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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A note to any welders out there. A friend and owner of a welding shop recently got diagnosed with cancer. The doctor said he neede an MIR, but since he's a welder, there is a good chance that he could go blind. Turns out, the tiny pieces of metal created from welding can end up in you eyes(even if you wear goggles) and the magnetic properties of the MIR can make you permanently blind.
If you need an MIR make sure you tell the doctor that you weld and make sure you won't lose your sight in the process.
Just a note I thought you all should know.


cjcrawler
"The Beast"
74CJ,304,D20w/Tera Low 3.15:1, dana30&44wlockrights,fullcage,woods'shafts, 33" BFG MT's
 
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Gosh, and all along I was sure that blindness was caused by something else/wwwthreads_images/icons/wink.gif.

Cage Up, Wheels Down
Jeepfiend
All my Jeeps are in pieces!
 

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every day at work I handle that thoriated tungsten, witht eh big radioactive symbol on it.

and then use the filler rods with the big warning causes cancer/birth defects fumes are hazardous.

welding is a great skill to have and usefull alot when your a Jeeper, but Im pretty sure its not a great choice for a career!

I hope/plan to be in a non-welding profession within a year or so.

thanks for the heads up

OzarkJeep

"Bare foot girls, dancing in the moon light..."
 

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The operative word here is "Magnetic."

A MRI generates a massive magnetic field around the patient. If the patient has have any metal in the body it is going to be attracted to the field coils of the MRI.

Ferrous particles in the eyes are usually not deeply imbedded in the eyes. Particles in welder's eyes can be drawn to those field coils very, very high speeds. The particles come shooting out of the eyes attracted by the field. This unorthodox removal can cause massive eye injury... as you can well imagine. While working as a technical service engineer assinged to a product that imaged the MRI output I had a chance to see an Xray of the eyes of a professional welder. It looked like looking up at the stars at night. That was the most erie Xray I've ever seen in my life.

Every MRI facility I visited ALWAYS checked to see if the patient was, or had been a welder. If they had been... it was off to Xray.

I thought this note was good to read:

Previous Metal in the Eyes - If a patient has EVER had any metal chips or fragments in their eyes from welding or grinding or any accidents of any sort, an eye x-ray must be taken prior to the MRI. Even if the metal fragment was taken out or came out on its own, or if it was 20-30-40 years ago, an x-ray is the only way to confirm there are no fragments remaining. This is important because if there are any small fragments in the eye, it could potentially damage the eyes. We will arrange these orbital x-rays prior to the MRI. If the patient has done welding or grinding but never got metal in their eyes, they do not need orbits. If there is ever any question about this, the x-rays should be taken.

 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
In my experience on an ambulance I've been around the MRI quite a bit. They always have to fill out a survey about the patient that very specifically asks about welding and/or metal in your eyes. A girl at the company took an oxygen bottle attatched to the gurney into the MRI room and the fit hit the shan....The bottle is in a nylon sleeve velcroed to the gurney. The velcro strap ripped off and the bottle shot acrossed the room and stuck to the machine. Took four days to power down the field enough to get the bottle down. That's why we always remove any ferrous metals from our person and leave our wallets out of the room (so the cards don't get demagnetized). Powerful stuff.

--Laugh and the world laughs with you. Cry and the world laughs at you.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Jeez, and I thought all I had to worry about was Chromolly dust. Thanks for the heads up.
Travis

If I don't make it, avenge my death./wwwthreads_images/icons/crazy.gif
 

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Hmmmm. Skeptical Missourian - you know - the "Show-Me" state?

I wonder how these ferrous particles get in the eyes. I just can't figure out HOW the WELDING itself is the cause of the imbedded particles. If the welding itself causes Fe to get imbedded in the eyes - through a full cupped face mask no less - then how does one's skin survive when it is much less protected . . . . . hmmmm . . . . you see my reason for skepticism?

