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Do You Need a Fume Extractor When You Weld?

Do You Need a Fume Extractor When You Weld?

Welding is a fun, profitable activity that’s an excellent choice for a career or simply a weekend hobby. To ensure that you get the best experience from metalwork, you want to remain safe from the various hazards present in this field. If you’re new to the industry, understanding ventilation may seem dense and overall confusing.

Luckily, proper fume extraction is relatively easy to accomplish and typically assisted with machines. However, do you need a fume extractor when you weld? Here are some arguments that will better answer that exact question.

The Importance of Ventilation

Proper workshop ventilation is imperative for providing a safe working environment. Regardless of your workshop’s dimensions, you must eliminate toxic fumes from the air. Byproduct chemicals from metal fabrication like hexavalent Chromium, Cr(VI), can cause life-long respiratory ailments and even cancer.

Furthermore, organizations like OSHA require certain levels (natural, mechanical, local) of ventilation depending on workshop space, number of employees, and the magnitude of your operations. Breaking these laws can cause many issues for yourself and your business.

When You DO Need Extractors

You’ll most likely need local exhaust ventilation if you operate a professional welding entity. This is because natural dilution isn’t practical in large working environments with lots of activity. Sure, mechanical dilution in the form of wall and roof fans does help reduce toxic hazards in the air – however, fume extractors are the most effective at providing clean air and giving you peace of mind.

Of the various welding fume collectors, which is best for your needs? Portable and wall-mounted extractors are excellent for small-medium spaces that need flexibility with design. Portable equipment, in particular, is great for more minor operations. Downdraft tables are the most versatile since they save space and are suitable for a tiny garage to a massive working environment.

When You DON’T Need Extractors

In very particular situations, you can weld safely without fume extractors. These instances include personal operations like garage-based workshops or very small businesses in more extensive workshops.

Natural dilution ventilation and fans are perfectly suitable for protecting yourself and others for these set-ups. By opening windows and doors, you can recycle air without the need for equipment. Even still, it’s never a bad idea to add more safeguards in the form of fume extractors.

So, do you need a fume extractor when you weld? Ultimately, it comes down to your environment and situation. In most cases, it’s best to consider and implement adequate local exhaust ventilation. FumeDog proudly carries top-of-the-line equipment that is guaranteed to protect yourself and others from toxic fume exposure.