High-quality protection from 3M includes comfort and optical clarity, as these are noticed as critical factors for a welder’s ability to gain full use of their personal protective equipment. Welding fumes may cause illnesses that could take many weeks, months and years to become apparent, so it is important to take all actions to prevent this from happening.
Immediate symptoms from exposure to weld fumes include:
All of these symptoms are common symptoms that people would know about, all apart from the least common one, metal fume fever. Metal fume fever is an illness that is primarily caused by exposure to chemicals such as zinc oxide, aluminium oxide or magnesium oxide. These chemicals are produced in the by-products in the fumes that result when certain metals are heated. Symptoms of metal fume fever include general flu-like symptoms, for example, fever, chills, nausea, headache, fatigue, muscle and joint pains, shortness of breath, change in blood pressure, chest pain and coughing. A more severe metal toxicity may also include burning sensation in the body, shock, collapse, vomiting and yellow eyes/skin; all of which requires prompt attention. Full recovery of metal fume fever often requires one to three weeks.
Chronic insidious injuries on the respiratory tract and lungs which may cause asthma, bronchitis, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and lung cancer. The central nervous system may also be affected by unprotected welding or welding with poor quality products that give poor protection. Effect on dexterity, reaction time, memory, fatigue and depression may occur.
It is extremely important to understand that any exposure to airborne contaminants can put you and your work colleagues at risk.
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