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Technical Brake Clean Welder's Caution!

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by captaintaytay, Aug 23, 2020.

  1. This is a link I read from another forum and copied.
    It probably has been discussed here at sometime, but just wanted to share in case it hasn't.

    (Phosgene Gas) never have used Brakleen/Brake Cleaner to clean anything before welding, but I can see it happening if not careful of what pre-cleaner is being used.
    Brake cleaner is used for alot of other things besides brake components/parts.
    jimmy six likes this.
  2. Vics stuff
    Joined: May 24, 2014
    Posts: 310

    Vics stuff

    Man that is some serious stuff right there .
  3. stuart in mn
    Joined: Nov 22, 2007
    Posts: 1,808

    stuart in mn

    It is brought up every few months or so (note that the information in the link is from 2009....)

    Chlorinated brake cleaner is the stuff that can react and create poisonous gas, non-chlorinated brake cleaner won't, and is all that's available in some areas anyway.
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  4. brando1956
    Joined: Jun 25, 2017
    Posts: 15


    I understand that you can get the same results (phosgene gas) if using a fuel oil heater like a salamander and it sucks in freon. I have been told that the combination of freon/fuel oil fumes causes a similar reaction. Can't tell you the specifics of the chemical reaction and too lazy to Google it. But, I do know 2 guys who claim to have had this happen when they discharged freon near a heater and had symptoms similar to that described in the above.

  5. If just one guy reads this who doesn't know then a possible catastrophe could be avoided.

    Maybe a sticky could be generated if it's brought up that often.
    Mr48chev and big duece like this.
  6. gnichols
    Joined: Mar 6, 2008
    Posts: 10,796

    from Tampa, FL

    This has been reported before a few times. Can't hurt to pass the word again, eh?
    big duece likes this.
  7. 6sally6
    Joined: Feb 16, 2014
    Posts: 1,263


    I really like Brakleen for s lot of stuff but it can do some bad stuff if you are not careful (like MOST things)
    I do believe the danger comes in IF you weld metal with WET Brakleen on it. It evaporate sooo quickly you would almost need to spray it on hot metal/hot welds to get the deadly vapors that cause the damage. It reminds me alot of lacquer thinner or acetone which vaporize super quickly.(improper use of these two chemicals is dangerous too!)..............and bleach......and drain-o......and acid....and gasoline.
    Can get stupid with a lot of stuff.
    Anybody wanna "huff-some-spray-paint"?!!
    Gangrene likes this.
  8. It's sometimes surprising to find out that some of the old chemicals you used to pay no mind about in the 60s and 70s are now so incredibly dangerous.
    I wish we had been warned long ago about some of the "ordinary" stuff that gets absorbed thru the skin and then makes your liver work so hard trying to clean up your system that it eventually tires out and gives up.
    I wish we had taken the poisons more seriously way back then, before we buried so many of my old friends for exactly that sort of failure.
    I wear gloves now, where I never used to. I use a positive flow respirator in situations I never used to.
    I wish I had a few old poisoned friends back. But right now I do not feel like joining them....

  9. MantulaMan
    Joined: Jun 19, 2018
    Posts: 40


    My great granfather got a whiff of Phosgene in a WW1 gas attack. Gave him incredible headaches for the rest of his life.

    Sent from my SM-A105G using Tapatalk
  10. SEAAIRE354
    Joined: Sep 7, 2015
    Posts: 191


    30 years ago I was using brake kleen when welding aluminum and got up inside my helmet and was not fun. Fortunately I had no lung damage, I didn’t no what chemical was in the cleaner or what gas it produced but I did know I wasn’t doing that again. Fast forward 10 years and in fire school we were taught about it and also that just burning refrigerants would produce phosgene gas. That’s why it’s always important to use SCBA during car fires.

    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
  11. big john d
    Joined: Nov 24, 2011
    Posts: 163

    big john d
    from ma

    when i started working at dealerships in 1977 the ac leak detector was a propane torch with a rubber hose the\at you passed around the suspected leak and if the flame turned green you found the leak also got some phogene gas
    Truckdoctor Andy likes this.
  12. thintin
    Joined: Mar 24, 2006
    Posts: 223


    I can't stress enough the need to pay attention to the above warnings!!......As a guy who barely got out from a situation where welding and cutting were going on in a water box on a hydroelectric site( enclosed space) and in error chemical solvents were introduced while those processes were under way. I can tell you that the effects are instant and instantly debilitating. AT minimum health short and long term are compromised. At maximum you die.
  13. 31 5w
    Joined: Aug 6, 2010
    Posts: 119

    31 5w

    I was explaining to another member do NOT EVER use it as carb cleaner thru a running engine! It will do the same thing! Forms "mustard gas" . You can have lasting lung damage or kill yourself if you use in poorly vented area. I was in Pulmonary Medicine for 43 yrs. and have seen it happen many times, use carb cleaner!
    SEAAIRE354 likes this.
  14. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 27,530


    This is something that is well worth bringing up every few months. It's too easy to grab a can and think "that should work" with out giving it much more thought.

    The carbon tetrachloride that is/was in a lot of those old smaller brass fire extinguishers in the 40's and 50's was/is a big health risk. I still remember my shop teacher warning us as to why we should not use it to clean parts in fall of 1962 When I started High school auto shop. He explained that there were a few old time mechanics around the area that used it to clean parts some times and be aware of it.

    I remember those Propane AC leak checkers and being taught how to use one in trade school. I never did much AC work when I was working in shops and the most I did was install front seals in compressors and hook the vacuum pump to the system and then put the pulley and belts back on so my boss could finish the job when he got back from lunch.

    When I went to work in a Tire store in the early 70's the guys would pop the brake drums off cars that they changed tires on and blow the brakes out with an air hose throwing brake dust all over the shop. That is unthinkable now.
  15. stubbsrodandcustom
    Joined: Dec 28, 2010
    Posts: 1,283

    from Spring tx

    Ive experienced the refrigerants going through a motor when I had a ac seal fail and the OT dd sucked the Freon in and pumped a lovely crap out the exhaust, this was outside and the overwhelming was instantaneous, it was a small dose probably but threw me off for the rest of the day.

    Be careful folks, weird shit can happen when you least expect it....
  16. MeanGene427
    Joined: Dec 15, 2010
    Posts: 1,461

    from Napa

    When I was a kid, we grew red kidney beans in upstate NY. At harvest time, one had to dry the bean plants out to get them to go thru a combine, and to speed the process, a chemical called Shed-A-Leaf was sprayed on, and within 3 days, all leaves were dry and on the ground, and the pods and stalks were shriveled up to nothing. Came in a big orange drum. Remind you of anything?

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