Minimising health risks – Inhalation of welding fumes

R&B Welding Fabrication

How can I minimise my weld fumes?

UK national regulator the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has released a safety alert highlighting new scientific evidence from the International Agency for Research on Cancer suggesting that exposure to all welding fumes causes lung and kidney cancer.

Following the findings, the Workplace Health Expert Committee has endorsed the reclassification of mild steel welding fume as a human carcinogen.

Is this a danger to my health?

They have determined that there needs to be a strengthening of the HSEs enforcement expectation for all welding fumes including steel.

Welding fumes especially derived from aluminium and galvanised steel welding are very heavy particulates and breathing in these particulates can quickly cause Metal Particle poisoning in welder operators.

Manganese is prevalent in mild steel welding and this particulate fume can have neurological side effects similar to Parkinson’s disease.

According to the HSE, at present, general ventilation does not achieve the necessary control. HSE is therefore set to strengthen its enforcement expectation on all welding fumes, including mild steel welding.

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