I am thinking that it is the grinding, sanding, filing, etc., that comes with the profession - and often times without ANY eye protection (note Jeff's "parking lot shop" setup below /wwwthreads_images/icons/wink.gif) - that causes this to happen.

(**** And BTW - if my hypothesis is correct, then that should be a good warning for ALL of us if that is truly the case! Even if you don't weld - I am sure you grind, cut, file, etc., metal parts as a Jeep owner often if you do your own work! ****)

There is a non-Jeepin' medical doctor on one of the boards that drops in over here from time to time. I hope he sees this post and can give us some more insight . . .



When you come to the end of your road, get out and lock the hubs in . . .
 

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I am certainly no doctor, but I'll take a stab at it.

Skin is nothing more than regenerating cells. As we generate new skin, old skin is sloughed off and falls away, most of the time in the shower. Therefore if we get something embedded in the skin, it'll eventually work its way out to the surface through the normal growth process.

The lens of the eye is surrounded by a fluid that keeps it wet, because it doesn't regenerate. Case in point, a torn lens on the eye has to be repaired. I punctured my eye a few years ago, but luckily I didn't hit the lens, I just missed it. The eye healed fine thankfully. Should the metal particles be embedded in the eye, it would rip the lens off during an MRI, not a pretty thought.

I'm no doctor, and may be way off base, but that's my understanding of it.

JEEPN
Winter Harbor, Maine
'81 CJ-8 Scrambled, It's a Jeep, Chevy, IHC kinda thing!
'88.5 Zuki, 5" Calmini, Locked, Swamped, Rolled, and just generally broken in right!
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Any history of metal work is enough to warrant a film before MRI. An x-ray is cheap and easy....fixing a damaged eye is often not cheap or easy. I think most of us would know if we have a metal fragment in our eye; however, there is the off chance you got something in there and don't know about it. Did you know that when we take out an appendix we expect 15% of them to be normal (not infected and ready to pop that is). We would rather do unnecessary surgery on 15 people than wait too long to do the required surgery on 1 person. Same thing with the x-rays. The cost of missing is just too high.
Bottom line: for most people on this board I would recommend getting an x-ray before the MRI.

One other thing...There are case studies in the literature where MRI has been used to REMOVE a metallic foreign body from the eye. Later

Bakes
97 Wrangler
90 Bronco
 

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Jeepn -

But at the velocity it would take for those metal fragments to pass through the face mask and become imbedded in the eye - there is nothing for the skin to regenerate! That Fe traveling at that velocity would pass through the skin and through most muscle tissue! I just can't for the life of me believe it is the welding that causes the Fe to become imbedded in the eye - I think it is all the other metal work required before and after the bead is laid. It can't be the smoke or vapor that gets it in there - if so, coupled with your 'no regeneration,' it would leave the welder with a cloud over his eyes after just a decade or so in the profession - and union welders would wear some sort of fully contained breathing apparatus just to spot weld!

Keep in mind that I am "hypothesizing" myself here . . . but I think it is the other aspects of metal work that are responsible for this - and not the act of welding itself.

When you come to the end of your road, get out and lock the hubs in . . .
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
ok how much welding do you need to do to get this stuff in your eyes. i weld every once in a while. i did some today probably wont weld again for a few weeks. am i at risk?

80 cj7 304, WC t-5
 

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This doesn't solve the issue, but it does shed some light on it the matter at hand and adds some support to my theory:
(Better break out the medical dictionary!)

"During 1985, welders submitted 21% of all claims for eye injuries received by the Workers' Compensation Board of Alberta. Since then the proportion of similar claims has remained high. A descriptive study of welder eye injury claims reveals that, although most injuries are reversible (55% of workers return to work in less than 2 days and 95% in less than 7 days), some workers sustain permanent visual impairment. Eye injuries occur most frequently in metal-work industries, and cold particles, most often metal, are the most common source of injury. Preventive measures should stress the importance of wearing eye protection constantly while working with metal pieces and in metal industries. Goggles probably should not be removed upon extinguishing the welding torch." An Abstract of "Welder Eye Injuries" from The Journal Occupational Medicine 1989 Dec; 31 (12): 1003-6.

