This week I was reading article in a magazine that was talking about brake cleaner. The article was titled Poisonous Gases in Your Shop and in it the writer was saying how you really need to read the warning labels on the chemicals that you use. The writer talks about an experience that he had with brake clean and how it almost cost him his life. One of the warnings on brake cleaner is "Vapors may decompose to harmful or fatal corrosive gases such as hydrogen chloride and possibly phosgene". When the active chemical in brake cleaner, tetra-chloroethylene, is exposed to extreme heat and along with being in an argon purged enviroment from welding, it produces phosgene. The authors story was that he was using brake cleaner to clean some heavily pitted aluminum before welding it and he had thought the he has gotten all of the brake cleaner off of the metal. When he was welding he came upon a heavily corroded pitted area but there was still some brake cleaner in the deep pit and this caused a small puff of white smoke that was phosgene gas and almost caused an end to his life. In the article it says that phosgene gas can be fatal with a dose as little as four parts per million. Because it is a nerve agent symptom can be delayed 6 to 48 hours. There is also no antidote for phosgene poisoning and if you do survive it can cause chronic health issues. I think that this is a good warning to be careful with how we use the chemicals that we use.
Week = 50, total =273