• Kristin Thompson

3 Ways to Increase Welding Shop Air Quality


Welding can be a dangerous job. Working with high temperatures and flame increase the opportunity of burns to the skin and welder flash to the eyes. However, a much less noticeable but equally dangerous hazard involves welding fume.

Welding fumes are formed when a metal is heated above its boiling point and its vapours condense into very fine, airborne particles that can cause both acute and long term chronic effects to your health, especially when inhaled.

Here are 3 ways to develop a better breathing environment in your welding shop.

1. Use Low Emission Filler Metals

Welding consumables can generate hazardous decomposition products during use and can account for up to 90% of the welding fume created. However, a careful selection of consumables can make a big difference in the air quality of your shop.

Hobart offers the “Element” line of low manganese flux cord wires engineered for performance and safety compliance. The wires produce manganese emission well below any other gas-shielded flux-cored wires on the market today without sacrificing the wires reliability or performance.

Hobart Element™ Products Vs. Standard Wires – Significant Reduction In Manganese Levels


2. Installing centralized Ventilation or Fume Extraction Equipment.

By far one of the most effective and efficient methods of welding fume removal is the incorporation of a fume extractor. Adjustable to your work space, a fume extractor will withdraw and filter out fume at the source, reducing the risk of contamination to the surrounding work area.

Nederman provides a myriad of products for your welding fume extraction needs. From single welding mobile carts with adjustable extension arms to complete shop-wide extraction systems.


3. Use Personal Respiratory Protection.

In many cases, ventilation and low emission consumables will not eliminate exposure levels completely. Therefore, the use of personal respiratory protection is not only wise but required by many government regulated health administrations.

Miller Electric offers a comprehensive line of personal respirators, from disposable or half-mask designs all the way up to Powered Air Purifying Respirators (watch the video below for more details).


With the implementation of one or all of these options, you can be reassured that you and your co-workers or employees are breathing easier.