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Health Hazards Every Welder Should Know

We all know that welding is a job that requires utmost attention when protecting oneself from the inevitable dangers while on the job.

To do so, it is extremely important to use the right protective gear and the right techniques to keep you protected.

It is also crucial that you protect yourself from the possible health issues that may have an affect on your health as a welder.

Here are some of the health related hazards you should look out for:

Every year, 40-50 welders are hospitalized with pneumonia caused by welding fume. Components in the fume differ depending on the type of welding and the working conditions of the welder, but most commonly they consist of iron, manganese, nickel, potassium, chrome, and titanium.

The first signs of chronic exposure to manganese caused by welding fumes include subjective symptoms, such as general prostration (exhaustion/weakness), loss of appetite, and muscle pain.

They also include progressive neurological symptoms such as slow movement and difficulty speaking.

Depending on the progress of the disease, extra-pyramidal symptoms similar to Parkinson's disease, include slowness, clumsiness, tremors, mood changes, and inability to control one's muscles causing difficulty walking and speaking.

The most commonly known health hazards of a welder include:

- eye disease caused by exposure to ultraviolet radiation created by the electric arc

- musculoskeletal disease caused by the nature of welding which requires repetitive physical labor.

- bronchus disease caused by dust and fume

- burns caused by sparks

How to protect yourself from these hazards:

1. Work with your back facing the wind so that you won't inhale the welding fume.

2. Install a fume collector near the point where fume is most severe

3. Have a full ventilation facility in order to emit welding fumes that aren't discharged by the fume collector.

4. Wear a good quality Grade A dust mask that blocks fine dust

5. Stretch your wrists, neck, and back every now and then to prevent yourself from the carpal tunnel syndrome.

Also, don't forget to keep yourself protected by wearing the right protective gear!

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