Air pollution in metalworking
Metalworking processes involve the generation of steel dust through operations such as grinding, deburring, and polishing. This steel dust comprises fine and coarse particles that pose a significant health risk when inhaled. Additionally, welding operations generate welding fumes, which can cause immediate effects such as eye irritation, throat discomfort, and respiratory issues. In the long term, prolonged exposure to welding fumes can lead to lung diseases, including chronic bronchitis. Welding stainless steel is particularly concerning, as it is associated with an increased risk of cancer.
Metal dust and welding fumes are a constant concern for metalworkers. While some welding stations may have source extraction systems, there is still the dispersion of fumes into the surrounding area. The composition of these fumes varies depending on the type of metal, surface finish, and welding electrode used. In addition to iron particles, the smoke can contain hazardous substances from coatings.
Machining, thermal, and mechanical operations also generate a substantial amount of dust. Furthermore, when machining fluids are used, aerosols in the form of mist can be created, potentially containing irritating and allergenic components.
Respiratory protection for welders typically involves a motor unit worn on the belt, an air hose, and a welding helmet. Arbin Kite welding helmets integrate the motor directly into the welding hood, eliminating the need for a belt unit and air hose. This design ensures quick setup and excellent ease of use. The Kite Pro Multivision combines an automatic welding helmet with the highest level of respiratory protection, surpassing the protection provided by commonly used disposable FFP2 or FFP3 dust masks. For metalworkers who do not engage in welding activities, the Kite Pro Vision with impact protection for the face is available as an alternative option.