While welding is pretty much harmless if you constantly wear the proper safety equipment, there are some long term health risks associated with the act if welding if you are not careful. Welding smoke is a mixture of condensed fumes and gases that is emitted from the act of welding metal. This smoke, depending on how much the welder actually breathes in, can cause chronic lung disease as soon as five years after contact. Breathing in welding fumes can also lead to serious nervous system, reproductive system and other respiratory damage. The metal fumes that are particularly dangerous to breathe in are those from lead, cadmium, beryllium, and mercury.
In order to protect yourself from potentially damaging welding fumes, it is essential to perform all of your welding tasks in a highly ventilated area. Wearing an air respirator mask is important as well, but just keep in mind that harmful fumes can still infiltrate the mask if your workspace doesn’t have a proper ventilation system.
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