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Ventilate Welding Brazing Workspace

Fumes and gases released into the atmosphere during heating, welding and cutting can be extremely harmful to your health.

Whenever you are welding, brazing, cutting metal or even just heating metal for any reason, be sure to keep out of the fumes. Chemicals exist in fluxes, coatings, and filler metals that are released into the atmosphere during heating, welding and cutting. These chemicals can be harmful to breathe.

Never weld, cut, or heat dirty metal, painted metal, galvanized metal or metal which is coated with any unknown material. Be certain to remove all paint and galvanized coatings as far back away from the work area as possible before starting to weld, braze, heat or cut metal. All smokes, fumes and gases should be considered as potentially hazardous.

When using a torch or an arc welder, it is often necessary to be very close to the work. Dark lenses, smoke, sparks, debris often cloud the view of the work. But, you should always set up the work area so that you can use a torch or an arc welder without breathing the fumes. Set up the workspace to provide adequate ventilation.

Of course, a welding table with fresh air ventilation and an exhaust hood is a good place to work. But, often the work is at the job site; not at the welding table. In cases where a natural draft or wind does not keep you out of the smoke and gasses, you should set up some sort of forced ventilation. Set up a fan to blow the smoke, fumes and gasses away from you and your co-workers. If a fan blowing on the work causes problems with the flame or the arc, set up the fan to draw the smoke, fumes and gasses away from the workspace.