What is Galvanized Poisoning During Welding – Health Effects & Safety Tips

Updated: 26 Jan 2024


Welding is considered one of the indispensable procedures in different construction processes, but not without any risks, and one of them is galvanized poisoning, which can arise from zinc coating materials welding.

The galvanized poisoning is caused by galvanized gas, which is produced during the process of welding zinc coating materials, especially steel. The galvanized gas is produced when the zinc coat is heated during fabrication. It isn’t good for welders’ health and could affect it badly.

In the article below, we explained galvanization poisoning and also shed light on its causes and safety precautions, so stay with us, and let’s hop into the article.

Galvanized Poisoning from Welding:

Galvanized Poisoning From Welding facttors
Galvanized Poisoning From Welding

Galvanizing poisoning is one of the harmful poisonings that affects not only your respiratory system but also other systems related to it. By inhaling it, you will slowly start coughing with a fever that will later affect your whole respiratory system.

Below, we explain everything related to galvanize poisoning and how it happens from welding.

What is Galvanized Poisoning

galvanized poisoning is caused by a protective process in which a layer of zinc is applied to steel or any other metal to protect against corrosion. The layer of zinc has mainly two purposes, one of which is protection against corrosion while it also increases its durability.

But it has some drawbacks when welding on it. During the welding process, the layer of zinc turns into zine gas, which produces harmful fumes and can cause galvanized poisoning. The galvanized phenomenon is very dangerous to the welder, and that’s why taking safety precautions against it is recommended.

How Does Galvanized Poisoning Occur:

Releasing Zinc Fumes

As we know, zinc’s surface is applied to steel or other metals and is responsible for most galvanized gas. During the welding process, the surface of that metal heats up, and the coating of zinc turns into vapor, and as a result, those fumes turn into zinc fumes. Those fumes can be inhaled by most of the welders, which can cause a very serious risk.

Contributing Factors:

There are a couple of different factors that increase the exposure of galvanized gas; some of them are given below.

  • The first one is temperature, which means if the welding occurs at a high temperature, there is a high chance of galvanized gas, while a low temperature has a low rate of galvanized gas production.
  • The second one is the thickness of the zinc coating. This means if the coating is thick, then more zine will turn into galvanized gas during the welding process and affect more people.
  • The other notifiable factor is ventilation in the welding environment area. If there is a proper ventilation workspace, the galvanized gas will be less in that working space, but if there is no ventilation space, the galvanized gas is more than enough.

Specific Welding Situations and Processes:

There are certain welding processes in which galvanized poisoning is confirmed. It is because it works in small workspaces where airflow is limited, which automatically elevates the risk of galvanized gas poisoning. Other than that, if a process works in a closed area or doesn’t have proper airflow, it must cause galvanized gas.

Health Effects of Galvanized Poisoning:

The galvanized gas poisoning greatly affects anyone’s health if you inhale it. Below, we define some of the main short- and long-term health effects.

Respiratory Issues:

The galvanized gas has a very severe effect on the respiratory system. If you inhale any zine fume, it will affect your respiratory system and cause different issues. The most common problems include chest tightness and coughing, which cause difficulty breathing. This is the short-term effect but is hard to bear.

Fever and Flu:

Sometimes welders always get fever and flu, and they blame bad weather for it, while in reality, it’s because of galvanized poisoning. During your weld or after your weld, you may experience symptoms of headache, fatigue, and flu. Then you should know it’s because of galvanized poisoning.

Chronic Conditions:

Exposure to galvanized gas for prolonged periods may lead to chronic respiratory system problems such as bronchitis. It is one of the worst conditions to have and bear.

Safety Measure for Prevention:

Safety measures against zinc gas are very important, which prevent you from some severe conditions. The first step of that preservation is identifying the risk associated with galvanized gas and materials. You will only be able to implement those safety precautions once you recognize those risks.

Personal Protective Equipment(PPE):

Personal Protective Equipment prevent from Galvanized Poisoning From Welding
Personal Protective Equipment(PPE)

Wearing proper protective gear is very important if it’s for galvanized gas or any other safety reasons. The protective equipment includes a respirator, which has very high efficiency, and a filter to provide you with clean and filtered air. It’s important and found to be very effective against different welding fumes and gasses, including galvanized gas.

The PPE also includes other body parts and safety equipment, including glasses, gloves, and other safety gear to protect your skin from zinc contact.

Proper Ventilation:

During any welding process, you should ensure proper ventilation in your workplace. Having a ventilated working area is considered a vital focus among welders. A proper airflow with the help of an exhaust system will work in any working space and make your system well-ventilated.

Final Thoughts:

Galvanized poisoning during welding can cause some serious health issues for almost everyone, including welders and other people working in the working space.

You can prevent it from happening by not using zing coating materials or taking proper safety precautions. After implementing safety precautions, you can protect yourself and the workplace from galvanized poisoning.

Abu Bakar

Abu Bakar

Hello, Abu Bakar here, the Mastermind Behind Welding Villa. Test my years of experience through my well-written blogs, where I have covered the overall experience of welding materials and shown all the aspects of Welding, their types and equipment.

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