Welding: Health Issues Related to Dangerous Fumes

Safety is an important consideration for any welding project, and rightly so. That’s because skimping on safety measures have in many cases exposed technicians to risk including but not limited to fires and explosions, or exposure to harmful fumes and gases. Here, you are going to learn more about what welding fumes are, how they can impact your health and the appropriate safety precautions that need to be in place to safeguard the health of welders who are working in different manufacturing and processing plants.

What are Welding Fumes?

Welding fumes are created when welding metal frames and various other parts or machinery. It is produced during welding operations and can have different compositions, depending on the metals and materials being used. This is the main reason that welding fumes contain various harmful contaminants which can be extremely dangerous to your health. Some of the most common types of welding fumes includes, beryllium, aluminum, cadmium oxides, copper, fluorides, iron oxides, lead, manganese, nickel, zinc oxides, chromium, vanadium, and many more. This is one of the main reasons why it is recommended that manufacturing and processing lines use appropriate air and dust filter systems to keep their workers safe from the harmful fumes that are the result of working with heavy machinery.

Welding Fumes Health Concerns

Welding fumes can enter the body through inhalation. Continuous exposure to harmful welding fumes can lead to eye and nose irritation, shortness of breath, coughing, bronchitis, edema, cramps, loss of appetite, nausea, and inflammation of the lungs. Long-term effects of welding fumes can lead to chronic lung problems, and other serious illnesses such as lung cancer, kidney damage, infertility, heart disease and Parkinson’s Disease.

Long-term effects of welding fumes can lead to chronic lung problems

How to Protect Welders?

There is only one way of protecting welders from the health risks of harmful fumes, and that is by using proper filter solutions. The good news is that there are many companies that are offering air and dust filter systems that clean the air within manufacturing and processing facilities.

It is no surprise that overexposure to gases and fumes during welding can be hazardous. Welding areas require adequate ventilation, including a localized exhaust system to make sure that the fumes and gases that are created by the welding process are not being inhaled by the workers at the facility. In most cases, there is already a ventilation system in place that removes fumes and gases from the air. In case, there’s no ventilation system in place, you should consider exploring your options to find suitable solutions.