INDOOR welding with 6013 electrodes

I sometimes weld with 6013 electrodes in my garage.
Am I subjecting myself to huge health risks?
What about other electrodes?
I suppose that TIG welding steel is safe.
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Igor, I weld inside as you know. Outside of the third hand sprouting out of my forehead and growing a tail I see no ill effects with the range hood on.
All the best,
Fraser Competition Engines Chicago, IL. Long Beach, CA.
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The fume from steel arc welding processes isn't particularly hazardous. That's even assessed as such in colleges, which is really some incredible statement. Now even I would say "in moderation". Blackened nostrils every day is probably not good.
It checks out like this:
Iron oxide simply is not hazardous and the fluxes are fairly benign.
So fume extraction through some if-necessary home-made fan and duct/pipe arrangement and you are fine.
The only big question-mark is self-shielding Flux-Cored-Wire. The barium content has a big question mark, and anecdotally I hear that you feel a bit sick ("bilious") after a short exposure.
I particularly hate the fume you get when you weld oily steel with MIG (or other arc welding processes). It wouldn't be expected to be good for you and you don't feel good - yet a lot of welding jobs seem to have places swirling with burned-oil fume. You often find this when you are using cold-rolled sheet steel or bright thin-walled pipe - they are often oiled to stop them rusting. Black hot-rolled steel - they are not oiled and the mill-scale stops them rusting anyway.
BTW - in the Sheffield & Rotherham area, where I come from (special steel making area in Britain), in days of old when electric arc furnace steelworks produced huge plumes of "smoke"/fume, life expectancy was no worse than for a working-class area with questionable diet, cigarette-smoking and huge-scale beer-drinking (upper 60's/70's) but a general accelerated tooth erosion (through the gritty nature of the settling dust?) was observed. The steelmaking slag/flux is essentially the same as "basic"/low-hydrogen/xx15,xx16,xx18 flux, which implies the calcium fluoride in lime-based flux is checked-out as having no observable effect, over a big population sample.
Root-running a butt-weld, "keyholing" with 6011's, there is a huge amount of fume/smoke coming from the back side of the weld, yet I don't feel unwell at any time - even when I had nostrils so blackened I used to point the shower head up my nostrils to clean them when I got home. I am generally healthy-living and feel bilious if I consume even a small amount of a lot of coloured-and-flavoured children's sweets and drinks, to put it in perspective...
Richard Smith
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Richard Smith
I've pretty much quit using 6013 in any closed space. Just too stinky. And both the smell and the fumes linger. I don't believe they pose a major health hazard.
Ignoramus30105 wrote:
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Thanks, Richard and everyone. I am less concerned now. It's been over 2 years since the last time I ate any sweets.
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FWIW, this morning I was MIG welding in my garage and set two rags on fire. I smelled them and put them out, no harm done, but I decided to move the whole operation outside...
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Er... excuse me.
As someone who makes his living in the world of litigation there HAVE been cases involving allegations of life spans shortened by exposure to stick welding arc fumes.
I don't know if those cases have anything to do with a particular electrode such as 6013.
But I don't know that they don't. I might suggest you search the web for the proper buzz words such as "welding electrode litigation" or sumpin' similar.
It is my personal opinion that some of the nice people in here tend to be too alarmist. So I don't want to be chicken little.
On the other hand, I try to keep my punkin' haid outta that plume when I'm welding. And it's hard to do because I tend to want to stick my head exactly in it so I can see better.
Like somebody said, if the inside of your nose is black at night that cannot possibly be a good thing.
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My nose gets like that a lot.
Fortunately, turning on a light relieves the condition.
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Artemia Salina

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