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Fume Extraction

Dust and Fume Health Risks

Shawn Hailstone - Wednesday, June 20, 2012

 

A lot of today's dust and fume are hazardous to our health if inhaled.
Over exposure can lead to long term and also serious medical problems
such as occupational asthma or other effects like:

 

 

 

Laser


When working with a laser on different materials fumes arise. These are known as Laser Generated Air Contaminants (LGAC).

Problems by Laser Generated Air Contaminants (LGACs):


Particles

- Small particles, almost all are respirable. (Particles are mainly below 1μm in diameter).

- Particulate that may cause allergic, carcinogenic or toxic effects, e.g. chrome and nickel from stainless steel.

Gases
- Problems are usually associated with plastics that give off VOC.

- Most of these have Workplace Exposure Limits according to COSHH (control of substances hazardous to health). 
 
 

 

Soldering


The basic idea of the transition to lead-free soldering is to reduce strain on the environment. For the operator the hand soldering process got more dangerous. The lead in the solder wire is gone, but to get the solder wire to moisten, more flux is added in the lead-free solder wire.

The temperature that is needed to create a solder joint of good quality using lead-free solder, will cause a stronger reaction within the flux and a bigger amount of particles will be created in the solder smoke. Lead-free soldering gives up to 250 % more particles in the size 0.5-1.0 micron, which is the particle size that is most dangerous to inhale. In addition to particles, solder smoke can contain isocyanates, aldehydes and other unhealthy substances.


Lead free soldering cause up to 250 % more particles in the breathing zone. 20 million particles 0,3 - 1,0 microns/cubic foot or about 700 million particles/cubic meter.

 

 

 

 

Health problems that are related to particles and gases in electronic industry:


Nosebleeds

- Early indication and common in electronic industry.

Respiratory effect

- Occupational Asthma or make existing asthmatic condition worse
- Irritation to the eyes and upper respiratory tract

Early symptoms are:

  • Watery eyes
  • Runny or blocked nose
  • Sore throat
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing or breathing difficulties

Test:

Soldering with lead-free solder wire and a spot suction placed near the source. 90 minutes later the net, mounted in the nozzle, was totally clogged up.

 

 

Solvents


If you get exposed to organic solvents for a long time you can get:


- Chronicle damage on the nervous system, which can reduce the concentration and memory, give personality changes and permanent tiredness

- Reduced sensibility

- Restless legs and arms

- At prolonged and repeated contact with for example organic solvents, the skin will be irritated and dried up. This can give rise to non-allergic eczema. 
 
 

Glueing


The main health risks with glueing are:

- Skin irritation
- Skin drying
- Allergic contact eczema
- Inhalation and asthmatic problems from dusts and solvents
Polyurethane glue:

Contains isocyanates. When heating polyurethane glues it will create isocyanates and that can cause:

  • Asthma
  • Hyper sensitivity to isocyanates
  • Breathing problems to other smells like, perfumes, fumes from cars or tobacco smoke
  • Irritating to skin and eyes
  • Can give reduced lung capacity

 

Acrylate glues:

The basic materials for these glues are mostly acrylate-, metha acrylate- or cyano acrylate esters.

  • Can give contact allergy

 

Epoxy:
  • Skin irritation
  • Allergic contact eczema

 

SILICON GLUES:

Residue product: Oxime, alcohol (alcoxy methanol, methoxy) or acetone

Oxime:
  • Avoid contact with skin and consumption
  • Can cause cancer
  • Causes allergic reaction with skin
  • Can give serious damage at eye contact

 

Acetone:
  • Irritating to the eyes
  • Can give dry skin and blisters
  • Fumes can give tiredness

 

Methanol:
  • Hazardous for humans at low concentration
  • Poisoned at skin contact, consumption and inhaling of fumes
  
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