In speaking of the fumes, it doesn't seem to have any effect on the particles in the eye - but rather time time it takes for the eye to recover from a bright flash of light.

"The effect of welding fumes on ocular readaptation time (RAT) has been investigated. Objective measurements of RAT were obtained from a determination of the recovery time for optokinetic nystagmus following a bright flash of light. Welding electrodes of different types and chemical compositions were used. Welding fumes and the breathed gases were analyzed for particles, and the blood concentration of certain trace elements was determined. The results show that fumes from basic electrodes, containing high amounts of calcium and fluorides, and sometimes copper, produced a marked increase in RAT. The fumes from rutile electrodes, containing only low amounts of these substances, produced no demonstrable prolongation or RAT. Nor was RAT affected by the copper content of the electrodes. Thus the results appear to indicate that fluorides in the fumes produced by the basic electrodes cause the prolongation of RAT. The substances causing this prolongation seem to be bound to fume particles greater than 0.3 micron. Discomfort--nausea and headache--correlated with increased RAT prolongation. But analyses of the ambient air and of trace elements in the blood did not reveal any changes that could be correlated with the effect on RAT. RAT changes measured in conjunction with the inhalation of fumes from basic electrode welding are comparable to those seen after the intake of a therapeutic dose of oxazepam." An abstract of "The effect of welding fumes on ocular readaptation time" from the Scandinavian Journal of Work Environment Health 1980 Jun; 6 (2): 135-45.

All the other journal entries delt with "photic maculopathy," "retinitis photoelectrica," or other injury to the eye due to ultra-violet and infra-red exposure in welding. The other journal entries dealing with the inhalation of fumes mainly discussed kidney diseases and renal (kidney) failure. Inhalation of aluminum dust and smoke seemed to be the most severe - resulting in all sorts of maladies from brain damage to cancer.

Suffice it to say that we must practice the basics:

1) Keep those safety glasses on at all times when we are working with metal
2) Use the proper lens when you weld - arc, MiG, TiG, or whatever
3) Only weld in well-ventilated areas and avoid breathing the fumes



When you come to the end of your road, get out and lock the hubs in . . .
 

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Mike -

I had the same concerns and questions - so I thought I would dig a little myself. In my non-medical non-educated Ozarks hillbilly opinion, I don't think we are at risk because of the welding itself - but rather our laziness of not practicing the basics when working with metals in general. The same old stuff you learned as a kid applies: Don't look at the light - you'll go blind./wwwthreads_images/icons/cool.gif Don't breathe the fumes - it'll make you sicker than a rabid dog./wwwthreads_images/icons/tongue.gif And keep yer blasted goggles on before you gitchyer eye poked out!/wwwthreads_images/icons/wink.gif Often times, it is the professional that has let their guard down due to familiarity and comfortability with what they are doing, or because of job output demands.

When you come to the end of your road, get out and lock the hubs in . . .
 

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This is really great!!!
I am the Poster Child for unsafe work habits.
I admit it, Im guilty. I know how unsafe it is to work with metal( especialy grinding) without safety goggles, and I even had some close by. I regularly get debris in my eyes while working under the rig without gogles too. This all coming from the man responsible for everyone safety on my jobsites. I would without a second thought, send a man home for such practices, and even fire them for such repeated offenses. I dont know why I dont practice the same level of safety when working on my personal time and projects. At home I find myself often welding and fabricating in shorts, sandals, and no shirt or gloves. I do use a hood and gloves when I weld, I guess thats a start.
Oh well, Ill let them know my unprofessional practices when/if I need an MRI, and hope for the best.

Jeff
89 YJ
Wow, you can get a nice tan on your arms, from welding with no shirt on.
 
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