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The art of welding has a downside. Unfortunately welding produces toxic fumes and ultraviolet radiation is present in the welding arc. These fumes have been proven to cause cancer in humans such as lung cancer, kidney and bladder cancer. The ultraviolet radiation can also cause skin cancer.
One website claims that the US Department of Health reports that welders are at a 40% higher risk of being affected by lung cancer than any other professional groups (source: https://www.blackwoods.com.au/blackwoodsknows/welding-respirator).
Welding fumes are extremely toxic and contain many harmful components. Very fine, solid particles of metal oxides containing metals such as arsenic, copper, iron, lead and many more coupled with harmful gases such as carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides and more, can all be found in welding fumes.
The exact composition of the welding fume is heavily depending on the type of welding being performed and materials involved.
There are many factors that contribute to the level of exposure a welder will have to welding fumes. Some of these include;
- Operating position.
- Coatings and/or paint on the materials being welded.
- Length or duration of continuous welding period.
What Is A Welding Respirator?
A welding respirator is a protective piece of equipment that usually covers the mouth and most importantly the nose.
The respirators on the market today come in various styles and designs. They all serve one purpose which is to remove the toxins from the air that you are breathing in. However the level of effectiveness varies depending on many factors.
Why Do I Need A Welding Respirator?
Welding respirators are one of the most vital pieces of equipment a welder can wear. In fact, respirators are a must in any industry where one is exposed to dangerous fumes.
Welding respirators are designed to protect you from inhaling dangerous gasses and even dangerous metal particles generated by the welding process. This is achieved by a filtering process of which the efficiency will vary between designs and budget.
Put simply, wearing and making use of welding respirator will significantly help to reduce the risk of cancer. Why wouldn’t you invest in the best respirator you can afford?
Check out some of the best welding respirators available.
If you are professional welder or heavily use a plasma cutter, or even a serious hobbyist, then you are most certainly going to benefit from a substantial investment in a respirator. You should be thinking of a respirator as being just as important as your plasma cutter or welder.
Wearing a respirator is a simple way to reduce your exposure to harmful fumes created while welding.