Exposure to welding smoke can have short and long-term health effects on the lungs, heart, kidneys, and central nervous system. Welding is the process by which two pieces of metal are bonded together. Dangers of welding include exposure to open flame, electric shock, compressed gas, and toxic fumes. In order to avoid injury, you must guard your eyes, body, hands, and feet. Welding requires a great deal of planning and precaution because something could go wrong at any given moment.
Scientists are just uncovering the facts about toxic fumes and the dangers they present to welders. Even the simplest of welding jobs will produce fumes, which are a natural byproduct of welding. No matter what type of welding work you are undertaking, some form of respiratory protection should be worn or ventilation should be used. Minor welding work will give off fumes such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, and ozone.
Extra preventive measures must be taken if the metal being welded is comprised of or coated with any of the following:
The fumes produced by any of the above metals can prompt a condition called metal-fume fever. Welders should also be concerned when working with coated metal which may contain lead, a known carcinogen.
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