The world of welding can be a dangerous line of work. From the garb typically worn by welders, such a statement might seem like a forgone conclusion. However, the stuff you can't see is just as harmful as the sparks flying off the metal.

During the welding process, toxic metal fumes are released into the air. While the composition of the fumes varies depending on the metals being welded, common contaminants emitted include nickel, chromium 6 and manganese. Nickel and chromium 6 are found in stainless steel and can cause asthma and cancer. Manganese is used to produce iron, steel, and aluminum and has been found to cause Parkinson's disease. Certain types of welding can also from harmful gases such as carbon monoxide, hydrogen fluoride, and ozone.

Until fairly recently, the effects of welding fume exposure in the workplace wasn't given much attention. The story finally garnered national notice a few years ago when thousands of welders filed lawsuits against welding manufacturers, suppliers, and distributors alleging welding fumes were responsible for causing numerous health ailments. Heightened interest on the subject has prompted ongoing research. It has also incited the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to create federal welding ventilation standards.

While OHSA welding regulations limit the amount of gas and fume exposure allowed in the workplace, organizations such as the Center to Protect Workers' Rights (CPWR) contend the standards have become outdated and therefore are no longer effective.

In addition to OSHA standards, the CPWR recommends employers use low fume-producing welding rods. Standard welding rods can generate up to 90 percent of emitted fumes. Using stick welding over flex core welding will also help reduce fume production in the workplace.

Weld Fume Collectors

As much as 95 percent of the particles produced by welding are so small, they are able to evade the human body's filtering system and enter the lungs. Fume collectors help minimize the number of unseen particles entering the body by removing fumes and gases immediately upon their entry into the atmosphere; preventing harmful contaminants from entering a welder's breathing zone. Some fume collectors are equipped with nanofiber filters, which are capable of trapping these submicron particles and prevent contaminants from entering back into the atmosphere.

Fume collection systems have traditionally been mounted on a wall or installed in a specific location, limiting the mobility of the welder in the process. However, some welding extraction manufacturers now offers mobile units that allow welders to wheel their units anywhere within the workplace.

Compared to other options, using a source capture fume extraction system is the best means of minimizing welding fume exposure in the workplace. For more information on welding fume removal, contact a fume collector manufacturer.

Author's Bio: 

Shishir is a guest blogger, having his blogs published on various sites including Huff Post. He loves to watch documentary movies and travel across different countries to explore new places. Moreover, He is Google AdWords & Analytics certified partner having more than 9 years SEO & Digital marketing experience.)