I went to Viva Las Vegas for a girls weekend that I sure not to forget. I packed for a weekend that was over the top high rolling, mixed drinks and "What happens in Vegas" behavior....
Except adulting kicked in and that weekend didn’t go to plan.
What me and my friend hadn’t anticipated was a long work week and exhaustion by the time we arrived in Vegas. So instead of hitting the town, we went to dinner and saw a Vegas show, Le Rêve.
It was showing in the Wynn hotel, a high class luxury hotel with the finer things I can't afford. As we left the show, I ran into one of my favorite childhood cartoon characters, Popeye! I mean, there he was, standing at 6 feet 5 inches tall of shiny metal, cordoned off, and heavily guarded.
Of course I had to stop and read about this $28 million, YES, $28 MILLION (hence the guards) sculpture of Popeye. And the shiny metal? Mirror finished stainless steel. Are you ready for my first thought..??
“If you weld on stainless steel, there could be hexavalent chromium in the welding fumes” Way to be a nerd on a Saturday night in Vegas.
The fumes are the smoke looking particles once the “heat” is applied to the metal and in those particles, it contains Hexavalent chromium, a metal that is known to cause cancer in humans. Think Erin Brockovich. The very substance the town was drinking in the water is the same stuff that could be found when making
this beautiful work of art.
It turns out that you don’t have to report hexavalent chromium in stainless steel because when stainless steel is in solid state, hexavalent chromium doesn’t cause any harm. It is only when welding that there is a potential for the bad stuff to be introduced.
As an Industrial Hygienist, we must know these little details when making recommendations or ensuring the workplace is safe. After some research, I figured out that the artist of this piece doesn’t do his own hands on work which means the firm that takes on the sculpting would need to know that they could be exposed to a cancer-causing substance. Most people don’t just have this knowledge, but an IH could definitely come in to support, educate, control, and make sure people are safe.
So there you have it, other than seeing my friend, this was the highlight of my exciting Las Vegas weekend. I did not hit the jackpot, reenact a scene from the Hangover, or have any experiences that could never be shared with the world. Adulting has officially taken over (insert crying gif).