Fume is a term that refers to airborne gas and particulate matter that is produced from burning or pyrolysis. This form of air pollution is a danger to health. In addition to being unpleasant to the lungs, fumes can also cause occupational disease. If you are exposed to fumes from metal working, the following information is important to your safety.
Occupational disease caused by metal fumes
Metal fume fever is an occupational disease caused by the inhalation of metal fumes. It is a mild, flu-like illness that generally resolves on its own, but repeated exposure can lead to chronic lung disease and death. For this reason, prevention is essential at the workplace and in the home. The medical profession can play a significant role by educating workers and implementing appropriate controls.
There is a high risk of occupational disease caused by metal fumes, particularly for those working in the construction industry. Studies have shown that workers exposed to metal fumes are at an increased risk for developing invasive pneumococcal disease. Vaccination programs for metal-working workers are one way to reduce the risk of developing these diseases.
Exposure to metal fumes is one of the most common causes of this disease. Polymer fumes, especially those that contain fluorine, can also cause it. These fumes can cause respiratory illnesses and pulmonary edema. The symptoms of polymer fume fever usually develop after four to ten hours of exposure, but they may not appear until the end of a shift. In contrast, metal fume fever can occur on multiple occasions and can lead to tachyphylaxis if the exposure is prolonged.
Although metal fume fever is rare, there are still many cases of it. The symptoms are similar to those of influenza, which is why a detailed occupational history is essential to make a proper diagnosis. A chest radiograph may show mild vascular congestion, while a CT scan may show diffuse patchy infiltrates. Laboratory studies are usually not required but may reveal elevated erythocyte sedimentation rate and leukocytosis in severe cases. Symptoms are treated with supportive care. If the symptoms persist after 48 hours, workplace exposure assessment should be done by a clinical toxicologist or occupational medicine specialist.
Tests to ensure a fume hood is operating properly
There are several tests that should be performed on fume hoods to ensure they are operating properly. These tests include the face velocity and the amount of contained air that comes out of the vents. The testing also looks at the monitor performance and tracking capabilities. If these are not properly working, you should have your fume hood inspected by an EH&S expert.
A gas containment test is another test used to make sure a fume hood is operating properly. In this test, a mannequin is placed outside the fume hood with a device to measure the amount of harmful gases in the air. A certain amount of gas is released into the hood and the mannequin records the amount of gas that escapes each minute. The device then reports how well the fume hood contains the gas. These tests are the best way to determine the efficiency of fume hoods.
Testing fume hoods is vital in ensuring they are operating safely and properly. If they fall outside of the prescribed values, they should be repaired immediately. The test results should be monitored regularly, assessing the effect of any adjustments to the airflow velocity. If the results are good, they should meet the requirements for certification.
The ASHI published standard specifies a test procedure for evaluating the performance of a fume hood. Using this standard, a manufacturer can ensure that their fume hoods comply with ASHRAE standards.
Cleaning a fume hood
Cleaning a fume hood is vital to keep it safe and in tip-top shape. It is critical to make sure the hood is completely decontaminated before any work is performed inside of it. This step is only required if the fume hood is being used for inside work; it is not necessary to decontaminate the hood for outside work. You should also make sure that you wear proper PPE while working inside of it, such as a lab coat, gloves, and eye protection. If there is an accident or malfunction, you should remove the fume hood from service until the problem is fixed.
Fume hoods have a sash that rises and falls, shielding the user from airborne contaminants. This sash is raised and lowered by a chain and pulley system that moves up and down along tracks mounted inside the wall of the hood. Generally, the sash is raised approximately 18 inches above the work surface. When in use, the sash should be fully closed. This prevents contaminants from leaking into the surrounding area, improving air quality and decreasing energy consumption.
It is important to regularly check the filters in a fume hood. If there is no airflow in the hood, the filter is not functioning properly. If there is a buildup of material inside, clean the filter and replace it. A clogged filter will only increase the risk of contamination. In addition, you should make sure the fume hood is functioning properly and that all panels and baffles are in the right places. If you notice any of these problems, do not use the fume hood for work.