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Author: Subject: Ethylene glycol and plastic

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Registered: 27-4-2005
Location: Portsmouth, NH
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sad.gif posted on 27-4-2005 at 06:31
Ethylene glycol and plastic

I've taken plenty of shots from my father on this already, but feel free to give me another. The first time I winterized my boat I accidentally used a solution with Ethylene glycol based antifreeze. I'm concerned about the contamination of my freshwater tank, which is constructed of that opaque white plastic. Apart from not using the tank (which is what I did last year) does anyone have a recommendation on how to clean the tank? Thanks. dst
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Mr. Wizard
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[*] posted on 27-4-2005 at 07:50

If it was my RV I'd fill the tank and empty it a few times, and then forget about it. If you are really paranoid about ingesting trace amounts of ethylene glycol, you could still use the tank water for everything except drinking, and bring along a smaller plastic jug for drinking and cooking. Ethylene Glycol is not in the same category as the more toxic things around a lab. Looking up the MSDS it shows it takes quite a bit to do you damage:
Toxicity data
ORL-HMN LDLO 786 mg kg-1
ORL-RAT LD50 4700 mg kg-1
IPR-MUS LD50 5614 mg kg-1
You might also add a little bleach (2-3 oz) to your freshwater tank to keep it from smelling rotten, a common condition. This would also destroy any residual ethylene glycol. You probably get exposed to more ethylene glycol smelling an overheated radiator or changing a water pump.

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