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Don't die!

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Don't die!

Post by milspec6 on Sat Jan 31, 2015 12:54 pm

Today, I was over at the neighbor's garage helping him restore an old power wagon. Sometimes it is nice to work on someone else's junk for awhile as you don't have to buy the parts and get upset when they don't fit. Very Happy

Well, it is raining / snowing today and a bit chilly, so he had his kerosene heater going to heat the garage. I was going to help him butt-weld some plate that he had cleaned up with a grinder and then wiped down with brake cleaner (sound familiar to anyone?) to remove any grease or oils.

When he started welding, we started dying. Applying heat to the residual brake cleaner exposed us to 1.1.1 trichloroethane that was in the product as a solvent. It took very little, but my eyes started to burn and after a couple of breaths, we had to exit the garage pretty quickly.

We were both outside for a good 20 minutes trying to clear our lungs with a harsh cough every time you took a deep breath. It was miserable and really had me worried that either of us might pass out.

That solvent is very similar to chloroform and when vaporized, will have severe effects on your lungs. If the welding didn't set it off, that kerosene heater would probably have done it too if close enough to the work. Nasty stuff, so be very careful when using it around a heat source.

By the way, wear gloves as well when using brake cleaner. That same solvent will eat the fat tissue in your skin leaving you with a bad rash if you get too much on you.

Just be safe out there gang. If you are working in your garages around flames, watch your ventilation and definitely be careful with that chemical.
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Re: Don't die!

Post by Matt; My carpet cleaner on Sat Jan 31, 2015 2:24 pm

Whoa! Whew!

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Re: Don't die!

Post by dp1 on Sat Jan 31, 2015 5:17 pm

d@mn, good thing he was working with you ( the guy with 9 lives ), how many more you have Rob ?? Razz
Thank you for that advice.
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Re: Don't die!

Post by milspec6 on Sat Jan 31, 2015 5:36 pm

I hope I have enough to last until the warranty expires. Very Happy

I've encountered it before (I was helping a buddy out then too) replacing a rear main seal on a Jeep Cherokee. It was a single car garage and it was -2 outside, so we had 2 kerosene heaters going at the time.

When I was under the truck, he sprayed brake cleaner all over the oil pan to degrease it and it struck the heater. It hit me hard, but not him. As long as you don't panic, recognize what just happened, and get to air quickly, you will be okay once the lungs purge it out. You will feel very ill until then, but stay calm.

If you panic, they find you unconscious. You read about it all the time in the paper.

Just be aware, I'm sure there are plenty of kerosene heaters going in the shops this time of year.
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Re: Don't die!

Post by dp1 on Sat Jan 31, 2015 5:57 pm

I've never seen kerosene heaters down here and I just googled it and they are banned in California and Massachusetts and some other states partially ban them in residential homes use.
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Re: Don't die!

Post by milspec6 on Sat Jan 31, 2015 7:23 pm

We only ban books and burn witches in this area....never a good heater.
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Re: Don't die!

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