Insurance 101

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  • Welding Fumes Can Be Hazardous

  • When you do welding of any type, you risk exposure to hazardous fumes from a variety of toxic substances.

    That’s why you need an appropriate respirator unless adequate ventilation is present. It’s important for you to keep your exposure to hazardous fumes and gases below established threshold limits.

    You should also learn to position your head to reduce your exposure to hazardous fumes.

    Some hard surfacing welding rods contain cadmium, which poses a cancer risk. Check the rods you use for warnings. Review the material safety data sheet (MSDS) to see if cadmium or another hazard may be present.

    Other welding exposure dangers are ozone, which can cause fluid buildup in the lungs; nitrogen dioxide, which can also penetrate deeply into the lungs and cause them to fill with fluid; and fluorides, which can cause mild to severe upper respiratory tract irritation.

    Here’s how you can protect yourself:

    • Never weld inside a confined space without adequate ventilation.
    • Use a respirator approved for welding if ventilation is poor or required.
    • Remember that certain welding rods may require use of an air-supplied respirator. Read the MSDS for each welding rod you use.


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