Welding Fumes and its Effects on the Brain

Welding FumesAnything toxic is dangerous to your health. You try to avoid these substances, but when you’re a welder, it’s not exactly easy.

People with occupations that involve regular exposure to gasses and smoke are at risk for multiple organ damage, especially if they fail to follow safety precautions. Welders are among those who face increased risk for chronic health problems and long-term diseases. Studies also show that they are also at greater risk for brain damages.

Over the years, researchers identified the harmful substances welders face every day. These include asbestos, aluminum, chromium, manganese, and arsenic. While there’s proof that the link between welding fumes and brain damage exists, little information is available.

Lead Poisoning

According to the California Department of Public Health, more than 120 jobs—welding included—are at high risk for lead poisoning. Heating of lead during the welding process form both dust and fumes. Swallowing or inhalation of either one results in terrible consequences for your health.

Lead in your body accumulates over time. Poisoning begins with mild symptoms, such as headaches and fatigues. Most victims of lead poisoning often confuse the common symptoms for other illnesses. Eventually, lead appears throughout the bones, soft tissue, and in the brain.

Manganese Fumes

Welding fumes contain manganese, which causes neurological problems, even in low levels. Studies also note that previously healthy welders still face the risk of developing brain damage. The part of the brain affected by the fumes is also the same affected area for people suffering from Parkinson’s disease.

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With more than a million people identifying welding as part of their job description, the link between fumes and the neurotoxins has a large impact on public health.

Safety Plan Required

Despite the proof of the lead-brain damage link, some companies ignore the need for a plan. A spokesman from Occupational Health and Safety (OSHA) shed light on the failure of companies to address the situation. Monoxivent.com, a specialist in source capture systems, recommends taking necessary precautions to ensure safety in the workplace.

There should be an assessment of hazards in the workplace. Companies can require assistance if required. People conducting the assessment should have knowledge of the process to ensure a more thorough inspection.

At the end of the day, employers are responsible for ensuring welders are not exposed to fumes and dust. Doing so keeps welders safe from the consequences of toxic substances.