a bit odd.  I thought maybe someone had been smoking in the packaging room, but perhaps it was just polluted air from that city?  It makes me want to run such a coin through NCS before I store it away.  And forget about coins, that can't be healthy for humans!

Offline 1668Chris

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Re: Does air pollution in China lead to degradation of coins?
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2015, 10:18:36 PM »
Absolutely.  The contaminants in China's air that leads to corrosion is the same in our air but at much higher concentrations. 

Offline Mirkkanen

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Re: Does air pollution in China lead to degradation of coins?
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2015, 11:20:08 PM »
Jeebus, one spot on that map is maxed out at 500! Where is that?

Offline KeepOnTrying!

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Re: Does air pollution in China lead to degradation of coins?
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2015, 12:46:24 AM »
http://waqi.info/

Judging from these air pollution measurements, if I lived in China right now, I would certainly want to store my coins in archival bags.  Will that polluted air degrade the surface of coins over time?  Perhaps something to think of if you purchase a coin from China.  When I opened the sealed package on one of my orders, I thought it smelled a bit odd.  I thought maybe someone had been smoking in the packaging room, but perhaps it was just polluted air from that city?  It makes me want to run such a coin through NCS before I store it away.  And forget about coins, that can't be healthy for humans!

I remember when I got my OMP 2014 5oz silver panda coins (in 2014) the whole package stank of cigarette smoke but I bought them from a U.S. based company (not PA). I assumed it was from smoking done at the U.S. company warehouse. The smell faded with time. Alternatively, it could have been from any of the package components including plastisizers used in producing the case or coin cannister. I recently bought archival bags so I'll swing by the vault sometime this week and repack them and others. I can't say that I have noticed any such smell in the numerous packages that I have received directly from China based sellers.

I have previously mentioned this but I am thinking of sending my proof silver Summer Gate medals, all of which had arrived without the traditional double OMP, to NCS/NGC. I am only holding back for now until I can speak to someone there to make sure they will agree to do such preventative conservation.

I would think that coins that arrive in intact OMP could do well if just stored in archival bags plus desiccant sachets or canisters. IMO.
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Offline KeepOnTrying!

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Re: Does air pollution in China lead to degradation of coins?
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2015, 12:55:31 AM »
http://waqi.info/

Judging from these air pollution measurements, if I lived in China right now, I would certainly want to store my coins in archival bags.  Will that polluted air degrade the surface of coins over time?  Perhaps something to think of if you purchase a coin from China.  When I opened the sealed package on one of my orders, I thought it smelled a bit odd.  I thought maybe someone had been smoking in the packaging room, but perhaps it was just polluted air from that city?  It makes me want to run such a coin through NCS before I store it away.  And forget about coins, that can't be healthy for humans!

It took me a few days in Beijing to realize that the pervading smell in the air was that of coal (burning). I saw some people putting on masks but I don't think that it is enough to prevent developing chronic lung disease and other associated ailments. I hear the incidence of such problems is high in China.
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Offline Tao-Panda

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Re: Does air pollution in China lead to degradation of coins?
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2015, 03:39:22 AM »
Jeebus, one spot on that map is maxed out at 500! Where is that?


I do not know but it seems it is currently better into this area: http://aqicn.org/map/china/

Kagoshima in the south of Japan makes also good score: 450  :scared:

