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Old 07-15-2014, 04:21 PM   #1
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Battery Terminal Dust

Just curious, and today have no ill effects - but - what's in battery terminal dust? That green stuff as corrosion on the copper terminals? CuO2 ?

I ingested some yesterday floating in the air as I was wire-brushing my terminals. I made a full recovery, but my throat sure was ticklish for about 3 hours. Not sure I want to eat that stuff.
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Old 07-15-2014, 04:45 PM   #2
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It's mostly copper sulfate, Ben. When the batteries are being charged, the acid vapor they produce can corrode the copper. It is best to wear a mask if you have to brush it off the lugs.
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Old 07-15-2014, 05:31 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluto View Post
is best to wear a mask if you have to brush it off the lugs.
My thoughts exactly as I crammed myself into my engine room with my wire brush... Oh well. Thanks.
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Old 07-15-2014, 05:34 PM   #4
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Time to clean and lube your terminals. Use baking soda mixed in water to form a paste with a wire brush to clean them. Be sure to take the terminals off the posts and clean all around the posts and the top of the battery. Then rinse, dry, reassemble and spray the terminals, posts and the area around the terminals with Boeshield or some waxy like that.
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Old 07-15-2014, 05:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben View Post
My thoughts exactly as I crammed myself into my engine room with my wire brush... Oh well. Thanks.
It can't be too deadly or I wouldn't be here.
I've had to rebuild the big rectifiers used in the metal finishing business and the stuff was everywhere.
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Old 07-15-2014, 06:34 PM   #6
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Greetings,
Mr. B. The battery electrolyte is sulfuric acid (in some concentration). I would suspect the majority of the "fluffy stuff" was lead sulphate, in contrast with Mr. Bluto's comment. Traces of copper (copper sulphate) will make the lead sulphate appear greenish. I don't think you'll come down with lead poisoning but as suggested a particulate mask would be a good idea for the next time. Mr. 111 suggested baking soda to clean the connections which is good BUT be VERY careful you don't allow ANY of the baking soda OR the rinse water to get inside the battery. I witnessed a "mechanic" kill a battery with a sloppy clean up job. Grease or coat everything afterwords with your choice of oil. Now would be a good time to also clean your battery clamps and posts with one of these: before the grease/oil/barrier coat...
Dirt cheap...
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