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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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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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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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