natenaaron

Even Minor Fume Fever is horrible

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Howdy folks.  Been a while.  The forge was put aside when life got super insane last august and has just now been dug back out.  Which brings me to the reason I am writing this.

I have a welding table that, until Monday, did not have wheels.  I ordered casters and asked, when ordering, if they were galvanized.  He said he did not think so because it was not in the description, but there were some that definitely were, that were the same cost.  I distinctly remember telling him I did not want galvanized. 

When they came in they sure looked galvanized but the receipt did not say.  I thought about it and decided to grind it very well and all over not just where the weld was going to be.  I seriously considered soaking it in vinegar then grinding but did not want to mess up the bearings (sp). 

They were galvanized and I clearly did not get it all ground off.  Joint pain set in a couple hours after welding that I assumed was old age then it got worse. The head ache hit hard and later I felt like my whole body was buzzing.  Tuesday was horrible, and today a lot better.  Still hard to focus though.

What lesson did I learn?  If it looks galvanized, IT IS, and needs to be treated as such.  Don't weld on it.  Bearings can always be regreased.

I got most of it ground off so this was a minor hit.  Don't mess with this stuff; at all.

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Thank you for this, @natenaaron. I've got a line on some galvanized scrap (heavy construction steel), and you just tipped me over from "figure out a way to use it" to "cash it in at the scrap yard".

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Good to see your header posting again but I sure wish it were a better reason!  Uh, body buzz, muscle aches, joint pain and a headache that lasts days are NOT symptoms of the "blue flu" old term for breathing zinc smoke. Galvanizing isn't the only protective plating used and if they came from China I wouldn't be surprised at what they plated them with. Poisoning pwoplw isn't a concern of theirs.

I've run thousands of inches of weld bead on galvy steel and at least as many torching bent up guardrail. The worst symptoms any of the guys complained of were flu-like. Upset stomach, headache and if a heavy exposure coughing up phlegm for a while. The symptoms even in heavy exposures never lasted longer than about noon the next day. 

I think I'd do some web searching on heavy metal exposure and look at: chrome and cadmium symptoms to start with.

I've had the blue flu, "metal fume fever" more times than I can count,  often for maybe 20 years and I've never had nor heard of symptoms like you describe. They don't even sound like an allergic reaction.

Frosty The Lucky. 

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For future reference, please purchase yourself a 3m 6000 series half face respirator or equivalent for when you are welding. It fits on under the welding helmet and the cost isn't that much at around $20. Usd. Compared to 24 hours of misery OR especially a hospital or doctors visit! 

They make different sizes so make sure to get the one that fits you best and learn the fit test And when and how often to change the filters. ( they don't last forever) 

welcome back and be safe ;) 

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*NOTHING* is so cheap as expensive safety equipment! (Here in the USA ER visits are extremely expensive!)

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1 hour ago, Daswulf said:

For future reference, please purchase yourself a 3m 6000 series half face respirator or equivalent for when you are welding. It fits on under the welding helmet and the cost isn't that much at around $20. Usd. Compared to 24 hours of misery OR especially a hospital or doctors visit! 

 ;) 

My reasoning for not wearing a respirator was "It is just a little welding."  It was a day of dumb decision making.

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It's almost too easy to overlook the dangers on simple quick projects. I know I have too. A lot of accidents and injury happen that way. It's a reminder tho. For you and others including myself. 

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Grinding galvanized or plated material puts lots of the dust and fine particles of material into the air, which you breathe. The most of the particles settle on to everything, and it is on your clothes and in your hair. You then stir the particles up again, and they become airborne when they are disturbed, or as you walk past.  The heavy metal poising is accumulative from what I have read.  Consider it a gift that just keeps on giving.

Yes there are those that weld and work with galvanized and coated or plated material every day. Some do it and not get hurt, others do it long enough and have problems later. There is a bunch of nasty stuff added to the flus of welding rods that you need to consider, and avoid.

The only way to win the game is to not play. YMMV

 

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