How do I know what harmful chemicals are in my smoke?

The chemicals in your smoke depend on the process that produces them. For example, the chemicals in weld smoke are determined by the nature of the weld wire, what style of welding is being used, the gases being used, the material being welded and any possible residue on that material.

Certain materials are notorious for producing harmful chemicals when cut or welded. For example, welding stainless steel produces particulates of hexavelent chromium, a carcinogenic substance highly regulated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Unfortunately, you can’t look at your air and know for sure which contaminants are present in it. Manufacturers should conduct an air quality audit to understand what substances are in their air. These audits are performed by licensed, third-party professionals who set up equipment to monitor air quality. After collecting samples, they analyze the data and produce a comprehensive report on the volume and nature of contaminants in your air.

Air quality engineers can help you address any air quality problems you might have. They will understand which contaminants have special regulations that demand attention. They can design and implement an air filtration solution that addresses those contaminants, as well as general air quality.

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