The second line of defence for a welder against harmful fume is the Air Fed Welding Mask, with Foster offering a number of clean air options from the established Speedglas Adflo helmet to the Foster Prem-Air system.
Operators not wearing an Air fed welding helmet, need to know about welding fume & it's harmful effects: Until recently, stainless steel welding fume was seen as more harmful than mild steel fume, as it contains a higher chromium and nickel content. However, in February 2019, the Health & Safety Executive issued a warning around all welding fume, including Mild Steel, linking it to lung cancer. There is no known safe level of exposure to fume and we urge all users to review their respiratory protective equipment & local exhaust ventilation.
It is important to tackle welding fume in the workplace in two stages; Firstly, make sure welding fume released is controlled adequately by installing LEV & secondly, protect the welder from breathing in any residual welding fume by issuing an air fed welding mask.
Your choice of Air fed welding helmet should consider a number of factors such as; welding filter specification(clear view technology), headgear, grinding options and level of protection. You can maker deeper assessments before buying your air fed mask around PAPR battery charging times, particle filter life, blower unit weight & the general cost of consumables. If you are a spectacle wearer, it is important to fit test the welding helmet or ensure you can fit an extra magnifying lens.