Protection from welding fumes
Welding fumes are a complex mixture of dangerous, potentially cancer-causing agents (carcinogens) including metallic oxides, silicates and fluorides. These fumes form when metal is heated above its boiling point, and it’s vapours condense into very fine particles (solid particulates).
It’s little wonder that in 2017, the Cancer Council classified all types of welding fumes as Group 1 carcinogens.
To protect operators, safe fume extractor systems should be used anywhere welding is performed, especially at:
- Training centres
- Engineering workshops
Capture & extract harmful welding gases and fumes
Telescopic extraction arms are the preferred solutions to control welding fumes, because they capture the fumes and gases close to the source and move them away from the operator’s breathing zone.
Other options available for safe fume extraction include individual or central system extraction arms, and extraction carts which move around the shop floor during the welding process
Safe fume extractor systems will:
- Guard against the complex mixture of metallic oxides, silicates and fluoride fumes created by welding
- Protect both the welder and bystanders from fumes
- Control fumes
- Control welding smoke
Common welding fumes
|Beryllium||Hardening agent found in copper, magnesium, aluminium alloys, and electrical contacts.|
|Cadmium oxides||Stainless steel containing cadmium or plated materials, zinc alloy.|
|Chromium||Most stainless steel and high alloy materials, welding rods. Also used as a plating material.|
|Nickel||Stainless steel, nickel-chromium, nickel-copper and other high-alloy materials, welding rods and plated steel.|