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Andrew_G
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Posted: 30 June 2018 at 11:40am | IP Logged Quote Andrew_G

Hi all,
A number of you have mentioned in passing that you have fume extractors. I'm interested in:
a)the need for them and
b)what members use.

I only do small amounts of soldering (the odd kit build and mainly veroboard "creations") - nothing "commercial".
I currently have a chest infection (which we are still tracking down) - whilst I don't for a second think it is my soldering as we are about to build a new house it is easy to incorporate a ceiling exhaust fan (if warranted) or get a simple desktop extractor or fan.

Any comments? Cheers,


Andrew


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Boppa
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Posted: 30 June 2018 at 12:31pm | IP Logged Quote Boppa

I hardly ever bother unless its a really large pcb
I used one at work, but then I often made 10000 solder joints in a day....

For home use, I just use my homemade fan (12v computer fan fitted with a filter) and open a window
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Posted: 30 June 2018 at 1:38pm | IP Logged Quote TassyJim

A quick google search for solder fumes danger" gave plenty of information.
One worth a read is
https://www.cmu.edu/ehs/Laboratory-Safety/chemical-safety/documents/Lead%20Soldering%20Safety%20Guidelines.pdf

A brief extract:
Quote:
Soldering with lead (or other metals used in soldering) may produce fumes that are hazardous. In addition, using flux containing rosin (also called colophony) produces solder fumes that, if inhaled, can result in occupational asthma or make existing asthmatic conditions worsen. The fumes can also cause eye and upper respiratory tract irritation.


Respiratory problems are something you will not wish it on anyone.
My last lung function test results start with "Airflow of moderate severity".
I haven't done enough soldering to blame it for my problems but I do wish I had used an extractor more often. Every little bit helps.

Jim



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Posted: 30 June 2018 at 1:46pm | IP Logged Quote Grogster

I use one of these from Jaycar.

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Andrew_G
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Posted: 01 July 2018 at 10:26am | IP Logged Quote Andrew_G

Jim, Boppa and Grogs - many thanks.
Jim - the article is quite useful and I can relate to its "be aware but not necessarily alarmed" theme. The bits about ingesting Pb etc. being the main problem, and the need to wash ones hands are very relevant.

It seems to me that (in my situation) I don't need to build in extractor fan(s) but that a simple fan like those that Grogs and Boppa mention would be adequate - and portable (eg for my glues in the garage etc.).

Thanks again,

Andrew
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TassyJim
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Posted: 01 July 2018 at 1:19pm | IP Logged Quote TassyJim

Andrew_G wrote:

It seems to me that (in my situation) I don't need to build in extractor fan(s) but that a simple fan like those that Grogs and Boppa mention would be adequate - and portable (eg for my glues in the garage etc.).

That is the way I went too. A simple 12V computer fan to suck the fumes away from your face works but the Jaycar unit, with it's filter is more family friendly.
If I was building the house now, I would put in a room extractor fan to use when the smoke comes out of a project.
We have fully ducted air-con so any smells are shared around the house.

Jim

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Andrew_G
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Posted: 01 July 2018 at 2:18pm | IP Logged Quote Andrew_G

Jim,

Quote:
We have fully ducted air-con so any smells are shared around the house

sound advice!

Looks like two fans. The extractor fan will need to vent outside rather than just into a wall/ceiling.

Thanks, Andrew


(What smoke coming out of the project . . . - it happens less frequently now but still does. It really does stink and SHMBO has little tolerance to it (and hence to me)).
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Posted: 01 July 2018 at 3:35pm | IP Logged Quote Paul_L

More than three decades ago a bunch of guys who worked for various agencies of the federal government and carried plastic ids to prove it descended on hangar 14 at JFK where Pan Am employed some 300 electronic techs and tried very hard to prove that hazardous conditions existed.

OSHA wanted to get the lead out of the solder but the FAA said no way. Then they spent two months analyzing the fumes generated by soldering and figured out that rosin flux smells pretty bad.

Then they discovered that we had a total of 200 pounds of mercury exposed to high vacuum and slightly above ambient temperatures in 50 manometers used to calibrate altimeters, airspeed indicators and central air data computers. They tried very hard to find mercury fumes in the shop air but could detect none.

https://nvlpubs.nist.gov/nistpubs/Legacy/MONO/nbsmonograph8.pdf
http://www.schwien.com/photo_1024.jpg

Then they started looking for fumes from the chemicals used in the dozen L&R watch master parts cleaning machines.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EG2oV9u96wM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qtQhRKPgjY4

It turned out that all those solutions were aqueous so that lead them nowhere. They did discover that the dark green cleaning solution and the ammonia bearing solution smelled really weird.

Our own medical department suggested that we should provide small fans to disperse the smoke from the rosin based flux if a technician found that his eyes started tearing when exposed, and when solvent blasting small parts with a compressed air gun something like this

https://www.amazon.com/Engine-Cleaning-Solvent-Sprayer-Automotive/dp/B01L7AQJ88

we should then install a spray booth something like this.

https://marathonspraybooths.com/products/small-parts-booths/small-parts-booth-spb-30/

One of our guys did something like this using fiberglass panels and it worked just fine.

https://gerry1of1.wordpress.com/cheapo-paint-booth/

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Chopperp
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Posted: 01 July 2018 at 4:42pm | IP Logged Quote Chopperp

Andrew_G wrote:
It really does stink and SHMBO has little tolerance to it (and hence to me)).

Same here. . "@#$%%^ What's that smell?" or "Poo, you stink, go have a shower!!"

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Posted: 01 July 2018 at 4:59pm | IP Logged Quote Grogster

Those Jaycar units really do work well. You can buy replacement filter packs for that thing. I tested the one I have here when I first got it, by melting a heap of 60/40 solder right in front of it. ALL the fumes were sucked into the unit, but not a single whiff of smoke came out the other side of it. I think the filters really do work on this thing.

The only thing that annoys me about this unit, is that it must sit on your bench somewhere close to the work, and that can actually be a problem if space is short.

I think that the exact same thing mounted on a swing-arm unit would be great, as then you could position it exactly where you wanted it.

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Andrew_G
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Posted: 01 July 2018 at 5:10pm | IP Logged Quote Andrew_G

Hi Grogs, how noisy is it? (I'm pretty deaf anyway but thought I'd ask).

Cheers, Andrew
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Posted: 01 July 2018 at 5:13pm | IP Logged Quote Grogster

Reasonably quiet. It is a 120mm fan, but it does make SOME noise. It is not silent. However, it is also not really loud or anything. A difficult question to answer.

I do have a dB meter - I could measure it for you.

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