Register now to get rid of these ads!

Hot Rods Welding Health Risks

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by captainflight, Jan 11, 2018.

  1. captainflight
    Joined: Jul 7, 2007
    Posts: 196

    captainflight
    Member

    A little over a week ago I made a foolish decision that caused me a large health set back. Our outdoor wood burning boiler that heats are home, large shop and a portion of our barn that is a wood working shop needed an emergency repair. It is very cold where we live (Tweed Ontario) and had been -30C at night and not much warmer in the daytime. One of the cast iron grates had broken and as a result, we were unable to auger out ashes. This prevents air to circulate and keep the fire in the boiler hot. I had to make a new grate from 1" x 1/4" bar stock. As my mig welder was out of gas, I decided to use my arc welder. I could not find my respirator so I opened the shop door and directed the smoke out with a table fan. This was not good enough. Between the welding fumes and the boiler smoke I developed severe lung congestion that took two trips to the hospital to get help. I am recovering but am still at home coughing up large amounts of gross phelgm . I have learned a lesson from this and have taken steps to avoid a similar problem in the future. I bought new respirators with proper filters and a large industrial air cleaning unit for my shop. I hope my experience will help others that safety must always come first!
     
    jp52, Rotor1, scott34 and 4 others like this.
  2. 6inarow
    Joined: Jan 24, 2007
    Posts: 2,010

    6inarow
    Member

    Damn sorry to read this. Glad you are on the mend. Stuff today can cause serious health risks. Thanks for sharing your story and reminding us Saftey First
     
  3. dreracecar
    Joined: Aug 27, 2009
    Posts: 2,399

    dreracecar
    Member
    from so-cal

    Stick/arc is bad , but also mig as you are vaporizing the filler material as it melts and breathing it. Had a job come in to weld some aluminum stuctures, lots of them and the fitting was so bad that time and material the tig would take weeks, so I rented a alu wire feed rig, just about killed my lungs within the first 10 minutes and had to wear a respirator after that to get thru the job
     
    Bowtie Coupe likes this.
  4. Joliet Jake
    Joined: Dec 6, 2007
    Posts: 416

    Joliet Jake
    Member
    from Jax, FL

    Stick welding fumes will tear your ass up and it varies depending on the filler rod and material being welded. Ever look at your welding hood after stick welding and see all that crap stuck to it? All of that can wreck a persons lungs for days, I arc welded every day to earn a living back in the 70s and 80s, not any more. Tig only for me!
     
    Register now to get rid of these ads!

  5. Larry T
    Joined: Nov 24, 2004
    Posts: 7,961

    Larry T
    Member

    You do know that TIG welding produces radiation, right?
     
  6. Blues4U
    Joined: Oct 1, 2015
    Posts: 1,818

    Blues4U
    Member
    from So Cal

    Hmmmmmm, I've done a fair amount of stick welding myself, never gotten sick from it. You must've been in a really confined space with little to no air flow. You were just welding plain bar stock, not galvanized; no pictures or anything, but welding up a grate seems like it would involve rather short welds where the bar stock crosses, not long beads, so there wouldn't be prolonged build up of gases in a short time period. I suspect there's more to the story than what you posted. A simple house fan blowing across your work space would've helped a lot.
     
  7. Blue One
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 7,922

    Blue One
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Alberta

    Absolutely has to be more to this than what was posted.
    Stick welding a small project like that will not cause all those issues simply from the welding smoke and fumes.
     
  8. Gearhead Graphics
    Joined: Oct 4, 2008
    Posts: 2,676

    Gearhead Graphics
    Member
    from Denver Co

    So do light bulbs, the sun, decomposing food in your belly, decomposing rocks in the dirt and many many other sources.
     
  9. dirty old man
    Joined: Feb 2, 2008
    Posts: 6,738

    dirty old man
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    From the start of reading the first post by OP I was sort of in a state of consternation, and puzzlement on this. Have been playing with cars since I was 16, and I'm 80. Only had welders more modern than stick for the maybe the last 20 years in my shop(s). Most of the time heavy amounts of welding were done in the Winter while building or repairing/changing oval track race cars back then.
    In the Winter even here in GA it gets cold and the shop doors/windows were usually as closed as we could get them in the old ramshackle buildings we used to rent, LOL Usually a few air leaks around that we figgered were enough ventilation.
    Oftentimes all the welding created visible smoke hanging in the air, but we kept working. Not the best practice, I agree, but it's what we did and we never got sick, especially sick enough to seek medical aid.
    Now that I see Blue One, who IIRC, was/is a welding instructor expressing the thought that we aren't hearing the whole story, I feel vindicated in my opinion. Whatever the trade involved, instrctors always "go by the book" on safety precautions, and are well versed in that book.
    Either this was galvanized metal, it was scrap of unknown alloy that had a toxic element involved , or the metal had been cleaned with something toxic like spray brake cleaner.
     
