How to (almost) kill yourself with brake cleaner

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by skierd, Jul 23, 2009.

  1. skierd

    skierd Wannabe Far-Rider

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    #1
  2. Inane Cathode

    Inane Cathode Cheated Anion

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    Cant remember which, either r12 or r134 but when it burns it makes mustard gas.
    #2
  3. azcagiva

    azcagiva new orange flavor

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    I think its r22

    -John
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  4. mark1305

    mark1305 Old Enough To Know Better

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    Good warning. I used to only worry about zinc fume sickness, but since I do use carb cleaner and brake cleaners to degrease stuff that I may later weld on, this is an eye opener.

    Thanks for posting.
    #4
  5. showkey

    showkey Long timer

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    Mustard gas is bad:puke1 :puke1 but:

    Quote from and A/C training manual FAQ:
    They could also test for leaks before evacuating it by using an electronic "sniffer". In the past, a propane heated halide detector with an attached hose was used. Refrigerant would be sucked into the hose and cause the flame to turn bright green. This is mentioned for historical purposes only. Burning R-12 produces toxic phosgene gas and this old technique and equipment should no longer be used.

    Phosgene is bad too :puke1 :puke1 mustard is worse if it matters............
    #5
  6. Anorak

    Anorak Woolf Barnato

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    Any chlorinated solvent is going to cause grief if combusted. Any chlorofluorocarbon or even hydrofluorocarbon. Any of the halogens deserve plenty of respect. Fluorine is the most reactive element on the periodic table. Anyhow, thanks for the article, I've got a few different chlorinated cleaners around and I have been fairly casual in their use.
    #6
  7. SnowMule

    SnowMule [angry moth noises]

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    Chemistry can be fun too.

    But yes, vapor decomposition is definately something to watch out for. Even those cans of compressed "air" will react with other gases and mix into rather dangerous substances.

    Always always always always be careful when welding... know your surroundings, know who/what's around you (dogs, kids), know what you're welding and what's on the other side of the weld....
    #7
  8. Commuter Boy

    Commuter Boy Long timer

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    Acetone is what we used when I did my aerospace welding apprenticeship. Put it in little squeeze bottles with a needle point so you can get it right where you want it.
    #8
  9. mark1305

    mark1305 Old Enough To Know Better

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    Yep, I use that too. And denatured alcohol for some stuff.

    My liver should glow in the dark by now from all the solvent stuff I used to expose my skin to back in the 70s in factories that never saw OSHA inspectors. Not to mention all the tax-paid ethanol it has metabolized :evil

    Maybe it's true that what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger. Hopefully...
    #9
  10. Jonex

    Jonex zipper suited sun god

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    Holy crap this freaks me out. I expected to see some kind of ho hum yawn fire deal.

    Good info thanks.
    #10
  11. datchew

    datchew Don't buy from Brad

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    Good info to pass along.
    This might merit being a sticky. At least a sticky saying "don't eat the toxic chemicals and here's why" or something.

    Safety's a tough thing to stay diligent on.

    Thank you for linking to it.
    #11
  12. katbeanz

    katbeanz earthbound misfit, I

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    I use this stuff a lot, but had no idea it could be this dangerous or how small of an amount could kill you. :yikes
    #12
  13. Jonex

    Jonex zipper suited sun god

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    I used to work in the chemical industry, and I got to run preps with warnings from the chemists saying stuff like mutagen, teratogen, extra-head-ogen, stuff like that. One night a few of us started puking after work, no warning, just instant projectile vomitous. Another time all of us guys got a bad burning down there after a spill clean up.
    Honestly, the stuff that really spooked me wasn't the really nasty stuff I dealt with occasionally like silanes and cyanides and stuff, but the day in and day out exposures to MTBE, acetone, THF, and other solvents that I sprayed around with wild abandon. I figure the MTBE (ether) is pretty much permanently stuck in my fatty tissues and I'll die of cancer someday. Kinda sucks.

    I should have known about this whole brake cleaner deal, or at least have a higher awareness level.

    This is a good reminder to be careful out there, wear your PPE and use a mask.

    Acetone is a big rip off. It costs about 70 cents a gallon in bulk, so when you buy some, bend over. Oh, and it will kill you too so wear gloves.

    Have fun...
    #13
  14. daltonzach

    daltonzach Been here awhile

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    i'm freaking out man.... good info to think about.
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  15. JDLuke

    JDLuke Ravening for delight

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    Scary stuff, and in part an inevitable outcome of our profusion of warning labels. They sit there on everything you buy... "Wolf!" - Don't ride this bicycle without a light. "Wolf!" - Licking the inside of this light socket could really hurt you. "Wolf!" - The state of California has decided that you'd better know there is a bit of lead in this wire's insulation. "Wolf!" - Sharp edges can hurt your wittle finger. "Wolf!" - Inhaling smoke may lead to long term health effects. "Wolf!" - If you apply a little heat to just a tiny bit of this stuff you will be killed. Whoops, that one SHOULD have a warning label, but I ignored it as I am now wont to do.
    #15
  16. duck

    duck Banned

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    Not that it seems to matter too much in this case but I probably would've gone to the hospital a little sooner than that guy. It's good to hear that he survived to tell the tale and I hope that he gets better to whatever extent possible.

    I decided to do a major bathroom cleaning once and mixed a chlorine product with some other "wrong" chemicals and created some fumes that were incredibly nasty to breathe.:evil
    #16
  17. stephano

    stephano Long timer

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    +1 on that suggestion. Most people dont even consider the consequences of the chemicals we use, sometimes daily. Chemicals are dangerous and can really hurt someone if they aren't using diligence.

    On a side note...One time when I was young, I opened a can of Jasco paint remover and took a smell. BAD MISTAKE. After almost knocking me out, I was not feeling right for the rest of the day and it scared me. I since learned in science classes to wave your hand over whatever your smelling to be safer but being a kid, I knew no better.
    #17
  18. Dolly Sod

    Dolly Sod Red Clay Halo

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    I used to be a marine Mechanic. When I started working at the shop no body wore gloves for anything. I started buying them from the Snap-On guy. One day I'm dipping carb parts in two different dunk tanks. It's the real deal industrial dunk full of some real deal fucked up chemicals. I've got one basket out and since I'm out of gloves I'm using needlenose pliers to transfer the parts from the tank basket to a bucket of water. My boss, and old curmudgeony Archie Bunker type comes back, calls me a pussy and dunks his hand into the other 5 gallon bucket of "dunk" and pulls out the carb. :eek1

    I bet he tasted aluminum for 3 days after that.
    #18
  19. GreaseMonkey

    GreaseMonkey Preshrunk & Cottony

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    Well I used to fall into that category too when I was young and bulletproof. Everyone would talk about tingly fingers after washing stuff, but no one would even think about getting some gloves, the parts washer had a pair but they had more chemicals on the inside so you were better off without them.

    One thing that did freak me out was an old guy there would was his hands off in the carb dip bucket if they were really greasy. Not the parts washer mind you, but the carb dip.
    #19
  20. Cheshire

    Cheshire Anachronistic rideby

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    It's the same thing as our gear. Procedures, safety measures, etc: because all it takes is that one time we're not ready for it and something goes off the tracks....
    #20