Can the fumes from welding hurt?
Welding processes are classified into two groups: fusion welding, which is heat alone, and pressure welding, which uses heat and pressure. Fusion welding involves three types: electric arc, gas and thermit.
All of these forms of welding produce visible smoke that contains harmful metal fume and gas byproducts, OSHA states. Welding fumes contain a variety of metals, including aluminum, arsenic, beryllium, lead and manganese. Argon, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and hydrogen fluoride gases often are produced during welding.
Welding fumes are basically a mixture of metallic oxides, fluorides, and silicates. Not so wonderful to be breathing into your lungs by themselves, but since we have to live and work in the real world, there are other considerations such as the paint, rust inhibitors, solvents, and other coatings on the welded metal which can create additional dangers.
With proper precaution, the amount of gas and vapor can be eliminated, or at least reduced to a high degree. Ventilation is always an essential control option. Whether you are ventilating the entire area or can drill down to a very specific confined space, replacing dirty air with clean is often the first go-to procedure