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Thread: Brake Cleaner Phosgene Gas

  1. #21


    Great advice - thanks. I work on Porsche engines as a sideline, and I use brake cleaner for some of the cleaning - the main advantage is it leaves no residue. However did not know about this aspect of it, so thanks!!



  2. Default

    I had no idea!!! I believe these products should have a much LOUDER warning label!

  3. #23


    I too had no idea on this either.... Was welding 2 days ago on some metal that i cleaned with carb cleaner. Glad i didnt grab the break cleaner like i almost did!!!
    Everlast PowerTig 200DX
    Everlast Supercut 50P
    I need a MIG.... which one to buy:
    I-Mig 160, I-Mig 200, or a MTS 160

  4. #24
    Join Date
    May 2012


    The best thing to take away from that article is to read the label. When in doubt, you can find all the info you need in the MSDS for any product. Just look in the fire fighting section for breakdown products and precautions. You can't make a blanket statement like brake cleaner = bad, carb cleaner = good. Most brake cleaners I looked up are acetone and heptane, these days, with CO2 as propellant. Phosgene is produced by heating any CFC based propellant. There have been hundreds of formulations for both brake and carb cleaners. None of them have been made with the idea of cleaning parts to be welded. Solvents have always been an issue and people misuse them all the time. Now most are off the market, because of misuse, and lawsuits. Even many water based cleaners have bad breakdown products when burned. You have to use your head and be safe. There are respirators that will block virtually all the fumes that you can encounter welding. If I was smart I wouldn't strike an arc without wearing one. I do try to remember to wear one anytime I'm welding for an extended period of time. Even just from TIG tacks on clean metal, I can tell from the taste in my mouth that I have been exposed to something when I go without. I'm better now than when I was younger, but I still forget or rationalize about not using proper PPE. But if something happens, I know it's my own damn fault.
    Last edited by Rambozo; 08-11-2012 at 03:22 AM.
    Long arc, short arc, heliarc and in-the-dark!

  5. #25


    People don't know about the dangers of welding galvanized... That is pretty bad stuff too...
    Shade tree MIG welder.
    Now a Shade tree TIG welder.

  6. #26


    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ski View Post
    People don't know about the dangers of welding galvanized... That is pretty bad stuff too...
    Good point, it's bad, but not near as bad as chlorinated products. That will kill you and fast.

    We do galvanized all the time. 5'x10' sheets of tacked expanded and sheet (11+ in the last month). It will make you a little light headed if you really breath a lot of it. It also does clear out of your system. Best thing is grind it off or vent it well over shielding gas. We vent it as we want to keep as much on the trailers as we can.

    Galvanized can be do if done right, done really wrong will make you sick. OP, not recommended at all.
    Mike R.
    877-755-9353 x203
    M-F 12 - 7PM PST
    FYI: PP50, PP80, IMIG-200, IMIG-250P, 210EXT and 255EXT.

  7. Default

    I knew about galvanized (I've got one of those canister masks for working with it) and though I don't use it, never thought there was a danger with brake cleaner (I mostly use alcohol and acetone).

  8. #28


    These kind of posts should be stickied and mandatory reading before you're allowed to make your first post on the forums. I got lucky at an estate sale and picked up a 3m speed glass helm with integrated papr system retail about $1200 for $170 its even got the new rechargeable NiMH power system. Excluding the respiratory protection the air circulation and no more sweating is great.

    Before that I was still using a respirator, having to lean over most of my work due to my limitations from my disability I didn't need to add a respitory problem also.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2

    MTS 200 workhorse
    PowerTig 250EX <---sweet
    80 amp HF inverter arc welder
    Lincoln Buzzbox
    Rotobrute AC-35 Mag Drill
    Milwaukee mag drill
    HF Heavy Duty 16 Speed Bench Drill Press (Custom made Adjustable Height stand)

    I gotta find more junk to sell on EBaY ... Must Buy a Plasma Cutter and a Mig Welder

    Fullerton, Ca

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