Despite the importance of welding, working conditions in the industry are often very tough, with long hours in a dark, hazy, nasty and dusty environment. There is dirt is everywhere, settling on products, machinery and on welders and their coworkers themselves. Continued exposure to welding fume can cause nausea and dizziness in the short term, and lung damage and various types of cancer in the longer term.
In addition, welders are increasingly forced to find new ways of doing their jobs faster and in the most cost-effective way, making their job very stressful. But it doesn’t have to be this way. At Zehnder, we believe that clean air should not be a luxury for welders – it is a necessity.
The fumes given off by welding processes is a varied mix of harmful airborne gases and very fine particles like alveolar dust which, if inhaled, can cause severe health problems. Alveolar dust (fine dust) is the most dangerous and very difficult to capture. Many companies try to mitigate these problems by using welding fumes extraction systems, cleaning surfaces, staying upwind of the welding fumes, using welding curtains or wearing respiratory protection.
But these measures are not fully effective because they don’t extract the fumes at the source. This can result in severe health consequences for welders and their coworkers, including asthma, welder’s lung, metal fume fever and even cancer.