Welding Fume Fever: What It Is and How to Prevent It

Welding Fume Fever

Welding Fume Fever is a serious condition that can develop from inhaling the toxic fumes produced through welding and grinding activities. As a general rule, the heavier the fumes, the more toxic they are. Carbon dioxide fumes are the lightest and are nearly odorless. To protect workers from the effects of Welding Fume Fever, it is important to know which fumes are the most dangerous and take proper precautions.

Welding fumes are the result of the combustion process that takes place in a MIG or TIG (GMAW) weld. They are also called welding smoke, welding byproducts, or sometimes welding odors. Many of them are toxic and potentially cancerous, so knowing how to protect yourself from them is important.

Welding fumes are a complex mix of organic and inorganic compounds and are among the most common causes of metal fume fever. Although people who work with welding fumes are at particular risk, metal fume fever can also affect people who work with metal powders or handle dry powder paints and coatings. Metal fume fever is an acute, non-specific illness that typically develops within hours of exposure to high levels of welding fumes.

How to Prevent Welding Fume Fever?

Welding is an art and, at the same time, a science. It is art because many variables have to be dealt with to produce a quality weld. It is a science because the same variables need to be controlled to achieve consistent results.

To be able to weld well, you must understand how to control the variables. Welding fumes are one of those variables that need to be handled correctly to produce quality welds.

Fumes are a widespread occurrence in the workplace and can often cause serious harm to those who are exposed to them. Fumes are often a byproduct of welding, but there are many other causes of fumes. One of the most famous types of welding fume is Metal Fume Fever (MFF). MFF is a condition that causes fever, muscle aches, nausea, and pain in the joints. It is caused by exposure to fumes containing metals like iron, copper, and zinc. The symptoms of MFF may not appear for days or even weeks after exposure to the fumes.
Welding fume fever is caused by inhaling welding fume and is a temporary flu-like condition that can last up to two days. It is characterized by fever, headaches, fatigue, muscle aches, joint pains, and a general feeling of being unwell. If you are going to be welding or have just finished, you should drink plenty of water and take a rest. If you are planning to continue welding, you should go and a doctor.

Common Symptoms Associated with Welding Fume Fever

While welding fume fever is a lot less dangerous than other illnesses, it can still be very dangerous. Often, the symptoms of the illness are initially mistaken for those of the flu, but the inhalation of welding fume actually causes them.

 

These symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • sore throat
  • cough
  • chills
  • night sweats

Symptoms of welding fume fever can be lessened when you follow these steps:

  1. Wear a respirator — Welding fumes are dangerous and can be life-threatening.
  2. Use a water-soluble flux — Water-soluble fluxes are less toxic than alcohol-soluble ones.
  3.  Use a welding blanket — The fumes produced get trapped in the blanket, and once you take it off, you will be free of the Welding Fume Fever.
  4. Have regulated ventilation and extraction solutions 

If you work with welding fumes, you are at risk of exposure to dangerous fumes and gases. You should be aware that exposure to the following fumes and gases can cause long-term illness and damage your health. As a professional welder, you work with dangerous and toxic fumes daily. We have already written about the importance of using a respirator when welding to protect against carbon monoxide poisoning and to help prevent damage to your lungs. But what about fumes? Welding fumes are a mix of gases and particles released into the air when a welder is using a welder, and they should be handled with the same care as a respirator for welding. To protect your lungs from damage caused by welding fumes, use a good welding fume respirator and wear it correctly.

  1. Use the comprehensive PPE in the workplace

Welding Fume Fever is a condition that can occur following extended exposure to welding fumes or other types of particulate matter. The symptoms are similar to the flu, with headache, fever, chills, nausea, and weakness, but they usually go away after a few days. The most common illness from welding fumes is allergic bronchitis, which can develop steadily over time or occur after one particularly strong exposure. It is diagnosed by looking for early signs of a respiratory infection and then looking for evidence of exposure to welding fumes.

Welding fume fever is a very serious condition that can occur when working in a poorly ventilated area and can lead to minor or severe health problems. For this reason, it is important to use comprehensive workplace PPE.

Welding Fume Fever is a condition triggered by overexposure to metal fume, making it a common occupational hazard for welders. The condition is triggered by the inhalation of metal fumes and is commonly seen in the construction and manufacturing industries. When you inhale the welding fume fever, you will get a high temperature, and then your body will start to sweat. The sweat should be cooled with water, and then you can go to bed. If you feel nausea, you can eat something. The next day you will be healthy.

Welding Fume Fever can be a devastating illness. It will attack your immune system with a vengeance that will leave you not knowing the difference between whether you are coming or going. The worst part is, you will have to fight it off without any modern medical help. With the right preparations, the good news is it is possible to survive without any assistance from a doctor.