Friday, November 17, 2017

Human Hair Threatens to Take Down DC's Metro

I let it fly in the breeze
And get caught in the trees
Give a home for the fleas in my hair
A home for fleas
A hive for the buzzin' bees
A nest for birds
There ain't no words
For the beauty, the splendor, the wonder Of my...


But not so wonderful when it gums up the electrical system of the Washington DC Metro, though.

According to NBC News, 'Beyond Vulgar': Human Hair Buildup in Metro System Poses Fire Threat :

Hair and other human fibers are accumulating in Washington D.C. Metro tunnels in such large quantities that the gunk poses a threat of electrical sparks and fire, a transit consultant tells News4.

So much hair and skin cells built up on insulators that support the electrified third rails that the mess looks like a thick layer of felt, said a safety specialist from Amalgamated Transit Union, the largest labor union representing transit employees in North America.

"I was flabbergasted -- flabbergasted -- at the amount of hair that's in the Metro," Brian Sherlock said.

It's not just hair and fibers -- dust and debris also are gathering, according to Sherlock.

He said the issue can become especially dangerous when debris gathers near the high-voltage third rail.

"The amount of debris is just beyond vulgar to think of," Sherlock said.

Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld acknowledged the issue.

"Hair literally comes off of people and off of clothing and gets sucked up," he said.

This hair issue is not one that Metro has independently studied, but Metro has made efforts to increase the regularity of trackbed cleaning since 2016, Metro spokesman Dan Stessel said.

I don't ride the DC Metro much anymore, but it looks like a ride at Disney World compared to the New York City subway and most other old underground rail systems. How much skin and hair buildup must those have???

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

TSB: I've never been on an underground railway. "White Priviledge" or a sheltered life I guess. I thought the Seattle Monorail was cool in the 60's but that was a flop. I'll be driving to Elma tomorrow and working in a huge modern office with only about 5 people in it. Very scenic with deer and elk roaming around. This post reminds me I have to clean out my car. Ugg! gwb