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Jacket
08-28-2009, 11:19 AM
Maybe this is common knowledge amongst the experienced welding community, but I was pretty surprised when I read this article. Exposing brake cleaner and welding with argon can create a reaction that produces a deadly gas called phosgene. The guy that wrote this article nearly killed himself after inhaling a small puff of smoke from the reaction.

Here's a brief snippet:

<snip>
The active chemical in the brake cleaner is tetrachloroethylene. When this chemical is exposed to excessive heat and the gas argon...it produces phosgene. Phosgene gas can be fatal with a dose as little as four parts per million.<snip>


Full article link:

http://www.brewracingframes.com/id75.htm

jettaglxdriver
08-28-2009, 11:30 AM
Also welding Galvanized is toxic

Red_Chili
08-28-2009, 12:19 PM
Who knows... you may have just saved my life. I commonly use brake cleaner as a solvent. I can easily imagine squeezing some work in on the Chili before suppertime and being, um, permanently late for dinner.

Thank you!

leiniesred
08-28-2009, 01:20 PM
HA! I've done this!

First sign to stop welding and GET OUT: "What is that strange wispy white smoke I see?"
The next thing I realized was, "Whoa. Bad taste in my mouth."
I dropped everything; ran outside and chugged a liter of water. I had a bad taste in my mouth and maybe a little dizziness for 1 hour. I didn't weld any more that day.

I just read the article AFTER I posted my experience. The white smoke and different cleaning solvent I used are commonalities in our stories. Going by the lack of trouble I had after the exposure, I think it was the chlorinated brake cleaner turing into hydrogen chloride gas. My father-in-law the chemistry major laughed at me.

So: If you see weird smoke when you start to weld. Just stop. Something isn't right!

Thanks for posting this, Matt

ttubb
08-28-2009, 03:26 PM
This is good info all the way around. Thanks to all who posted. :beer: Terry

ElliottB
08-28-2009, 05:17 PM
Not totally related but also mixing bleach and ammonia is a big no-no. It emits chlorine gas and causes severe respiratory issues, dizziness, and even seizures.

Air Randy
08-28-2009, 07:16 PM
Yes, and in my case alcohol can cause those same symptoms:hill:

Jacket
08-28-2009, 07:52 PM
Who knows... you may have just saved my life. I commonly use brake cleaner as a solvent. I can easily imagine squeezing some work in on the Chili before suppertime and being, um, permanently late for dinner.

Thank you!

That's the thing that got me interested. Brake cleaner is so commonly used as a solvent/cleaner, and you want clean metal before welding, and Argon/Co2 is commonly used for welding, so.....bad recipe!