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welding work environment

02/02/2008 3:13 AM

Hello everybody,

can anyone tell me if there's any health effects on welding work environment. what maybe the effect on health on long exposures on welding operation.

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#1

Re: welding work environment

02/02/2008 8:00 AM

Without precautions, yes. If you don't use your goggles (or use too low a number), you wind up "forge blind" - lots of cataracts I think.

Many of the gases are not good to breath and some of the particulates also. You may need to use a respirator or dust mask, but always want good ventilation.

Here's a site that will start you off:

www.osha.gov/SLTC/weldingcuttingbrazing/recognition.html

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#2

Re: welding work environment

02/03/2008 12:23 AM

death and blindness come to mind of you weld plated stuff and breath the fumes. Each metal and plating emits assorted oxide particles. Cadmium is bad, so is beryllium, and each metal with have a sheet on precautions to use.

The arc is very rich in ultraviolet, especially on galvanized metals and pure zinc. Thus kills the retinal cells and also creates blemishes in the corrnea (cataracts), as someone else mentioned.

So read up on it and prepare for it.

Note exposed skin can also get badly sunburnt by the UV light, so any exposed skin needs covering. In addition, weld spatter burns holes in cloth, so weave no suits from nitrocellulose, possibly Welders Supply Inc or whatever local suppliers you find can advise you. Trade schools too.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=Welders+Supply+Inc&btnG=Google+Search

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#3

Re: welding work environment

02/03/2008 5:16 AM

Even with the right protection, things can still "get you".

Never wear contact lenses in the vicinity of welding work. Check other employees in the area before you start and make sure everybody knows there is welding going on.

The spark of the welding is not only visible light, also a lot of UV and other stuff. This radiation will fuse the outer skin of your eyeball with the contact lens permanently. You will not feel anything until you try to take the contact lens out. Permanent damage and even blindness is the result.

It sounds that you could do with some expert advise about this as the need to ask the question belies your ignorance on the subject. Get information first.

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#8
In reply to #3

Re: welding work environment

02/03/2008 8:18 AM

Hi case491.

While working as an engineer at a shipyard in Norway in 1974 to 78 where the health and safety people are very strict, I was asked to run an exersise in the gasses and particals breathed in by the welders! To do this a number of welders had a box attached to their backs that contained an extraction fan and a filter. attached to the box was a flexable ribbed hose, this was then attached to their heads close to their cheek, so any gas or particals that they would normally breath in were captured in the filters.

These filters were then taken by me to a local lab every evening to be checked. The results were horrifying. If the welders were using stick welding of the thick steels, the flux used contained a number of carciogens and other deadly components!

There was Nickel, Copper, Zink, Manganese, Sodium, Calcium, Florine and Silica. Most of these were oxides, Florides or Silicates, and the Silica component would cause Silicosis in the long term if breathed in daily!!!

From this analysis all welders were made to use a form of filter breathing equipent.

Spencer.

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#10
In reply to #8

Re: welding work environment

02/03/2008 8:30 AM

They now recommend local extraction for almost any welding. Your test probably helped with the making of that particular health and safety recommendation, you should be proud.

Do you know if they also did any similar tests on soldering electronics?

We solder a lot but the extraction units are soooooo noisy that most people leave them off. (including me)

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#20
In reply to #3

Re: welding work environment

02/11/2008 1:28 PM

I'm curious about where you learned that wearing contact lenses is unsafe? Nearly all recent medical and professional documentation that I have seen suggests otherwise.

I would venture that you should update yourself on this.

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Anonymous Poster
#22
In reply to #3

Re: welding work environment

09/28/2008 3:25 PM

This is a unproven myth. Contact lens do not fuse to your eyes. Please refer to OSHA website for more update information.

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#4

Re: welding work environment

02/03/2008 6:39 AM

As everyone said you must use the proper welding shield.

Welding gives off fumes (vaporized metal), these fumes can give you metal poisoning, they also attack the cilia (the little hair like things in your inter ear) and have a detrimental affect on your hearing. You should also wear ear plugs, it may not sound like it but the nose from welding is over 85 db.

