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Aqua Puttana
07-17-2015, 08:44 PM
Safety-alert-brake-cleaner--phosgene-gas

I ran across this story about welding and figured it can't hurt to remind people about the dangers of welding on other than clean metals.

I know the dangers of welding galvanized and chemical contaminated metals. The phosgene gas struck a nerve.

My Dad worked at a chemical company which produced phosgene gas or it was a part of some of the chemical product manufacturing. For a time he worked in the "Fine Chem" department where it was found. He was in a break room with two other guys when he needed to leave to tend something related to his job. While he was gone there was phosgene gas which came up from the sewer. Both of his co-workers died.

Dad said that at first phosgene gas smells like new mown hay. It quickly kills your sense of smell so you no longer detect it. He figured either the concentration was high enough that the men were quickly overcome, or that they first smelled it and then thought that it had cleared out. Anyway, it is really nasty stuff.

Here's one guy's story of using brake cleaner as a solvent as he welded. Pretty scary stuff. Maybe the phosgene gas killed his sense of smell? There are many other compounds which can also cause long term health problems if combined with the heat of welding.

Brake Cleaner = Phosgene Gas

By Steve 'brewdude' Garn

http://www.brewracingframes.com/safety-alert-brake-cleaner--phosgene-gas.html

vic

smiller
07-17-2015, 11:07 PM
Yikes. I just looked at a can of brake cleaner in my garage and the main ingredient is indeed tetrachloroethylene. Thanks for the note.

http://www2.worksafebc.com/i/posters/2013/ws_13_09.html

I think many/most consumer products now use non-chlorinated solvents for this very reason, i.e. the green cans of brake cleaner instead of the red. Maybe better to choose those when purchasing the product.

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flman
07-20-2015, 10:22 PM
I have been creating Phosgene gas for 30 years brazing around refrigerant systems with some residue in them. Actually the old Halide leak detector put out phosgene gas when it found a leak, do not inhale to hard.

Bobnoxious
11-15-2016, 04:13 PM
Yikes. I just looked at a can of brake cleaner in my garage and the main ingredient is indeed tetrachloroethylene. Thanks for the note.

http://www2.worksafebc.com/i/posters/2013/ws_13_09.html

I think many/most consumer products now use non-chlorinated solvents for this very reason, i.e. the green cans of brake cleaner instead of the red. Maybe better to choose those when purchasing the product.

.

One of my first jobs in aerospace was degreasing parts with tetrachloroethylene. Used a bridge crane to lower a 8x8 basket of parts from the machine shop into a pit and blast them with high pressure TCE. a fog would hang heavy in the pit. Many years later, I read an article that Burbank, CA water table was contaminated with TEC.