The amount of zinc-oxide fumes that welders are exposed to varies and is most common in facilities and workshops without proper ventilation and/ or fume extraction in place. Because of the symptoms, metal fume fever can be difficult to diagnose and is often suggested by welders who understand that it is a potential risk.

When metal fume fever is acute, emergency medical assistance may not be required because most symptoms go away within 1-2 days, with the exception of welders with pre-existing heart and lung ailments. Long-term exposure to zinc-oxide fumes can result in more severe health effects.

Welder working on a steel project.

Prevent Metal Fume Fever with FumeXtractors!

Employers are responsible for providing guidelines, manuals, and training to ensure that employees are aware of metal fume fever and how to prevent it.

The most effective way to prevent overexposure to zinc is with welding fume extraction systems - including source capture and local exhaust ventilation. By extracting metal fume at the source, the surrounding air is kept clean and safely breathable and ventilation helps remove fumes from the airstream. Other ways to help prevent metal fume fever include PPE to protect respiratory zones and continued training with knowledge of welding fumes, and present chemicals.

The current OSHA standard for zinc oxide fume is 5 milligrams of zinc oxide fume per cubic meter of air (mg/m3) averaged over an eight–hour work shift. NIOSH recommends that the permissible exposure limit be changed to 5 mg/m3 averaged over a work shift of up to 10 hours per day, 40 hours per week, with a Short–Term Exposure Limit (STEL) of 10 mg/m3 averaged over a 15–minute period.

FumeXtractors was developed to combat the health hazards that industrial machine operators are faced with on a daily basis. Our welding fume removal solutions range from fume extraction arms to welding booths, depending on the demands of your application.

FumeXtractors welding fume extractors provide an easily adjustable and convenient way to remove harmful contaminants before they reach the breathing zone of machine operators. Our team works directly with engineers, distributors, and general contractors to provide turn-key prices and customized fume extraction systems to fit their application demands. To learn more about metal fume fever, or to get started on your free quote, get in touch with our specialists.

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