Offline jc888888888

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Re: Does air pollution in China lead to degradation of coins?
« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2015, 07:42:28 AM »
its not good for coins or people .......the particulate matter in china,s air is astounding ,in northern cities what is called pm 2.5  is so high at certain times of year that it is immediately harmful for children and the elderly ...in the winter they heat with coal fired plants that are antiquated and have no controls and in northern cities when the wind is blowing in the right direction you cant see your hand in front of your face ..it is a shame the government is not doing much to stop poisoning there people. These fine particulates do  irreversible harm to people immediately..  I had a highly regarded respiratory physician tell me when I inquired about safety for my 6 old kids going on an extended 3 month vacation to visit relatives and immerse them in the Chinese language I will quote now  " I would much rather you force them to smoke 10 packs of cigarettes a day then let them go to Shanghai with the pm2.5 that high (it was 180)   in the US what we consider polluted cities are in the 60,s .Oh and of course in typical Chinese government fashion they cheat when reporting the readings. Go to US embassy's websites as the united states has there own monitoring devises. The readings are so bad at certain times it is almost incredible 450/500 . The chinese goverment is blowing an all clear signal at 180:)  the same doctor I consulted said to me in his opinion prolonged exposure to 180++ could shave a decade or 2 at least of your life span and the last 10 years of your life wont be pretty.

Offline jc888888888

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Re: Does air pollution in China lead to degradation of coins?
« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2015, 08:13:18 AM »
http://www3.epa.gov/pm/health.html

the EPA is concerned about our pm2.5 in our national parks :) it is in the 30,s  ..as far as what they call Aesthetic damage

Aesthetic damage
Particle pollution can stain and damage stone and other materials, including culturally important objects such as statues and monuments. More information about the effects of particle pollution and acid rain.

Offline KeepOnTrying!

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Re: Does air pollution in China lead to degradation of coins?
« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2015, 08:27:57 AM »
It occurred to me that creating clean toxin-free micro-environments for coins can include storage in airtight glass canning jars. Yes, grandma’s canning jars such as the half gallon specimens shown below! This could be very useful for people living in cities with poor air quality (not just China) as well as those living in coastal areas with high humidity and salt water laden air.

It can also be used for coin storage in personal safes. As you may know, fire retardant safes increase water vapor within the safe such that stored items become moldy with time, hence the advice to use desiccants in safes and aerate the contents frequently.

So, storage of OMP or slabbed coins in archival bags with desiccants and then in airtight jars or similar containers may be the way forward especially in situations where there is concern regarding deleterious environmental effects. I don’t have experience yet with archival bags but the literature suggests that they remove certain contaminants from the air that could react with precious metal coins. Kind of makes sense. I got some recently for use and hope for the best.

I don't know yet what the bank managers' reaction will be to clients lugging pickling jars full of coins in and out of the vault. Glass jars also present a risk of breakage with flying shards a possibility. Placing them in double plastic or nylon bags is good practice. I know some in this forum may need a large number of jars for their collection. Still a good idea, at least until the next brain wave arrives!  N20
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Offline Birdman

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Re: Does air pollution in China lead to degradation of coins?
« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2015, 08:30:30 AM »

I do not know but it seems it is currently better into this area: http://aqicn.org/map/china/


I think the data is updated every 15 minutes.  So if rain or wind comes into a region, it will temporarily improve the local air quality.  Also, the amount of pollution spewed into the atmosphere likely differs on a Saturday and Sunday, compared to during the industrial work week.  I believe that in advance of certain events where China is on the world stage, the government will force certain polluting industries to cut back on their activity, so that the air looks better for the television cameras.  For instance, here is an old article (the first that came up on Google news search) http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/07/sports/olympics/07china.html?_r=0

Offline KeepOnTrying!

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Re: Does air pollution in China lead to degradation of coins?
« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2015, 08:38:34 AM »
its not good for coins or people .......the particulate matter in china,s air is astounding ,in northern cities what is called pm 2.5  is so high at certain times of year that it is immediately harmful for children and the elderly ...in the winter they heat with coal fired plants that are antiquated and have no controls and in northern cities when the wind is blowing in the right direction you cant see your hand in front of your face ..it is a shame the government is not doing much to stop poisoning there people. These fine particulates do  irreversible harm to people immediately..  I had a highly regarded respiratory physician tell me when I inquired about safety for my 6 old kids going on an extended 3 month vacation to visit relatives and immerse them in the Chinese language I will quote now  " I would much rather you force them to smoke 10 packs of cigarettes a day then let them go to Shanghai with the pm2.5 that high (it was 180)   in the US what we consider polluted cities are in the 60,s .Oh and of course in typical Chinese government fashion they cheat when reporting the readings. Go to US embassy's websites as the united states has there own monitoring devises. The readings are so bad at certain times it is almost incredible 450/500 . The chinese goverment is blowing an all clear signal at 180:)  the same doctor I consulted said to me in his opinion prolonged exposure to 180++ could shave a decade or 2 at least of your life span and the last 10 years of your life wont be pretty.

