Welding fumes are composed of most fumes and metals containing a small percentage of manganese, which is a major concern of employers, workers and health professionals often with associated neurological effects. Manganese is an essential nutrient excreted through normal liver and kidney functions, but inhaling manganese bypasses the body’s natural defense mechanism leading to toxic accumulation, resulting to adverse health effects to the lungs, liver, kidneys and central nervous system, as well as causing fertility problems and parkinson-like symptoms. Welders are exposed to high levels of ultraviolet and infrared rays that cause eye surface and conjunctival injuries leading to “arc eye”, “arc flash” or “welder’s eye”. Signs and symptoms of welder’s eye include pain, reddening and tearing, “sand in the eye” sensation, sensitivity to light and photophobia.
It is crucial to have a quality welding gear and equipment to protect yourself from harmful effects of welding. Welding helmets have different types, settings, shades, power source, reaction time, controls and weight. Welding helmets are either standard or auto-darkening, wherein standard helmets are good for welding just one type or material, with same thickness and welding process, while auto-darkening is ideal for complex welding processes, various materials and varying thickness. It is important to consider the switching speed or reaction time when choosing the right welding helmet, that determines the speed from natural state to darkened shade when the actual welding starts. The higher the number the better the reaction time, so it is best to buy a welding helmet with 1/16,000 of a second reaction time, which is ideal for intermediate and professional levels, though 1/3,000 will suffice most welding jobs.
When it comes to selecting a welding clothing, remember that the best materials are leather, denim, cotton, wool and the worst is synthetic material, that can melt and cause mild to severe burns. Welding jackets are usually made of leather and are quite heavy, yet offering a great amount of protection. Welding aprons are made of leather providing a thorough protection and freedom of arm movement providing cooler welding and flexibility, or a light-weight cotton material for light welding jobs. The welding gear ideal in protecting your chest, shoulders and neck are welding bibs, allowing freedom from arm restriction and for a cooler welding. Welding boots are used to move heavy objects and are made of steel-toes protecting your feet from falling objects protecting your feet from too much pain. If you’re wearing a welding bib or apron, you still need to protect your arms with welding gauntlets for your arm protection, and these can be attached to welding gloves to keep your forearms safe. Buy your welding gear and equipment only from trusted and reputable companies.Finding Similarities Between Vests and Life