Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 14 to 26 of 32

Thread: Phosgene Gas

  1. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Posts
    7,326
    i am blessed (read that cursed) with the inability to smell phosegene. in addition i cannot smell acid when a burnout has occured. for this reason i have to do things a little more precisely than some others weho may "cheat" from time to time.

  2. #15

    Phosgene

    Quote Originally Posted by dixie2005 View Post
    I find that I'm often exposed to phosgene gas when welding. There's usually residual gas in pipes when I'm servicing equipment that produces phosgene when heated. I'm wondering if anyone has any advice for me to help deal with this unpleasant and potentially harmful event? Do any of you guys use a mask?

    Thanks!
    It only requires 1 part phosegene gas in 600,000,000 (million) parts (air you breathe) to kill a human being. You must have a guardian angel. Short of a self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) such as those use by hazmat and firefighters teams I don't think a mask would do much good. EPA told you all of this stuff when you were certified. Get your book out and re-read it. I can't get the straight of it but I have heard that only R-12 will convert to phosgene under high temperature. If R-12 will then I would think that R-22 and maybe some of the others would. Maybe it is just the R134a that will not convert to phosgene under high temperature. Why take a chance...this is not a dress rehersal!!!

    OOPS!!! I should have read all those smart guys down below before posting.
    Last edited by Condorsouth; 06-16-2010 at 01:03 AM. Reason: Correction

  3. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Vancouver , Canada
    Posts
    301

    Phosgene gas

    There are several great replies on ' phosgene ' in this thread, and depending on the refrigerant, it may or may not be phosgene; that being said, any of the refrigerants broken down with heat make nasty chemical compounds you don't want anywhere near your lungs.

    As for the information about evacuation protocol, all are valid points. Where I have been ' burned ' so to speak in the past was when you were in an area and had to braze where refrigerant had leaked and due to the fact it is heavier than air, had pooled, specifically supermarket refrigerated cases.

    A fan would help, but the best thing I found was to plug in the shop vac, stick the hose in the case ( making sure the exhaust was pointed away ) let it run for a few minutes. Viola!, the refrigerant had been ' evacuated ' from the case itself.

    Every situation is different though. I used to do a fair bit of work in refrigerated holds of salmon troll boats. SCBA was the only way when there was a leak.

    Just my 2 cents;

    Dave Beauchesne CM
    aka: Freonguy
    Superheat and subcooling tell it all !

  4. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    New Mexico
    Posts
    5,551
    When, in the military, I was given training in Chemical warfare. It was said phosgene had a sweet, not unpleasant odor.
    So, what are you smelling? Freon's decompose at high temperatures and form hydrofluoric acid and if the compound contains chlorine, hydrochloric acid. These are impossible to breathe. If water or oxygen are present, smaller amounts of phosgene might be formed but the acids are the canary. So burning these refrigerants doesn't always mean you've produced phosgene, it also doesn't mean you haven't. You wouldn't be able to smell it with the other gases present.
    Tracers work both ways.

  5. #18
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Rapid City, SD
    Posts
    7,415
    I've had problems with that before too, once it was plain scary. Don't remember leaving the site, calling a coworker asking him to go over and finish, or anything. Next thing I know I wake up in my bed feeling like I've been walked on by a horse and really unsure wtf just happened.

    I doubt I was close to dying, but that was close enough for me!

    If I have a problem similar to that I'll evac it down as low as my recovery machine will go, then I'll throw the vac pump on it for a while too since it'll pull harder.

    No matter what though, be safe!
    "If you call that hard work, a koala’s life would look heroic."

  6. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    New Mexico
    Posts
    5,551
    The closest I've been to freon killing me was at a hotel in Wisconsin.
    I was 3 stories down from the roof with a filter/drier apart. What I didn't know was the crew had begun to blow down the unit with r11. The r11, being heavier than air began to fill the mechanical room.
    Somehow I realized I needed to get out. Like running out of oxygen a person looses ability to reason. Any way, I didn't feel my feet walking but I made it to fresh air and in about 5 min felt fine.
    If I had passed out the crew wouldn't have come to the mechanical room for about another 1 1/2 hours.
    Guess it wasn't my time.
    Tracers work both ways.

  7. #20
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Stafford, Va. USA
    Posts
    213

    Phosgene Gas

    I have attached two articles that are contained in one folder about phosgene gas. The long and short of the articles are that it very doubtful that phosgene gas is form from burning refrigerant. The articles says it this way highly unlikely.
    There is another way that you can be sure that it was not phosgene gas you were smelling, you are living to read and write about it. Proper personal protective equipment for working around phosgene gas is a air line powered hood.
    I have smelled that nose and throat burning odor produced when a torch flame burns some refrigerant, it is nasty but not phosgene.
    Let the flames begin.
    Allen
    Attached Images Attached Images
    UA Local 602
    A man who says that he can't learn anything in a class is exactly right.

  8. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    32
    You gotta take care of yourself if your in a mech room if your on a roof try to stand upwind. if you feel quizzy drink some milk. But it's a hazard of our job if you don't like it go back to school and learn to push paper across a desk.

  9. #22
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    U.A. (upper Alabama)
    Posts
    863
    Like alot of the guys said, take the time to get all of the gas out. Seems like there was something in referigerant cert. test that said to watch gauges after evacuation to make sure vacuum does'nt come up. Take the extra time to evacuate properly, you're getting paid for it and if the boss does'nt understand that, you need a new one. I found working on smaller equip. that if you wrap a tank heater blanket around compressor it makes refrigerant come out of oil a lot better.

  10. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    New Mexico
    Posts
    5,551
    Quote Originally Posted by Allen View Post
    I have attached two articles that are contained in one folder about phosgene gas. The long and short of the articles are that it very doubtful that phosgene gas is form from burning refrigerant. The articles says it this way highly unlikely.
    There is another way that you can be sure that it was not phosgene gas you were smelling, you are living to read and write about it. Proper personal protective equipment for working around phosgene gas is a air line powered hood.
    I have smelled that nose and throat burning odor produced when a torch flame burns some refrigerant, it is nasty but not phosgene.
    Let the flames begin.
    Allen
    I agree. It's all part of our urban legend.
    Tracers work both ways.

  11. #24
    Hey guys quiick question about this I evac the system to braze, had to leave another tec came along used r22 to check for leaks not knowingly I came back to braze and inhaled some poshgene just an hour ago not really sure what to do walk it off or seek some attention

  12. #25
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Vancouver , Canada
    Posts
    301

    Phosgene exposure

    Quote Originally Posted by Hvacdougie View Post
    Hey guys quiick question about this I evac the system to braze, had to leave another tec came along used r22 to check for leaks not knowingly I came back to braze and inhaled some poshgene just an hour ago not really sure what to do walk it off or seek some attention
    HVACDougie:

    From my experience, you will feel ' heavy chested ' for 24 hours or so, and the symptoms will go away.
    If you have trouble catching your breath, coughing up, shortness of breath, etc., by all means, seek medical attention. Also, report it to your first aid personnell, or, in the very least, in writing to your supervisor. That way, if there are problems down the road, there is a paper trail.

    Good luck - - - - -

    Freonguy
    Superheat and subcooling tell it all !

  13. #26
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    New Orleans
    Posts
    1,012
    another technique is to hold your breath, stay away from the wave which usually goes straight up, come up for breath then repeat. Other than that a good nitrogen purge sounds real good.

Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Comfortech Show Promo Image

Related Forums

Plumbing Talks | Contractor Magazine
Forums | Electrical Construction & Maintenance (EC&M) Magazine
Comfortech365 Virtual Event