Jump to content
I Forge Iron

Zinc, Cadmium, Hydrogen Fluoride and other toxic compounds

Recommended Posts

Foreword: It seems every few weeks someone addresses a question to the Forums about the hazards of welding, forging or otherwise heating galvanized (Zinc) or Cadmium coated steel. Whenever this happens there is one or more suggestions to

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you. I really appreciate someone taking the time to remind everyone, once again, no matter how many times we've all been reminded, how dangerous this hobby, work, career can be.

I remember Paw Paw Wilson, I know(not personally, but I know -of- him) from anvilfire.com. His was a terrible tragedy and he was someone who KNEW better. It's a sad thing to see someone go, especially when they're such a treasured part of the community.

I don't know any of you, most likely, and likely none of you need any reminding about how dangerous the things we toy with can be, but I know how stubborn a person can be and I'm glad there's someone like Woody to remind everyone one more time. Who knows what life may be saved or prolonged because of these warnings.

Thanks Woody and I hope everyone takes his post to heart.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

manganese, manganese oxides, manganese dioxide

Potters Manganese Toxicity (a very scary read)

Lawyer: Welding Rods Lawsuits: Manganism and Parkinson's Disease

1 exposure in welding rods (employ fume extraction)
2. exposure in mystery steel alloys (more and more common with recycled steels)

the same applies for chromium, cadmium, nickel ect in recycled "mild steel"
vaporization is an ideal delivery system to the human body, its what makes smoking work so well

however manganese in particular is a much different element than those typical to metal fume fever, its links to Parkinson's type neurological damage fairly well documented, by the time its flushed from the system the damage is done.


Edited by steve sells
deleted quote
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Recently, I had my son go to the local hardware to purchase a 6 in stove pipe elbow.
The elbows at the back of our woodburners take a lot of heat and have to be replaced every year. They pretty much 'burn-out'.

So he comes back with a silvery shiny 6 in. elbow.
I told him it was galvanized and we shouldn't use it.
My son explained that they were out of the black ones and that the guy at the store said it would be alright.

Against my better judgement, we proceded to install the elbow.
As a test, I lit a fire in the stove.
Within minutes,the unmistakeable smell of zinc was in the air.......We had to shut down the stove as best we could and open the doors and windows.
We were forced to leave the house for quite some time.

A while later, the fire had went out.......I replaced the galvanized elbow with a 'black' one, and everything was O K.

The point of all this is that, the general public may not be aware of the dangers of zinc.

And I have to wonder how many other folks have bought the 'shiny' stovepipe!

Edited by jayco
My spellin'
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 months later...

You should be okay with a little al in your forge, provided all it was was al and didn't have something dangerous alloyed with it.

You really need to pay attention to your surroundings and what you're doing. Al weighs 1/3 what steel does it's immediately obvious on picking it up. Not to mention it's a different color all together.

If you can't tell the difference between al and steel how in the world do you expect to make a decent knife? Stay alive?

Slow down, think before you act, look before you leap, etc. etc.

We really don't want to be using YOU as an example of what can get you killed. We will if you kill yourself though, maybe the next new guy will learn to pay attention.

Don't be a Darwin Award recipient.

Then again you're reading this thread, maybe there is hope for you. I'm pulling for you.


Edited by Frosty
Link to comment
Share on other sites

i did not put the aluminum in the forge. i found it lying around and had it near the forge and my mom may have put it in or i could have grabbed it by acident when i was going for wood to feed my forge. although it did melt into something that resebles an elephant. and thanks for pulling for me. i personally think i am too young to die. or it is teenage bravado.

Edited by new guy
forgot to add somthing
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...

Kinda makes me glad my forge is setup out side. When I do manage to get my shop setup in a shed, because I have read all the info posted here, I will make sure that good/proper ventilation is a must.

Thanks to all who have contributed. You will save the lives of those that listen and apply.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...