  10. I’d guess it was the boiler smoke.
    I worked in heavy welding smoke environments for many years. Inside large weldments and tanks we had to crawl in.
    Never had an issue with immediate breathing issues.
     
  11. captainflight
    Joined: Jul 7, 2007
    Posts: 196

    captainflight
    Member

    There is more to the story. I have asthma and normally take care around any dust, mold, welding fumes. But as I stated, I was in a hurry and had misplaced my respirator. It wasn't just the welding fumes but the boiler smoke was also a big contributor. I was in my large 32 x 40 shop with my door open and using a a table top fan to direct fumes away but I guess I am a lot more sensitive to fumes than others who don't have asthma. None the less, fumes and smoke are dangerous to anyone and taking safety precautions is always the smart way.
     
  12. What the hell is "the boiler smoke" and how much was there?
    Wood burner ? Burning what, painted wood, treated wood, old house stuff, tables ?
    An Open fire with no smoke control is not the same as welding fumes.

    Keeping your head out of the arc's smoke plume is a good thing to do, especially if there's a cigarette in your mouth under the hood.
     
  13. porknbeaner
    Joined: Sep 12, 2003
    Posts: 38,935

    porknbeaner
    Member

    I think most of us are suffering from years of abuse to our lungs that is aggravated by welding in any fashion. This is not to discount the safety warning in any way so please don't take it that way.

    I am not sure about most of the people on the HAMB but I started welding when OSHA was known as the Oklahoma Saddle Horse Association in most of the Podunk places I ended up needing money. No respirators, sometimes no heat, and at best a fan in the shop door if it was summer. Lung infections? sure they happened but they mostly only happened to the old guys.

    Not saying that this is the way that you should run your shop. Just stating that it is as much our age for a lot of us as it is the smoke.

    Now just to bring this back on track, it is proven and noted as truth by the American Medical Society that prolonged breathing of the vapor caused by burning of the flux in stick welding causes permanent nerve damage. If you are young or old beware. Nerve damage is a bitch.
     
    mrchewie, Poh, rudestude and 2 others like this.
  14. Fortunateson
    Joined: Apr 30, 2012
    Posts: 1,421

    Fortunateson
    Member

    Never heard of "decomposing rocks". I know rocks erode. Or are you referring to radioactive material and their half-life?
     
  15. Veins of Radioactive substance in various stones "decay".
    Radon gas is another thing that is common in some areas.
    If you trust the government to tell you what's safe you might try this to calculate your radiation dose. It's Kinda fun
    https://www.epa.gov/radiation/calculate-your-radiation-dose

    About Granite Countertops and Radiation
    Did you know?

    Radon originating in the soil beneath homes is a more common problem and a far larger public health risk than radon from granite building materials.

    Granite, like any other stone, may contain veins of naturally occurring radioactive elements like uranium, thorium, and their radioactive decay products. These trace concentrations may vary from stone to stone, or even within a single slab of granite.

    If present, uranium, thorium or radium will decay into radon, a colorless, odorless, radioactive gas that may cause lung cancer. Radon released from granite building materials can be released over the lifetime of use but typically will be diluted by ventilation.

    In addition to radon, naturally occurring radioactive elements in the granite can emit small amounts of beta and gamma radiation. However, any radiation present would decrease quickly with increasing distance from the source. It is extremely unlikely that radiation from granite countertops would increase annual radiation doses above normal, natural background levels.
     
    j-jock likes this.
  16. porknbeaner
    Joined: Sep 12, 2003
    Posts: 38,935

    porknbeaner
    Member

    No with time a some sedimentary rocks will just break down. Even good hard rock like granite will decompose.
     
    loudbang and gimpyshotrods like this.
  17. Blues4U
    Joined: Oct 1, 2015
    Posts: 1,818

    Blues4U
    Member
    from So Cal

    j-jock, loudbang and gimpyshotrods like this.
  18. Fortunateson
    Joined: Apr 30, 2012
    Posts: 1,421

    Fortunateson
    Member

    Well it's been an education this morning.
     
    mrchewie and Hnstray like this.
  19. indyjps
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 3,191

    indyjps
    Member

    Whats in boiler smoke, or residue from the boiler that would cause an issue, isnt it just soot from wood? Not entirely safe, but I. dont see a toxic element. Trying to understand it.

    Agree, if the steel was unknown source it could be a cause as well.

