air filtration

Source Capture vs. Ambient: Two Important Air Filtration Methods

Welding is a process where there are many different methods, such as shielded metal arc, gas metal arc and submerged arc. Since the practice involves the use of sophisticated tools and equipment, workplaces have to ensure their employees are protected at all times. Welders often shield themselves by wearing protective clothing, in addition to a goggles and welding helmets. However, workplaces must also ensure their air filtration systems are properly working because the fumes from welding can become quite hazardous. Luckily, two filtration methods exist: source capture and ambient. Each filtration system has unique traits that workplaces need to be aware of.

benefits of source capture and ambient to welders

Dangers of Welding

Even though workers can protect themselves while welding, the process still results in other side effects that can be potentially dangerous to an individual’s health. To ensure welders are protected while working, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has developed standards that building management must abide by.

For example, welding standards for construction industries are quite thorough. Per section 1926.353(c)(1) of OSHA’s Safety and Health Regulations for Construction, any welders working in an enclosed space must do so only if the local ventilation system meets OSHA standards. One of the agency’s rules states that oxygen must not be used for ventilation reasons. If, sufficient ventilation is not possible, employees must be outfitted with air line respirators.

Employers must ensure workers are protected because welding can lead to severe illnesses for workers. Most notable is metal fume fever, which is caused by exposure to fumes. This illness leads to flu-like symptoms, and individuals will typically experience periods of fatigue, nausea, headaches, chills, high fever, chest pain and more. According to Weld Guru, a metallic or sweet taste can also develop in the mouth, and this will distort the taste of food and liquids.

More severe metal fume fever symptoms may include vomiting, skin rash and convulsions. But for most individuals who contract the illness, their symptoms will go away within 24 to 48 hours. Individuals will feel completely healthy after four days.

Unfortunately, the exact cause of metal fume fever is not known, but there is reason to believe that workers often breathing metal oxide fumes could be a contributing factor. This may then lead to an immune reaction that causes modified proteins in the lung to act as allergens.

Metal Guru also stated zinc, magnesium and copper tend to result in the dangerous fumes workers may breath.

Source-Capture Ventilation

The best way to make sure workers do not fall ill from metal fume fever is to have ventilation systems installed throughout the area where welding takes place.

“Source capture through fume extraction should be utilized in order to remove fumes.”

As such, source capture through fume extraction should be utilized in order to remove fumes created from welding. With source capture, harmful and dangerous particulates are minimized before they can cause damage to a worker’s respiratory system.

Four types of source capture ventilation work best to protect welders:

  • Fume arm systems
  • Tip extraction
  • Overhead hood
  • Downdraft tables

A building’s manager will have to decide which type of source capture system works best throughout a building’s setup. For example, overhead hoods are suitable for large workspaces where smoke and fumes have to be contained. These systems then isolate the welding fumes to make for easier breathing. As a comparison, downdraft tables are built to draw fumes down and away from the worker as he or she breathes.

There are some downsides to source capture systems, however. In particular, managers may find it difficult to install these types of ventilation systems due to existing building infrastructure that might not be able to be reconfigured. In other instances, individual welders may prefer to have freely movable hoods that can provide a sufficient airflow and remove any fumes.

Ambient Air Filtration

Ambient air filtration systems can be installed in overhead spaces to draw fumes upward. From there, the air can be circulated to create an airflow that will maximize the benefits of clean air.

While there is a clear distinction between ambient and source capture air ventilation systems, leadership and building management should not think of one as a replacement for the other. Instead, source capture and ambient systems should be used together for maximum benefits.

With metal fume fever affecting welders across the country, managers have to ensure they are doing everything possible to protect workers. This involves abiding by OSHA and other compliance regulations, in addition to installing the necessary air ventilation systems.

Together, ambient and source capture systems will help alleviate the dangers welders face.

Contact Air Impurities Removal Systems for more information and ways to protect welders from metal fume fever. Employers will find numerous options to choose from, including mobile and bench-top fume extractors and downdraft tables.

Longevity of Museum Artifacts Depends on Indoor Air Quality

Longevity of Museum Artifacts Depends on Indoor Air Quality 1

Museums are home to some of the world’s most beloved objects. Regardless of the type of displays or exhibits, curated pieces must be cared for scrupulously. To achieve this, indoor air quality must be clean and free of impurities.

The preservation of artwork and historical artifacts is the central duty of curators and museum administrators. While many items are showcased in a protective case, most display items are not, so facility operators must ensure that an environment conducive to indoor air pollution does not exist. A contaminated IAQ is a threat to precious objects, especially those historical in nature. If lighting, temperature, and humidity levels are less than ideal, deterioration can take place.

According to The National WWII Museum in New Orleans, temperatures that are either too hot or too cold can damage materials such as wood, rubber, and metal. Therefore, artifacts should be stored in spaces with proper ventilation and climate-controlled filtration systems. In addition, areas such as basements, attics, and sheds should be avoided when warehousing important items. While such places may seem logical for storage, environmental conditions such as poor humidity and air circulation can encourage a collection of pollutants that could harm precious goods.

Humidity represents the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere. High humidity can quickly damage important documents, as mold and pests are particularly fond of paper, parchment, and textiles. Even metal can be affected, as high moisture levels can cause it to rust over time. But low humidity can also be problematic. Objects can become brittle and prone to breakage if there is not enough moisture in the air.

Maintaining Good Indoor Air Quality

Poor air circulation such as a lack of constantly moving, purified air allows chemicals, vapors, and other impurities to damage not only documents, but also items such as wood frames, metal sculptures, and marble statues.

To protect their inventory, museum workers should follow specific air quality measures to prevent their indoor environment from turning hazardous. For example, textiles and paper-products should be stored in climate-controlled areas, and according to The National WWII Museum, documents should be kept at temperatures below 72 degrees Fahrenheit and at a humidity level ranging from 50 to 55 percent.

The last line of defense against environmental damage to museum objects is the use of high-quality air filtration equipment. For buildings already equipped with these systems, regular maintenance should be employed to guarantee all components continue to function properly.

Air Impurities Removal Systems, Inc. takes pride in the service they provide to their customers in the museum industry. Please contact us today for a FREE clean air analysis from one of their highly skilled environmental specialists.