Welding safety: commonly asked questions
Q. What is a fume plume?
A. A fume plume is the clearly visible column of fume that rises directly from the spot of welding or cutting. Welders and cutters should take precautions to avoid breathing this area directly. Ventilation can direct the plume away from the face. (Fume removal is most effective when the air flow is directed across the face of the welder, rather than from behind.)
Q. How do I know what hazardous materials I may be using?
A. Check the safety data sheet (SDS). Suppliers of welding materials must provide an SDS or equivalent documentation identifying the hazardous materials, if any, used in welding and cutting products.
Q. What are the storage requirements for oxygen and acetylene and other fuel gas cylinders?
A. Oxygen cylinders should be stored 20 feet or more from fuel gas cylinders or separated by a noncombustible barrier at least five feet high with a one-half-hour fire resistance rating.
Q. What is Mapp gas?
A. Mapp gas is a product that was developed as a fuel for welding, brazing, cutting, flame hardening and metallizing operations. It has many of the physical properties of acetylene, but lacks its shock sensitivity, and therefore, can be stored and shipped in lighter containers. Mapp gas is the result of rearranging the molecular structure of acetylene and propane. It also has a very distinct odor so any leakage can readily be detected.
Source: W.W. Grainger, Inc. www.grainger.com/content/QT-WS-welding-safety-109