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I Forge Iron



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Hi all,
I was reading another thread called "first forge" and some of you kind of spooked me with the vapor comments. I pretty much educated myself via the internet about safety at work dealing with fumes, being I started out as an iron worker / welder. Of course I've welded miles of galvanized metal, and tried my best to keep my head out of the plum, but working inside with nothing but a MIG welder that gets kind of hard to do. I've never really suffered from anything like metal smoke fever or anything other than a cough and a scratchy throat after a long day with poor ventilation. If there's any long term damage or anything that might pop up a few years from now that some of you may know of that I missed, I would appreciate it if you could educate me further in that matter.
May be even a little safety thread would be a good thing for everyone to peek at.

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Thnx Highlander,
that pretty much covers what I already knew about it, but people were talking about staying away from galvanized metal like it was mustard gas, so I thought maybe someone knows something I missed along the way. I'm sure there is, I'ld just hate to find it out the hard way because of ignorance. I'm sure that every single professional welder out there has on more than one occasion, thrown caution to the four winds so they could get to the bar in time to see the Dallas Cowboys kick butt again, but I've never heard of deaths related to MFF. Heavy metal poisoning is a different story though.

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Ami, Jim "PawPaw" Wilson died from complications associated with COPD, and a bunch of other lung problems and a snout full of zinc fumes. He knew the danger and sent others out of the area. You can search IForgeIron for the details.

Zinc fumes, like many other things, can be handled properly by trained people. But any training preceided by *hay y'all watch this* and then posted on the internet does not qualify as proper training.

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I totally agree with that! Safety isn't a game. That's why I researched the hazards of the job. "Hey yall watch this" is how people learn how to loose fingers and eye balls. Unfortunately sometimes their lives as well. But when we're doing this day in day out, we skip some safety precautions to get the job done faster (most of us at least) and that's when the poo poo hits the fan.

Anywho, my question was pretty much answered.
Thnx y'all.

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Only thing that I can really say to help you on this subject is, if possible, don't work with zinc coated metal ever. It's what I am going to do. I won't (highschooler) weld for a living, but blacksmith a lot, and I refuse to work with anything zinc, unless some else safely gets rid of the zinc coating.

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Ami, there is a host of informationn out there about the hazards of various substances.

These are links to a couple of chemical databases The Chemical Database

Haz-Map: Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Agents

There is also a vast aray of information available with a google search.

Before you deal with any chemical get all the infomation you can on it. Get and read the MSDS.

Remember that you can act in haste and repent at your leisure. Many chemicals have long term effect that don't manifest themselves for years.

In the emergency response classes I used to teach I would always ask "how many repetitions does it take for an incredibly stupid act to become standard procedure?" The answer is Two. If it don't blow up and kill you the first time you will do it again. If you get away with it twice someone will write a procedure telling everybody how to do it.

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