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   Safety and HealthFact Sheet No. 1 October 2005    © 2005 American Welding Society   Fumes and Gases AWS disclaims liability for any injury to persons or to property, or other damages of any nature whatsoever, whether special, indirect,consequential or compensatory, directly or indirectly resulting from the publication, use of, or reliance on this Safety and Health Fact Sheet.AWS also makes no guaranty or warranty as to the accuracy or completeness of any information published herein. Fact Sheet No. 1 —10/05 Page 1 INTRODUCTION Many welding, cutting, and alliedprocesses produce fumes and gases,which may be harmful to your health. DEFINITION ã Fumes are solid particles whichsrcinate from welding consumables,the base metal, and any coatingspresent on the base metal. ã In addition to shielding gases that maybe used, gases are produced during thewelding process or may be produced bythe effects of process radiation on thesurrounding environment. ã Acquaint yourself with the effects ofthese fumes and gases by reading theMaterial Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs)for all materials used (consumables,base metals, coatings, and cleaners). ã For help, consult a recognizedspecialist in Industrial Hygiene orEnvironmental Services. ã The amount and composition of thesefumes and gases depend upon thecomposition of the filler metal and basematerial, welding process, current level,arc length, and other factors. POSSIBLE EFFECTS OF OVER-EXPOSURE ã Depending on material involved rangesfrom irritation of eyes, skin, andrespiratory system to more severecomplications. ã Effects may occur immediately or atsome later time. ã Fumes can cause symptoms such asnausea, headaches, dizziness, andmetal fume fever. ã The possibility of more serious healtheffects exists when highly toxicmaterials are involved. For example,manganese overexposure can affectthe central nervous system resulting inimpaired speech and movement. ã In confined spaces the gases mightdisplace breathing air and causeasphyxiation. HOW TO AVOID OVEREXPOSURE   ã Keep your head out of the fumes. ã Do not breathe the fumes. ã Use enough ventilation or exhaust atthe arc, or both, to keep fumes and    AWS disclaims liability for any injury to persons or to property, or other damages of any nature whatsoever, whether special, indirect,consequential or compensatory, directly or indirectly resulting from the publication, use of, or reliance on this Safety and Health Fact Sheet.AWS also makes no guaranty or warranty as to the accuracy or completeness of any information published herein. Fact Sheet No. 1 — 10/05 Page 2 gases from your breathing zone andgeneral area. ã In some cases, natural air movementprovides enough ventilation and freshair ã Where ventilation is questionable, useair sampling to determine the need forcorrective measures. ã Whenever the following materials areidentified as other than traceconstituents in welding, brazing, orcutting operations, and unlessbreathing zone sampling under themost adverse conditions hasestablished that the level of hazardousconstituents is below the allowablelimits specified by the authority having jurisdiction, special ventilationprecautions shall be taken: Antimony,Arsenic, Barium, Beryllium, Cadmium,Chromium, Cobalt, Copper, Lead,Manganese, Mercury, Nickel, Ozone,Selenium, Silver, Vanadium. Seesection 5.5, Special VentilationConcerns, ANSI Z49.1:2005, Safety in Welding, Cutting, and Allied Processes. ã Use mechanical ventilation to improveair quality. ã If engineering controls are not feasible,use an approved respirator. ã Work in a confined space only if it iswell ventilated, or while wearing an air-supplied respirator. Fumes from Weld-ing or cutting and oxygen depletion canalter air quality causing injury or death.Be sure the breathing air is safe. ã Follow OSHA guidelines for permissibleexposure limits (PELs) for variousfumes. ã Follow the American Conference ofGovernmental Industrial Hygienistsrecommendations for threshold limitvalues (TLVs) for fumes and gases. ã Have a recognized specialist inIndustrial Hygiene or EnvironmentalServices check the operation and airquality and make recommendations forthe specific welding or cutting situation. INFORMATION SOURCES  Occupational Safety and HealthAdministration (OSHA). Code of Federal Regulations, Title 29 Labor, Parts 1910.1to 1910.1450, available from the U.S.Government Printing Office, 732 NorthCapital Street NW, Washington, DC 20401(telephone: 800-321-6742; Web site:www.osha.gov).American Conference of GovernmentalIndustrial Hygienists (ACGIH). Threshold Limit Values for Chemical Substances and Physical Agents and Biological Exposure Indices, available from ACGIH, 1330Kemper Meadow Drive, Cincinnati, OH45240-1634 (telephone: 513-742-2020;Web site: www.acgih.org).American Welding Society (AWS). Fumes and Gases in the Welding Environment   and other welding related safety and healthpublications, published by the AmericanWelding Society, 550 NW LeJeune Road,Miami, FL 33126; telephone 800-443-9353;Web site: www.aws.org.    AWS disclaims liability for any injury to persons or to property, or other damages of any nature whatsoever, whether special, indirect,consequential or compensatory, directly or indirectly resulting from the publication, use of, or reliance on this Safety and Health Fact Sheet.AWS also makes no guaranty or warranty as to the accuracy or completeness of any information published herein. Fact Sheet No. 1 — 10/05 Page 3 Mine Safety and Health Administration(MSHA). Code of Federal Regulations, Title 30 Mineral Resources, Parts 1 to 199,available from the U.S. GovernmentPrinting Office, 732 North Capitol StreetNW, Washington, DC 20401; telephone:202-693-9400; Web site: www.msha.gov.American National Standards Institute(ANSI). Safety in Welding, Cutting, and Allied Processes  (ANSI Z49.1), publishedby the American Welding Society, 550 NWLeJeune Road, Miami, FL 33126;telephone 800-443-9353; Web site:www.aws.org.For specific information, refer to theapplicable Material Safety Data Sheet(MSDS) available from the manufacturer,distributor, or supplier. TLV is a registered trademark of the ACGIH.  
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