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I should really wear a respirator when I weld

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  • I should really wear a respirator when I weld

    Burned some oil and paint when I was welding the legs on my 4x6 bandsaw. I had to of inhaled some of the smoke. I also sweated like hell all day long, being in Florida and drank a lot of water. I have a headache that won't go away, hoping it is just dehydration. Yes, I cleaned the metal, just not the backside...

  • #2
    I remember welding on some galvanized metal and wished I had worn a respirator.
    _____________________________________________

    I would rather have tools that I never use, than not have a tool I need.
    Oregon Coast

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    • #3
      Guys, wear a respirator when doing any work that generates fumes or dust. All this type of work, and smoking tobacco products, robs you of a tiny bit of lung function on an incremental basis. You have so much capicity that you do not miss it until you get old like me. Try to preserve all your body parts so that you will be more comfortable as you age.

      Jim

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      • #4
        Here is a sheet from the Centers For Disease Control. It discusses symptoms of what is commonly known as metal fume fever.

        Zinc oxide fume poisoning is one thing, cadmium is quite another. Messing with cadmium has more dire consequences.

        .

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        • #5
          I try and wear a respirator all the time now when grinding. Grinding dust over the past couple years has really irritated my sinuses, and become very noticeable. I bought a miller respirator, and it's nice and compact, and fits under my hood for most welding positions. obviously if I'm on my back welding overhead on some farm junk it wont fit, but I try to wear it whenever I can. I don't think it does much for fumes, but for grinding dust it works great. No more "black nose" weld boogers.

          I was going to buy another one for work for surface grinding as that irritates me too, but I don't really do much anymore, and I have a couple n95's in my box that work good enough.

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          • #6
            How many career welders who lived past 70 do you know? I personally don't know any.

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            • #7
              I know/knew several. And these guys didn't just make it wheezing and huffing to 70 only to keel over, either. They pretty much led full active lives well into their retirement. The one exception being the fellow who coped with emphysema/CPOD and moved around tethered to an O2 bottle - but then he had been exposed to asbestos in his previous career in aviation and was a smoker till late in life.

              They all spent much of, or at least the latter part of their career at the same business. One that was forward thinking and encouraged a culture of safety in the workplace.

              .

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              • #8
                I've got a weldor's helmet that allows a full size respirator to be worn comfortably underneath. I love it, and can't really tolerate welding without it anymore.

                One thing that makes big difference thought is the exhaust vent that has a duct pointing down & away. You really don't want your exhalation fogging up your lens.

                Mines pretty old & basic, just a big mask, but there are plenty of fancy options these days.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by H380 View Post
                  How many career welders who lived past 70 do you know? I personally don't know any.
                  My neighbor, Bob. He is a retired tool and die maker. He's 71. He got Parkinson's, likely from welding Beryllium without protective gear. Manganese can also cause Parkinson's. His brother has end stage lung cancer. I need to ask him what his profession was.

                  Studies to pin down those dangers are expensive, and the people with the money don't seem to want to fund them. Kinda like how long it has taken to identify the harm of diesel soot.

                  The way I figure it, we don't know what is in and on most of the metals we weld and machine. The need for protective gear has taken a lot of the fun out of welding (especially if you also wear glasses). I recently got a Syncrowave 250. I was really excited, but not so much after hearing Bob's story and thinking about the fumes.

                  On the other hand, if I'd gotten that welder when I was 25, I would have welded a lot more and without much protection.

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                  • #10
                    Yes by all means please do wear a respirator or use good ventilation if the use of a fume extractor isn't possible. Vaporized metal, paint, grease, etc. isn't what your lungs are meant to handle!

                    This from the AWS:

                    Prolonged exposure to welding fume may cause lung damage and various types of cancer, including lung, larynx and urinary tract. . Health effects from certain fumes may include metal fume fever, stomach ulcers, kidney damage and nervous system damage.
                    Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
                    Bad Decisions Make Good Stories​

                    Location: British Columbia

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Glug View Post
                      Studies to pin down those dangers are expensive, and the people with the money don't seem to want to fund them.
                      Nonsense.

                      Originally posted by Glug
                      The way I figure it, we don't know what is in and on most of the metals we weld and machine.
                      Nonsense.

                      Originally posted by Glug
                      The need for protective gear has taken a lot of the fun out of welding (especially if you also wear glasses). I recently got a Syncrowave 250. I was really excited, but not so much after hearing Bob's story and thinking about the fumes.
                      Seat belts, air bags, crashworthiness and good brakes put you off driving? Helmets put you off skiing, rock climbing, riding bikes, cycles, sleds, quads?

                      Originally posted by Glug
                      On the other hand, if I'd gotten that welder when I was 25, I would have welded a lot more and without much protection.
                      There has been no deluge of welding danger revelations, the basic "Thou shalt nots" today are essentially the same as they were in the 70's when I first took up a torch.

                      Did I ever weld wearing sneakers? Maybe. But I knew from the outset that ankletop STWBs and non-synthetic socks were recommended if I wanted to go home with my feet intact. Did I wear long sleeves out of concern about UV exposure? Hell, no. I wore sleeves to keep the sparks off my arms. Did I wear a respirator? No, but the workplace had supurb ventilation - besides, I sure didn't need to be told to keep my snoot out of the plume rising from the arc.

                      .

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by EddyCurr View Post
                        ...
                        Did I ever weld wearing sneakers? Maybe. But I knew from the outset that ankletop STWBs and non-synthetic socks were recommended if I wanted to go home with my feet intact. Did I wear long sleeves out of concern about UV exposure? Hell, no. I wore sleeves to keep the sparks off my arms. Did I wear a respirator? No, but the workplace had supurb ventilation - besides, I sure didn't need to be told to keep my snoot out of the plume rising from the arc.

                        .
                        Uhh, I once grinded while wearing my good sneakers.. they now have a 1" hole in the side from the sparks melting them... (was grinding metal on the ground while standing on it)

                        I can't recall how many times I have done 'Just a little bit of welding' only to find my right hand/arm all sunburnt the next day.. Stupid stupid me should really learn from that.

                        Don't use a respirator while welding myself.. Do while grinding now however... And while im welding I tend to hold my breath. If I ever weld a bead as long as I can hold my breath I can be sure that its going to end up distorted as hell, so I stop and move my head away and take a few breaths outta the immediate smoke/fumes while the work/cheap welder cools.
                        Play Brutal Nature, Black Moons free to play highly realistic voxel sandbox game.

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                        • #13
                          If you can set up a fan to blow the fumes
                          away from you that would help a great
                          deal, especially if you can weld outside.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by hephaestus View Post
                            If you can set up a fan to blow the fumes
                            away from you that would help a great
                            deal, especially if you can weld outside.
                            Uhhh... That sounds great if your using flux core maybe... with gas shielding that would just blow away your gas shield and ruin the weld. I don't weld outside if there is even the slightest breeze.
                            Play Brutal Nature, Black Moons free to play highly realistic voxel sandbox game.

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                            • #15
                              It was Tig, and I was actually Tig Brazing with Silicone Bronze. But yes, can't have any wind to disturb the gas, probably not using enough as it is. I suppose I shouldn't also say I was wearing sandals, shorts, and a t-shirt. I didn't even have gloves on during the first pass. Yes, I know better, it was really a very quick job.
                              Last edited by RB211; 06-25-2016, 09:19 PM.

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