RIGHT ON! I had one that still had the contents and was torn between leaving the contents in it or carefully poring them out ,which posed a problem too.I sold it with the contents still in and cautioned the buyer about potential harm!
I remember having them in my house back in the 70's. My dad probably threw em out somewhere. He was a retired firefighter so he told us how bad those things were. I guess they suck the oxygen out of the air when broken so be very careful with those. Hey welcome to the forum..where are you located Mike? I'm in Waldoboro.
I think there is a lot of hype about carbon tet. I wouldnt want to take a bath in it every day but its not as dangerous as people make it out to be. They used to use it for dry cleaning and about a million other things. Its an almost perfect non-polar solvent.
I have a carbon tet grenade hanging in my kitchen.
As a retired fire dept. chief officer, I will add the following;
"Carbon tetrachloride was formerly used in a wide variety of applications before the carcinogenic hazard was well-known. One such use was as a fire extinguishing agent. Besides the carcinogenic hazard this poses, an additional danger is that carbon tetrachloride can form phosgene gas (Cl2CO, used as a chemical weapon in World War I) when used on electrical fires. If you ever come across a carbon tetrachloride extinguisher dispose of it as a toxic waste and replace the extinguisher with an appropriately selected model."
Bad stuff, make a wide berth around it. Red Comet extinguishers (same formulation) were commonly encountered out west where I was employed. We made it a point to keep our breathing aparatus in place both inside (duh) and outside an occupancy whenever we worked an incident where we suspected carbon tet to be present.
Id have to agree with GuntherHess about the hype. I dont know much about the chemical its self but it sounds like they were used with the same principle as CO2 extinguishers, they overcome the oxygen until it is below 16%, the amont needed to keep the fire burning.
Does anyone have a couple they would like to sell, Id like to have some to go with my soda acid fire extinguiser bottles. Its neat to see the stuff firefighters used to use and what we use now.