If you are a metalworker or have a job that involves exposure to metal fumes, you may be at risk of developing metal fume fever. Metal fume fever is a condition that can occur when one is exposed to metal fumes, usually from welding. It is a serious condition that can cause several symptoms and can even be fatal in some cases. In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about metal fume fever.
A Brief Overview of Metal Fume Fever
Metal fume fever is a condition that can develop when a person is exposed to metal fumes. The majority of cases occur in welders, but it can also occur in those who work with other metals such as zinc and brass. The condition is also sometimes referred to as “brass founders’ ague,” “zinc shakes,” or “Monday morning fever.”
The inhalation of metal fumes causes metal fume fever. The most common metal that is responsible for causing the condition is zinc, but other metals such as copper, iron, and magnesium can also cause it. The condition is not caused by exposure to lead or mercury but can be caused by exposure to their fumes. Inhalation of metal fumes causes an immune reaction in the body that leads to the development of metal fume fever.
The Symptoms of Metal Fume Fever
The symptoms of metal fume fever can vary from person to person. They can also range in severity, from mild to severe. The most common symptom of metal fume fever is a flu-like illness that develops within 24 to 48 hours after exposure to metal fumes. Symptoms of the flu-like illness include fever, chills, headaches, muscle aches, and fatigue. The illness usually lasts for three to five days and will resolve on its own.
In some cases, the flu-like illness can progress to a more severe form of metal fume fever. This form of the condition is characterized by shortness of breath, chest pain, and coughing up blood. It can also lead to kidney damage and respiratory failure. However, in some rare cases, the condition can also lead to permanent lung damage. This form of metal fume fever is rare but can be fatal in some cases.
How to Prevent Metal Fume Fever?
The best way to prevent metal fume fever is to avoid exposure to metal fumes. If you work with metals, be sure to install a fume extractor and always wear a respirator when working. If you are exposed to metal fumes, be sure to seek medical attention as soon as possible and remove yourself from the exposure.
Metal fume fever is a serious condition that can have potentially fatal consequences. However, it is also a preventable condition. Avoiding exposure to metal fumes and knowing how to test your fume extraction system can help to ensure that you and your workers stay safe.
With the help of this guide, you now know everything there is to know about metal fume fever. Remember, the best way to prevent this condition is to avoid exposure to metal fumes. However, if you are exposed, be sure to seek medical attention immediately. Stay safe!