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16. HITSAUS- JA POLTTOLEIKKAUSTYÖT Zinc and copper coatings When heating zinc or copper coated steel hazardous fumes are produced and they can cause a metal fume fever. The symptoms (fever, nausea, muscle pain and overall weakness) can occur after a few hours of exposure. Symptoms that start in the evening are usually gone by morning. Long term or combined effects are yet unknown. Steel 80% of the fumes of unalloyed steel are Ferro oxides, silicates, alkali metals and calcium compounds. Manganese compounds and fluoride compounds originating from the alkali coated electrodes, and are even more hazardous, are present in low percentages in the fumes and gasses. In the fumes of stainless steel there might be chrome and nickel compounds that are classified as causing a cancer risk. The risk is evaluated based on 6-chrome. There is much less of 6-chrome in MIG and TIG welding than in rod welding. In Finland welders working on stainless steel are yearly recorded in the ASA register (Register on mployees Exposed to Carcinogens). Aluminum In aluminum welding, aluminum oxide is produced. Extended exposure may have hazardous effects. Most of the aluminum leaves your body with in the urine, but some residue is left in your organism. Therefore, people who continuously work with aluminum welding should have regular urine specimens tested, unless these tests are proven unnecessary based on work hygienic testing or other biological samples. The brightness of glowing material and especially high voltages used in the welding of thick materials cause strong ultraviolet radiation. Strong UV radiation separates oxygen from the air forming ozone that can be recognized by its sharp smell. Ozone is a gas that is dangerous for your lungs. The risk for exposure is the greatest in confined and poorly ventilated spaces. Don’t forget to pay attention to your protective equipment and good ventilation when welding aluminum. The best way to prevent the effects of the fumes and gases produced in welding is to use local ventilation. The worker creating the fumes is the one responsible for arranging local ventilation. Plan the ventilation together with your supervisor. An air-supplied respirator or a respirator with a dust filter will provide you even better protection. 85


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