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Brake Cleaner = Phosgene Article


RoryMay

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Received this in the email from a fellow smith. Thought I would pass it along.

Short article about the this guys experience concerning brake cleaner and tig welding. Definitely read, takes 10 min and could possibly save your or someone else's life.

Brake Cleaner = Phosgene Article
August 2009 issue of American Iron Magazine

Photo used with permission of Steve Garn (author).
I spoke with Steve and weeks later he is still recovering. He has some damage to internal organs and breathing problems that will remain. We wish him well and thank him for allowing IForgeIron to use this article to inform others of the dangers that exist.

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When I was a teen I knew several veterans of WWI that had the experience of phosgene gas in the trenches of France. It wasn't fun for them and caused many problems for them. Your right about being ignored about fumes. When I was in the Navy if you complained about it you were given extra duty cleaning up what caused it even if it made you sicker than a dog. I wish I was as smart young as I an old about fumes.:cool:

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ditto with the fume thing, as for cans of death , maybe i was bitten in my last life or a bit of common sense, always a bit too carefull of what they put in your cereal.
phosgene as bad as chromium hexavalent, teflon when heated.... and like eating and cooking with aluminium, little is pointed out by the educated of the hidden dangers involved with activities or items we take for granted every day.. eg. nucadol for dogs flea treatment..wife goes gets some cos her old man advises it for the dogs as a flea treatment, what he doesnt advise is dogs dont live long enough for symtoms to show, we do. there she is no gloves, elbow deep in this stuff.... washing the dog. didnt i go off. .............a good idea, is a hazards reference page and maybe a non hazards reference page, for warnings and info of what is ok to wash bits with in the right area/method then do this .......a bunch of simple protocols and warnings for new and old to inform and reduce risk, or at least informing of the risk so hard heads that want to take the risk.....have an idea.

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Xxxx like this is why i wear a respirator for almost everything that involves fumes, even simple mig welding. i don't mind catching flak for being overly cautions. once you complete a couple semesters of Intro to Hazardous Materials and Chemistry of Hazardous Materials, you stop caring what anyone thinks of your respirator.

thanks for sharing, i just sent this to every welder and mechanic i know. Let us not forget the hard-learned lessons of dangerous fumes, passed on to us from some smiths who have passed away.

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That is great information. I have definitely been exposed to alot of nasty stuff over the years. That story is horrifying. For the last two days i have been working laying reinforcing steel on a structural building, on metal decking. The metal decking is galvanized, and the decking crew was finishing up welding nelson studs and decking pans. Not a single one of them wears a respirator. I asked the welders if they worry about the zinc in the galvanized. They looked at me with this typical beligerent look that the structural ironworkers give. They stated that they have gotten sick a few times, but they drank milk and felt fine. One especially intelligent ironworker exclaimed that they probably wont feel the effects until they are around 50! I'll tell you what, i make sure and stay clear whenever i have to work around those idiots. i know this sounds condescending, but i cant get my head around the ignorance. We as professional union Ironworkers know better, i would expect more from these fellow workers.

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i spoke to a welder a while ago who said, "yeah its all good,,,,we get a milk allowance for that".
!!!!!!!!!!!
i will admit i am a bit slack with the respirators but face eyes and ears, gloves....and when i go down to the shop again ill get some filters for us.
wont say im converted but i will point the kid to harrass us. just being honest

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Definitely an excellent post--after hearing of Paw Paw's demise several years back, I stay far, far away from galvanized pipe--all black pipe from then on. Now it looks like I'm going to actually read labels on solvents from now on and stop playing around with MEK, Acetone, Toluene and the likes. (I think the picture of Paw Paw in the shop just might scare *everything* away!)

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Gents,

Safety 101... read the material data safety information. Almost everything in the manufactured world come with a printed data sheet. We go to great extents to know and understand the material constraints of the metals we work, why not do the same for the contents of unknow materials we are working on.

In my business we are flooded with litigation because of hazardous materials handling issues. Even the more observent in my own group are tripped up on ISM audits by simply not adequatly identifying the hazards involved. A job risk analysis sounds complicated but really it is a simply process we do all the time. It is the applicaton of the the look before you leap mentality. Identify and understand the properties of everything involved in, or part of the process. Yes, residule contents or unknown coatings like zinc are part of the analysis. Anything involving vapors poses an immediate risk to personnle in the immediate area because of the efficeny of our respiratory system. The fastest way to get something into our bodies is actually through the lungs. We should all be guided accordingly.

Peter

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  • 1 year later...

Definitely an excellent post--after hearing of Paw Paw's demise several years back, I stay far, far away from galvanized pipe--all black pipe from then on. Now it looks like I'm going to actually read labels on solvents from now on and stop playing around with MEK, Acetone, Toluene and the likes. (I think the picture of Paw Paw in the shop just might scare *everything* away!)

Removing galvanized is simple if it's not too large.......take a plastic bucket, fill it mostly with water, pour in a little muriatic acid (20:1+ -), and the zinc bubbles away in a few minutes, just do it outside...............next, call the epa,homeland security,osha, and the national guard
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Neutralize the acid with baking soda. Now how are you going to properly dispose of the plastic bucket full of neutral Ph liquid waste?


Muriatic acid is commonly used to wash down masonry at construction sites and no special precautions are taken, it just runs on the ground. If it were so horrific I'm sure some gov't rep would be there to stop it.........zinc is really not a problem either, I just installed a kitchen counter top of pure zinc..............
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Xxxx like this is why i wear a respirator for almost everything that involves fumes, even simple mig welding. i don't mind catching flak for being overly cautions. once you complete a couple semesters of Intro to Hazardous Materials and Chemistry of Hazardous Materials, you stop caring what anyone thinks of your respirator.

thanks for sharing, i just sent this to every welder and mechanic i know. Let us not forget the hard-learned lessons of dangerous fumes, passed on to us from some smiths who have passed away.


You may want to check what type of canisters you have on your respirator.I don`t know of any welding fume filters that will stop something like phosgene or chlorine gas.I go hit by chlorine gas after trying to weld a motor mount on an aluminum hulled Coast Guard patrol boat after the crew used bilge cleaner on it.Luckily someone was on deck to pull me out of the engine compartment thru the hatch after he saw the "strange smoke" I couldn`t see with my shield down.I was out cold when he reached in and grabbed me.
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  • 2 weeks later...

Muriatic acid is commonly used to wash down masonry at construction sites and no special precautions are taken, it just runs on the ground. If it were so horrific I'm sure some gov't rep would be there to stop it.........zinc is really not a problem either, I just installed a kitchen counter top of pure zinc..............

q
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Removing galvanized is simple if it's not too large.......take a plastic bucket, fill it mostly with water, pour in a little muriatic acid (20:1+ -), and the zinc bubbles away in a few minutes, just do it outside...............next, call the epa,homeland security,osha, and the national guard

.
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