I remember many years ago when I lived briefly somewhere in Borneo (southeast Asia). The summers were bad with months of permanent haze, they said from bush fires used for land clearing. We were able to escape to Europe for a few weeks each time and had activated charcoal airfilters running in most of the rooms of the house when we came back. I often wonder if we breathed in enough toxins to shorten the lifespan.
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Offline KeepOnTrying!

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Re: Does air pollution in China lead to degradation of coins?
« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2015, 08:53:36 AM »
I think the data is updated every 15 minutes.  So if rain or wind comes into a region, it will temporarily improve the local air quality.  Also, the amount of pollution spewed into the atmosphere likely differs on a Saturday and Sunday, compared to during the industrial work week.  I believe that in advance of certain events where China is on the world stage, the government will force certain polluting industries to cut back on their activity, so that the air looks better for the television cameras.  For instance, here is an old article (the first that came up on Google news search) http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/07/sports/olympics/07china.html?_r=0

That strategy was just used again in Beijing recently. I am trying to remember the event that they had. I think it was a national parade day type of occasion with show of military might and missiles on trucks. According to news reports factories were shut down in advance and the air cleaned up nice.

I don't think it is rocket science. Technology already exists to clean up effluents from factories, with electrostatic filters, scrubbers etc. They can be incorporated into designs for new factories and for retrofitting older coal burning furnaces. Yes, it costs more but is probably still cheaper than treating a large population of chronically sick people with asthma, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, lung cancer, allergies etc.

In the long term greater utilization of alternative energy sources such as solar and wind power, and burning less fossil fuels will decrease this problem and help clean up our environment.
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Offline Panda Halves

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Re: Does air pollution in China lead to degradation of coins?
« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2015, 10:49:50 AM »
It occurred to me that creating clean toxin-free micro-environments for coins can include storage in airtight glass canning jars. Yes, grandma’s canning jars such as the half gallon specimens shown below! This could be very useful for people living in cities with poor air quality (not just China) as well as those living in coastal areas with high humidity and salt water laden air.

It can also be used for coin storage in personal safes. As you may know, fire retardant safes increase water vapor within the safe such that stored items become moldy with time, hence the advice to use desiccants in safes and aerate the contents frequently.

So, storage of OMP or slabbed coins in archival bags with desiccants and then in airtight jars or similar containers may be the way forward especially in situations where there is concern regarding deleterious environmental effects. I don’t have experience yet with archival bags but the literature suggests that they remove certain contaminants from the air that could react with precious metal coins. Kind of makes sense. I got some recently for use and hope for the best.

I don't know yet what the bank managers' reaction will be to clients lugging pickling jars full of coins in and out of the vault. Glass jars also present a risk of breakage with flying shards a possibility. Placing them in double plastic or nylon bags is good practice. I know some in this forum may need a large number of jars for their collection. Still a good idea, at least until the next brain wave arrives!  N20

You could always find the air quality you want. Seal them in gramma's canning jars then bury them in the ground.

Offline KeepOnTrying!

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Re: Does air pollution in China lead to degradation of coins?
« Reply #13 on: September 27, 2015, 11:21:06 AM »
You could always find the air quality you want. Seal them in gramma's canning jars then bury them in the ground.

And some lucky guy finds it 50 years later and promptly hands in his/her letter of resignation!  N16
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Offline jc888888888

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Re: Does air pollution in China lead to degradation of coins?
« Reply #14 on: September 27, 2015, 11:55:31 AM »
 Also you have to be careful with that strategy when you're older you forget where you put stuff :-)