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Up Topic Welding Industry / Technical Discussions / TIG Welder Safety Measure
- - By kk_chiong (*) Date 04-25-2003 14:56
Did anyone know the type of medicine that to be taken for a TIG Welder. This concern is mainly due to the the inhalation of argon gas release during the TIG welding process. Actually, I ask thi squestion for a friend of mine who conduct a lot of TIG welding process everyday. Asking the ordinary clinic in town, the doctor does not know what medicine is recommended. Please advice if you have further info. Thnaks in advance. Regards,
KK Chiong
Parent - - By jwright650 (*****) Date 04-25-2003 18:12
Ask your Argon supplier for the MSDS sheets on this product that he/she sells. (MSDS = Material Safety Data Sheet) All that info is included on this document.
John Wright
Parent - - By jwright650 (*****) Date 04-25-2003 18:29
Here are some links to sites about argon gas, you will need to know what grade argon you are using:
1st is a link describing MSDS sheets
2nd is a link to MSDS sheets on argon gases (you have to enter argon gas in the search field)

Hope this helps,
John Wright
Parent - By kk_chiong (*) Date 04-26-2003 16:07

Thanks for your valuable advice and I will inform my friend on this matters.

Thanks for you help,

KK Chiong
Parent - - By CHGuilford (****) Date 04-25-2003 20:08
About 2 years ago, my company did a lot of research on welding gases and fumes. Based on that, I would say the problem might not be cause by the Argon itself. Argon is inert and non-poisonous by itself. More likely your friend is ill because of the metal fumes and/or ozone.

Metal fume is present with nearly any welding process and may not be readily visible. (The low smoke wires are still putting a lot of bad stuff in the air, you just don't see it as easily.) The MSDS for the filler metals and for the base metals will provide the info on what your friend has been exposed to. If he has been welding on exotic metals the problem could be more serious. Otherwise, he should feel better with time but either way he should listen to his doctor.

Ozone is generated anytime there is an electric arc. An argon shielding environment generates more ozone that other gases will. Nitrogen shielding environments generate even more ozone than argon does. (Plasma cutters are high level generators, even with compressed air because air is mostly nitrogen.) Ozone is not filtered out by respirator cartridges and it is responsible for the "argon" smell welders notice when TIG welding. Supposedly, there are minimal long term effects from exposure.

A low velocity air flow thru the welding area should be enough to avoid health problems in most cases. Enough to move the contamination away without blowing away shielding gases while welding is the key. Keeping the face out of the fume plume while welding is also important. And it is getting more common to see welders wearing half face respirators.

I wish the best for you and your friend,
Chet Guilford
Parent - - By kk_chiong (*) Date 04-26-2003 16:12
Dear Guilford,

Thanks for your info and I will forwards this info to him.

Thanks & Regards,

KK Chiong
Parent - - By jwright650 (*****) Date 04-28-2003 13:27
Oxygen depletion is another concern with heavy argon usage in areas that are not well ventilated. Argon will displace the oxygen and you can feel ill from that as well.
Another thought,
John Wright
Parent - - By Lawrence (*****) Date 04-28-2003 14:36
Safety check,

Argon, Helium, C02, Nitrogen or any other shielding/purge gas while inert and non-toxic can displace breathing oxygen, presenting unsafe situations possibly leading to aspxyation. If breathing air is displaced by inert gas in a confined space the worker will NOT become dizzy or light headed, they will simply loose conciousness and die if rescued.

On a lighter note I have seen apprentices lined up and made to stand on their heads to empty the argon from their lungs at the end of a long day.... I'm sure such hazing never occurs in these enlightened times.
Parent - - By jwright650 (*****) Date 04-28-2003 14:53
In your "lighter note", you referred to hazing of newbies. Is that like sending the new guy into the "basement" after the "beam stretcher" when he cuts something too short? Or into the "attic" after the "sky hook"? Or the wooded welding rods?
John Wright
Parent - By RonG (****) Date 04-28-2003 15:51
Argon is heavier than air, stand em on his head (just kidding).

Treat it like a drowning because thats what it is.
Parent - By Ken Dougherty (**) Date 04-29-2003 05:54
Or to the flight line for "prop wash."
Parent - - By 49DegreesNorth (**) Date 05-01-2003 00:33

I think Chet hits the nail on the head. Argon is totally inert -- it will displace oxygen, but it is the metal fumes that are a killer. Zinc and chrome especially.

Which makes me wonder why welding helmets typically will not accomodate repirators easily...

Parent - By kk_chiong (*) Date 05-02-2003 13:58
Thanks for your advice and those other advices, I think for time being, the best way is to do the prevention works i.e. 1). Keep head away from the welding fumes, 2). Blow some small volume of fresh air towards the welder, 3). Wear proper aspirators during performing TIG welding. Hope this conclusion is helpful to those require some attention during TIG welding.
Up Topic Welding Industry / Technical Discussions / TIG Welder Safety Measure

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