The Bureau of Mines sponsored an investigation of the thermal oxidative degradation characteristics of certain solvents and hydraulic fluids used in underground mining operations. The following halogenated solvents were studied in view of their usefulness and their flame retardant property: tetrachloroethylene, cl2c = ccl2; 1, 1, 2-trichloroethane, clh2cchcl2; and trichloroethylene, cl2c = chcl. The hydraulic fluids studied were representative of five groups approved by the Mine Safety and Health Administration for underground operation, namely: glycol-water solutions, mineral oil-water emulsions, synthetics other than phosphate esters, synthetic phosphate esters, and mixures of phosphate esters with mineral oils and other ingredients. It was observed that the partially halogenated solvents present a greater potential toxic hazard than the fully halogenated materials, due not only to the easy production of hydrogen chloride but also to their ease of oxidation leading to the formation of phosgene and carbon monoxide. The pure phosphate esters exhibited the best thermal oxidative stability of the five groups of hydraulic fluids tested. A fluid containing phosphate esters mixed with mineral oils and other unidentified ingredients appeared to be the most hazardous on the basis that it produced very toxic acrolein and phosphine.