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Can a can of compressed air trigger breathing problems and flu like sypmtoms?


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33 replies to this topic

#1 cat33

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 09:19 PM

I have a lot of allergies and have been concerned that canned air might make me sick. There were times I have gotten sick from using library computers. I have wondered if something they use to clean either the inside or the outside makes me sick. So I put off cleaning the inside of my computer for 6 years but now my computer can't boot and I noticed a paste of dust on the fans.

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#2 Condobloke

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 09:34 PM

Hello cat33, I sympathize with you.
if you were to buy a facemask from the local hardware store which covers the mouth and nose.......and.....place a fan beside you facing an open window........so that what ever you blow out of the pc, is then caught up in the fans airflow and out the widow it goes. In order to stir less dust etc etc...us an unused, small paintbrush to dislodge the heavier dust etc.....but have the fan there to blow whatever becomes airborne away from you.

A handkerchief soaked in water and wrung out can also double as an effective facemask.

just a thought.

Regards,
Brian
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#3 Condobloke

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 09:36 PM

and.......

http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-canned-air.htm

worth a read.

Brian

Condobloke ...Outback Australian  fed up with Windows antics...??....LINUX IS THE ANSWER....I USE LINUX MINT 18.3  EXCLUSIVELY.

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#4 the_patriot11

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 10:09 PM

Computers, have a tendency to collect dust, pollen, and everything else in the air. Library computers, likely dont get their insides cleaned out regularly, or properly, just dusted over the outside with a cloth, which is probably why you have problems with allergies there-they are the dust magnets of the building, its likely not the compressed air. And condos advice is sound-on the same note, since they are such dust collectors, if you blow out your computer with a can of compressed air, its going to blow all that dust and pollen and stuff thats inside your computer, up into the air you breath. Doing it near a open window with a fan blowing, and wearing a facemask, is a good idea.

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#5 rotor123

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 10:12 PM

For what its worth, the canned air I use is flammable. I suspect it is propane in the can. I suspect that because Propane boils off at room temperature.

The same maker also sells a more expensive version such as this http://www.blowoff.com/electronics/canned_air.htm

Blow Off™ Air Duster, Defined as Non-Flammable 10oz is our all purpose sterilized cleaner that removes dust, dirt and microscopic debris from hard to reach places. It's ozone safe.

versus this much cheaper Flammable 8 OZ model http://www.directron.com/bo111113.html

Notice: I've only ever dealt with the people at the first link even though they make both products.

Bottom Line read the label.

Good Luck
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Edited by rotor123, 27 November 2012 - 10:12 PM.

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#6 the_patriot11

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 11:14 PM

I doubt theres any propane in it rotor, they would have to label it as such if they were. Its compressed, pure, O2, which the plus is if its pure oxygen-theres no contaminates that can cause issues with your computer. The negative, is pure oxygen is flammable. The cheap stuff you buy at wal-mart, is not flammable, probably because its not pure oxygen, merely compressed air taken straight from the atmosphere and contains the other elements of the air we breath such as nitrogen etc.

Edited by the_patriot11, 27 November 2012 - 11:16 PM.

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#7 Nanobyte

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 01:03 AM

There's far greater danger from the dust than the can content. The dust hangs around for a long time if you don't vacuum or blow it away. My can of dust buster contains a bitterant to discourage abuse. Some folk are really mean to their PCs apparently! The bitterant may be more harmful than the useful contents but who knows. There are adequate warnings on the can of what not to do.

#8 rotor123

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 08:36 AM

Hi Patriot

I still suspect Something like propane due to the odor of the contents from the cheap one. It has a liquid that boils off with use.

Since it is a liquid at room temperature and the can gets cold with use and if used heavily you need to wait for the can to warm up to get higher pressure I doubt it is oxygen or only compressed air.

Regards
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#9 Queen-Evie

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 09:45 AM

There is an option besides doing it yourself. Take it to a computer shop to have it cleaned out. It should not cost to much. Call a few, explain the situation and ask how much they charge for cleaning the innards. Even though you will be spending a few bucks that it could be worth it in order to avoid an allergy attack.

#10 cat33

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 09:57 AM

Now that I think about it, when I do look at the vents on a library or any other business used computer, I almost always notice a layer of dust on the outside. Everyday I wipe the outside of my computer with one of those lint free cloths that are recommended for use with computers. I also vacuum the floor in the room that the computer is in. I try to keep the room as dust free as possible. It has always amazed me that businesses don't have somebody at least wipe the dust off the vents everyday but I guess it's cheaper for them to wait until there is a problem to clean it or to buy a new computer? I do think the library is concerned about germs you can catch from a keyboard and mouse so I think they wipe those off from time to time. If I go to the library early in the mourning, they often have some computers that have not been turned on yet. I seem more likely to feel sick if I am the one who turns the library computer on. Sometimes the printer that all the computers share has not been turned on yet either in the mourning. I'm guessing the dust and pollen heat up or something, fly into the air and maybe as the day goes by the dust settles?

#11 buddy215

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 10:16 AM

Can you say difluorethane...Ultra Duster - MSDS

Contains a bitterant, too....Bitterant

flammable in some cases....

Sold by Walmart and others

When I used it, any position other than upright (the can) would cause a liquid to collect on the surface
I was cleaning. I suspect it is the difluorethane still in a liquid state. Evaporates but I would not use this
unless I was 120% sure that power was off and in a well ventilated/ no flame or smoker around.
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#12 dc3

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 10:31 AM

Most canned air dusters contain one of two chemicals, tetraflourethane or diflourethane.

Tetraflourethane is also used as a propellant for pharmaceuticals, such as bronchodilators. This chemical is not flammable.

Diflourethane is used as a refrigerant, it has been a replacement for the refrigerants previously used in air conditioners. This chemical is flammable.

Edited by dc3, 28 November 2012 - 10:31 AM.

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#13 Nanobyte

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 11:03 AM

When I used it, any position other than upright (the can) would cause a liquid to collect on the surface
I was cleaning.

Read the instructions on the can!

#14 rotor123

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 12:12 PM

Oh great, the refrigerant in the refrigerator is flammable :whistle:

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#15 Nanobyte

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 01:43 PM

Oh great, the refrigerant in the refrigerator is flammable :whistle:

So is all the paper in your house (Fahrenheit 451?)

Difluoroethane is flammable if you throw the fridge on the garden bonfire to get rid of it. No flash point, ignition temp 661degC/1222degF. Given some of the PC problems in this forum, you'd hope it would flash at room temperature!




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