Improving The Health Of Welders In Your Shop With Fume Extraction Systems
Welding fumes have long been known to cause health issues over long-term exposure, and while ventilation in your shop can help, fume extraction and filtering are the best ways to clean the air and protect welders in the shop. A welding fume extraction system can be small and portable so it can be moved around the shop, or you can install permanent systems at welding stations if you are operating a dedicated welding shop.
Welding And Fumes
Many different metals give off fumes when they are being welded, and the fumes can be extremely harmful to breathe all day. Magnesium, iron oxide, chromium, and nickel are all by-products of welding and are linked to severe health conditions like cancer and illness like Parkinson's disease.
Protecting your welders from exposure to these by-products can be as simple as installing welding fume extraction systems in your shop that will capture the fumes and filter them through HEPA filters to remove the particulates from the air in the shop. The extractor is positioned close to the work to draw the welding smoke away from the welder and into the system, and for shops that are welding a lot, these systems can significantly improve the air in the shop.
Portable fume extractors can be moved around the shop and plug into a standard outlet, so no special provisions are required to use them. The extractor can be wheeled into place, the ventilation tube positioned near the work, and the machine turned on. The entire setup takes less than thirty seconds and will provide fume extraction for MIG, TIG, ARC, and nearly every kind of welding you do in your shop.
The unit's portability is a significant asset to welders that are moving around a large project because they can move the welder and the extractor as they move. When the welding is complete, the extractor can be put out of the way in a corner until it's needed again.
Permanent Fume Extractor Systems
Welding shops with fixed welding stations can benefit from a more extensive welding fume extraction system that places ventilation tubes at each station and allows the welder to move them around as they are working. These systems capture the fumes and then remove the air from the shop.
The result is clean air coming into the welding shop as fumes and particulates are being collected and removed from the building. The air quality in the shop can improve so significantly that you may not even notice the welding unless you know it is going on. You must maintain the filters on these systems regularly to keep the exhaust free of dangerous particulates and stay within the EPA's guidelines.