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Can Changing My Own Brakes Affect My Health?

Your car’s ability to run and drive is always important but it is equally important that it stops correctly. A vehicle’s braking system is more than just brake pads. It includes numerous parts such as rotors, brake lines, and brake fluid.

Brake Pads

Brake pads may be good for your car but they can be harmful to your health. The pads used to be made out of asbestos until it became known that asbestos was toxic. Many auto mechanics have been diagnosed with lung cancer or mesothelioma because of their constant contact with asbestos.

Now, brake pads are made out of a variety of substances. Some manufactures make ceramic brakes while others use metal shavings mixed with adhesives. Both are much safer than asbestos brakes.

Changing your own brake pads may seem to be a simple thing but in reality, it’s unwise to do. The metal shavings that are created from worn out brakes can cause respiratory problems. The shavings can also become imbedded into your hands. To avoid these problems, it’s best to leave the job to the professionals.

Brake Fluid

Brake fluid is a highly toxic substance that is necessary in order for your vehicle to stop properly. Without it, your brakes will go all the way to the floor and your car will not stop. This could harm you, your car and other people as well.

You must use great care when using brake fluid. Once it gets on your skin, you may experience a burning sensation and your skin can turn red and blotchy. Prolonged contact with brake fluid will allow the toxins to be absorbed into your body through your skin.

Brake fluid is very dangerous if it gets into your eyes. It will cause immediate and intense burning. You should flush the eye with clean, fresh water and go to the hospital for further treatment.

Inhaling the fumes from brake fluid is very harmful. Mild inhalation will result in minor respiratory problems. Chronically inhaling these vapors can cause tremors, blurred vision and headaches. Naturally, drinking the brake fluid could result in kidney failure and death.

Brake fluid is very dangerous to the environment. It can kill any living thing including plants and wildlife. Spilling brake fluid would be catastrophic for the ground water. Proper disposal of the used fluid is necessary which is why it is best to let a professional care for your car’s brakes.

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