The fumes and dust cause irritation of the upper respiratory tract, metallic taste
in the mouth, nausea, metal
fume fever, and in some instances, discoloration of the skin and hair. Copper
dust can act as an irritant to skin
causing itching, redness, and dermatitis. It may also cause conjunctivitis and
small ulcers of the cornea. Fluorides
Fluoride fumes can he very irritating to eyes, nose,
and throat. Some Fluorine compounds can cause death.
Fluorides may be formed when welding with fluoride containing rods, and with some
fluxes. Iron Oxide
Inhalation of these fumes and dust may cause metal
fume fever (an influenza-like illness lasting 24
to 48 hours), and may also cause a
benign pneumoconiosis (siderosis). Pure iron oxide probably does not cause
fibrotic pulmonary changes, whereas
inhalation of iron oxide plus certain other substances may cause lung injury.
Lead fumes or fine dust, when inhaled, can cause lead poisoning, anemia, muscle
weakness, nausea, vomiting,
colic, or death. Be careful to guard against lead poisoning when welding or cutting
materials such as lead-coated
containers and metals which have been painted. In all such cases, lead produces
toxic fumes. Manganese
Manganese dust and fumes are irritants to the
eye and mucous membranes of the respiratory tract.
Early recognition of chronic manganese
poisoning is difficult. Progression of disease manifestations can vary
widely among individuals. Signs and
symptoms may include apathy, irritability, loss of appetite, headache,
weakness of the muscles in the legs,
and joint aches. Speech disturbances are common. Chronic manganese
poisoning, although disabling, is usually
not fatal. Nickel
Skin sensitization or nickel itch
is a commonly seen toxic reaction lo nickel dusts. Nickel dust and fumes
may also irritate the conjunctivae
of the eye and the mucous membranes of the upper respiratory tract. Nickel and
its compounds have been reported to
produce an increased incidence of cancer of the lung and nasal passages.
Nitrogen oxides may irritate the eyes and mucous membranes. High concentrations
severe pulmonary irritation and methemoglobinemia. Acute exposure to high concentrations
may produce immediate
fatigue, cyanosis (blue lips and skin), cough, shortness of breath,
chills, fever, headache, nausea, and vomiting.
Collapse and death may occur if the exposure is sufficiently high. Survivors may
develop severe and increasing
shortness of breath due to chronic lung disease. Continued
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