Welding is a process that involves joining metals or thermoplastics by melting and fusing them together. Welding can be done for various purposes, such as repairing, constructing, or creating artistic pieces. However, welding also produces harmful fumes that can pose serious health risks to the welder and anyone nearby. In this blog post, we will explain what welding fumes are, why they are dangerous, and how you can protect yourself and others from them by using a portable fume extractor.
What are Welding Fumes?
Welding fumes are a mixture of gases and particles that are generated by the heat and sparks of the welding arc. Some of the common components of welding fumes are:
- Carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen oxides: These gases can cause headaches, dizziness, nausea, and respiratory problems.
- Ozone and nitric oxide: These gases can irritate the eyes, nose, throat, and lungs, and cause asthma attacks or chronic bronchitis.
- Metal oxides: These particles can contain metals such as iron, manganese, chromium, nickel, copper, zinc, lead, and cadmium. These metals can cause metal fume fever, lung damage, cancer, kidney failure, and neurological disorders.
The amount and composition of welding fumes depend on several factors, such as the type of welding process, the materials being welded, the welding electrodes or filler materials, the welding parameters (such as current, voltage, speed, and polarity), the ventilation conditions, and the welder’s position and technique.
Why are Welding Fumes Dangerous?
Welding fumes can have both short-term and long-term effects on your health. Some of the short-term effects include:
- Eye irritation and inflammation
- Nose and throat irritation and inflammation
- Coughing and wheezing
- Chest tightness and shortness of breath
- Headache and fatigue
- Nausea and vomiting
- Fever and chills
Some of the long-term effects include:
- Lung diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pneumonia, tuberculosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma
- Kidney diseases such as kidney stones, kidney failure, and kidney cancer
- Nervous system diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- Blood diseases such as anemia, leukemia, and lymphoma
- Reproductive system diseases such as infertility, impotence, miscarriage, birth defects, and testicular cancer
Welding fumes can also affect your performance and productivity at work. They can impair your vision, concentration, coordination, accuracy, speed, and quality. They can also increase your risk of accidents and injuries.
How to Protect Yourself from Welding Fumes?
The best way to protect yourself and others from welding fumes is to use a portable fume extractor. A portable fume extractor is a device that captures and filters the welding fumes at the source before they can spread in the air and reach your breathing zone. A portable fume extractor consists of three main parts:
- A hood or nozzle: This is the part that is placed close to the welding arc and collects the fumes by suction.
- A hose or duct: This is the part that transports the fumes from the hood or nozzle to the filter unit.
- A filter unit: This is the part that cleans the fumes by removing the particles and gases using various types of filters.
There are many benefits of using a portable fume extractor for welding such as:
- It reduces your exposure to welding fumes and improves your health and safety.
- It improves your visibility and accuracy by removing the smoke from your line of sight.
- It enhances your productivity and quality by preventing rework and defects caused by contaminated welds.
- It saves you money and time by reducing the need for personal protective equipment (PPE), respiratory masks, ventilation systems, and housekeeping.
- It increases your mobility and flexibility by allowing you to move around easily and work in different locations.
What is the Best Portable Fume Extractor for Welding?
There are many types and models of portable fume extractors available in the market today. Some of the factors that you should consider when choosing a portable fume extractor are:
- The size and weight: You should choose a portable fume extractor that is compact and lightweight enough to carry around and fit in your workspace.
- The power and capacity: You should choose a portable fume extractor that has enough suction power and filter capacity to handle the amount and type of welding fumes that you produce.
- The noise level: You should choose a portable fume extractor that has a low noise level to avoid disturbing yourself and others.
- The features and accessories: You should choose a portable fume extractor that has features and accessories that suit your needs and preferences. For example, some portable fume extractors have adjustable hoods or nozzles, self-cleaning filters, remote controls, indicator lights, alarms, wheels, handles, etc.
One of the best portable fume extractors that we recommend is the Translas 7XE Extractor. This is a revolutionary on-torch extraction system that integrates the hood or nozzle into the welding torch itself. This means that you don’t need a separate hose or duct to connect the torch to the filter unit. The Translas 7XE Extractor has many advantages over conventional portable fume extractors:
- It captures more than 90% of welding fumes at the source
- It reduces your exposure to welding fumes by up to 95%
- It improves your comfort and ergonomics by reducing the weight and bulkiness of the torch
- It increases your visibility and accuracy by eliminating smoke from your view
- It enhances your productivity and quality by preventing weld contamination
- It saves you money and time by reducing consumable costs
- It increases your mobility and flexibility by allowing you to work in any position
- It is compatible with most types of welding processes
If you are interested in learning more about the Translas 7XE Extractor or ordering one for yourself or your business, please visit our website [here]. You can also contact us for any questions or inquiries. We are happy to help you find the best solution for your welding needs.
We hope you enjoyed this blog post on why you need a portable fume extractor for welding. Please share it with your friends and colleagues who might find it useful. And don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter for more tips and tricks on welding and metal fabrication. Thank you for reading and happy welding!