    My young daughters say " Daddy, you smell like welder", after Ive done some work. :D
     
  20. Blue One
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 7,922

    Blue One
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Alberta

    I've been Tig welding for many years using 2 % Thoriated tungsten electrodes.
    Commonly used in industry.

    I think the OPs main problem is the asthma.
     
    lucky ink likes this.
  21. Joliet Jake
    Joined: Dec 6, 2007
    Posts: 416

    Joliet Jake
    Member
    from Jax, FL

    What does TIG welding radiation have to do with stick welding fumes/smoke messing up your lungs?
     
  22. birdman1
    Joined: Dec 6, 2012
    Posts: 494

    birdman1
    Member
    from USA

    go ahead and weld, paint, sandblast lead based paint. when you do get old(most of us anyhow) it is no fun having to use a inhaler 3 or more times a day and being unable to do the welding, painting, sandblasting that we all like and need to do. don't give the guy a tough time for trying to help you out by keeping you healthy. I did not use the proper breathing protection, I have to use inhalers and have my grandkids help paint
    and it sucks!!
     
    bathcollector likes this.
  23. woodiewagon46
    Joined: Mar 14, 2013
    Posts: 929

    woodiewagon46
    Member
    from New York

    It's not the 2% Thoriated tungsten that will kill you. It is the grinding of the tip and inhaling the dust. We had a dedicated grinder that we used only for this purpose. Management made anyone that used it wear a respirator. If you were caught using it and didn't have one on, you went home for three days. You can make all the jokes you want about welding fumes and other hazards but the bottom line is that it can cause severe health issues and even death.
     
    j-jock likes this.
  24. 1946caddy
    Joined: Dec 18, 2013
    Posts: 649

    1946caddy
    Member
    from washington

    What was the welding rod you were using? Most cast iron rod has a high nickel content. I've been around welders that have welded for 40 years in the industrial settings, mostly outdoors. The one thing I have noticed is shaking in their hands and was told by one that it was a result of breathing the fumes. I know that there is a big push for exhaust fans and respirators while in confines spaces. I would classify welding smoke as the same as cigarette smoke as to how it can effect someone. Usually as a result of repeated and prolonged usage.

    "There is more to the story. I have asthma and normally take care around any dust, mold, welding fumes"

    I think your asthma was the leading cause.
     
    Poh likes this.
  25. trey32
    Joined: Jul 27, 2014
    Posts: 173

    trey32

    It's all bad
     
    neilswheels likes this.
  26. Blue One
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 7,922

    Blue One
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Alberta

    If you’d bother reading the other replies the conversation moved over to other hazards including radiation.
    I was commenting related to that.
     
  27. PHIL COOPY
    Joined: Jul 20, 2016
    Posts: 190

    PHIL COOPY
    Member

    That cigarette between filler rods will get you too.....by the way I got a sunburn the other day...forgot to button up my shirt...UV.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018
    lucky ink and neilswheels like this.
  28. gene-koning
    Joined: Oct 28, 2016
    Posts: 501

    gene-koning
    Member

    News Flash! It doesn't really matter what you do to earn a living or enjoy a hobby, you are trading your future health for a paycheck or fun. Some occupations effect your health faster then other occupations, and everyone's body has more or less resistance to the issues, but all occupations seem to have some effect on your health. The most unfortunate part of that situation is most damaging effects build up slowly and are not recognized until its too late to prevent the health problem.

    The good news is most of those health related issues are now being openly discussed and most have some level of protection that can improve the odds, if a person knows of them and is willing to take advantages of them. The OP was simply reminding us of some of the health issues related to welding and was warning us to take advantage of some of the prevention options that are available to us.

    The fact that you have managed to escape the ill effects of an occupational health issue so far does not diminish the possibility of a future health problem for you or someone you know. It is important that we continue to sound the alarm of health related issues concerning the things we participate in. To know of an issue and not spread the word to someone that may not know is uncaring. If you know of a possible health issue with something and you choose not to participate in available precautions, that is your choice and the outcome is on you.

    Did you know sitting on your ass and not doing anything is bad for your health too? Gene
     
    Hnstray likes this.
  29. southcross2631
    Joined: Jan 20, 2013
    Posts: 1,774

    southcross2631
    Member
    from Florida

    I have spent all day with an arc welder hard facing mold boards on grader blades. 8 hours just running rod after rod and never got sick. Welding galvanized will make you real sick, real fast.
    Been welding for over 50 years , just lucky I guess.
     
  30. Welding Stainless is also very bad for you if you don't use the correct filters in your respirator. Look up radon daughters, scary stuff.
     

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!

Archive

Copyright © 1995-2013 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.