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I Forge Iron

Have a story about a friend

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So my sisters friend who I thought was smarter then this, etched aluminum in a garage with bad ventilation. He told me a bit before this that his etching was releasing some chlorine something gas weaponized by Germans in WW1. This is the first time he etched aluminum and knew about the dangers of wielding it but he assumed that etching aluminum would be fine since he had his shop open at the time. anyway he started violently vomiting and didn't feel in his right mind, stayed out of work yesterday and was still a bit out of it today. Refuses to go to the hospital since the bill was so large last time, anyway what I am getting at is, How worried should I be?


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I'm thinking calling 911 whether he likes the idea or not but it's been too long. If he did this day before yesterday (Sunday?) and is still alive he may be okay. Typically if there's enough chlorine gas you can smell it you're pretty much toast. Chlorine gas was one of many poison gasses used during WWI but by both sides unless I'm mistaken. I don't know if he could've made sulfur mustard gas but just a wiff would be enough to make you sick for days.

Here's something a person runs across and I'm afraid just has to get used to at least to a degree. If he's an adult you can't MAKE him see a doctor. Sure if he's unconscious you can have him hauled to the hospital with a 911 call but if he comes to he can refuse to be transported or treated at all.

The premier cautionary tale about galvanized iron in a forge is Jim, Paw Paw Wilson and his mishap. He stacked his gas forge full of sections of galvanized pipe intending to burn the zinc off. He had doors and windows open and chased others out of the shop. Even though he dosed himself heavily enough he was seriously sick he refused to see the doc. By time he let himself be admitted he was suffering a type of pneumonia it takes a young man without COPD to pull through.

Another tale about a neighbor of my Uncle Fred had the old gent sick for days but refusing to miss morning coffee with the boys or see the doc. About 11:00 that morning his wife, wondering what he was doing idling his pickup in the driveway went out to see and found him DOA behind the wheel.

If he won't go see a doc he won't and it's on him. Sucks for his wife, kids, family and friends but it's on him.

Frosty The Lucky.

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IForgeIron can not give out medical recommendations. You need to consult a licensed doctor for their opinion on the matter.

Check on him early and often. Try to find out what he was using to etch the aluminum, and other details of the process. Remind him a doctor bill may be high but so are funeral expenses.

Edited by Glenn
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seamingly intelligent people end up on the Darwin awards list every year due to ego, ignorance and stubbornness. It's a good bet any gas that has been used as a wmb isn't going to be concerned with shop ventilation. When you reserch something like this, remember that the toxic gas can affect your housemates and neighbors as well, not to mention what the EPA of the state will have to say.

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