The smoke and fumes also are very hard on your respiratory system.

So use the proper shield, wear ear plugs, use a smoke, fume removal system or wear the proper respirator, wear appropriate clothing including gloves.

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#16
In reply to #4

Re: welding work environment

02/04/2008 3:12 AM

thank you very much for all of your advice

but this is something new

that welding operation can affect hearing

i will check on it

thank you

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#5

Re: welding work environment

02/03/2008 7:08 AM

Oh, and I forgot the very worst hazard. Never, ever, ever, wear slip-on shoes while welding. I once invented three new dances in less than a minute.

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#6
In reply to #5

Re: welding work environment

02/03/2008 7:14 AM

Further to that one, do not kneel on the ground next to what you are welding either. Those fiery balls of liquid molten metal roll everywhere but mostly to places where it hurts most.

Ouch!

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#7
In reply to #6

Re: welding work environment

02/03/2008 7:25 AM

Oh and that reminds me of another. Do not weld in dry grass; you cannot see a grass fire through your goggles and your pant leg is a one time only fire detector.

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#9
In reply to #7

Re: welding work environment

02/03/2008 8:26 AM

As for wet grass........

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#11
In reply to #9

Re: welding work environment

02/03/2008 8:37 AM

You sound like a fellow hillbilly (didn't know they had us in England). Most common last words in Appalachia: "Watch this"

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#12
In reply to #11

Re: welding work environment

02/03/2008 8:48 AM

I am no hillbilly, I think. Although I like the idea of hunting with dynamite

I was just referring to the electrocution of self by stick welder. Must tickle a bit.

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#13
In reply to #12

Re: welding work environment

02/03/2008 8:58 AM

We used to fish with it. Never saw anybody hunt with it. It's not been available here for several decades.

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#14
In reply to #13

Re: welding work environment

02/03/2008 9:07 AM

Fish or hunt, same thing only wetter


We used calcium carbide for fishing as well. It used to be available from hardware stores especially in areas where they have a lot of caves. The same stuff was used by caver's to burn in their carbide lamps. Fun stuff

Maybe another thread, how did you or your fathers hunt?

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#15
In reply to #12

Re: welding work environment

02/03/2008 9:10 AM

Hi case491.

The welders at the one shipyard were I worked used to dip the end of their welding rods in the sea, this used to temporally stun the nearby fish which they then used to take home for their dinner.

Spencer.

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#17

Re: welding work environment

02/04/2008 3:30 AM

Hi all,

I will not talk about the breathing or eyes risks as it's has been well and deep explained.

Just a couple of things:

Welders (professional ones) must protect the skin too from UV radiation. Prolongated exposition can produce skin burnings.

It seems everybody (but Case 491) have suppossed "arc welding": stick, tig, mig/mag, etc. There are some other welding proccesses which don't have the same risks: resistance welding, electron beam, etc.

Regarding soldering of electronics, the risks are much more smaller because the base metal don't melt, just the filler and it use to be alloys of the Pb-Sn eutectic type which melts at 183ÂșC so you have not problems with UV radiation nor breathing metals. The only problem could be the fumes produced by fluxes if you use it.

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#19
In reply to #17

Re: welding work environment

02/04/2008 2:48 PM

Thank you.

Most solders have fluxes in them so we really should use the ventilators I suppose.

Also the wire sometimes gets too hot and the insulator sheath melts, which causes other fumes that could be a problem as well.

I'll switch it on next time I think. Don't want to die just yet.

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#18

Re: welding work environment

02/04/2008 10:16 AM

It is an OSHA requirement that companies have a plan set up for having welders be sent to have their lungs x-rayed periodically.

The soot produced is thick and settles everywhere.

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#21

Re: welding work environment

04/18/2008 12:23 PM

if you are sharpening the welding tips of the TIG welder you have to protect yourself from breathing the radioactive thorium found in some of the rods

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#23

Re: welding work environment

12/10/2008 8:37 AM

your a dusch and a fag

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