Tony, Just to clarify a few things.... my source for my recent
posting was a combination of OSHA materials (cited in my original
post), as well as consistent documentation within the welding
industry's safety publications. I did fairly extensive reading and
research on the issue and made every attempt NOT to perpetuate
hearsay or industrial (or urban) myths. Like you, I hate relying on
hearsay and like to understand the "why" behind rules and regs and
recommendations. You will, of course, have to make your own decision
as to how far to go to protect your eyesight. But if you find
documentation that contradicts the statements and recommendations
I've made, then please pass it along so we can all become better
In the case of things like cooking stoves and log fires, very few
people stare at the flames of them for hours a day, every day for
years, like a bench jeweler who does a lot of soldering stares at the
areas where the flame contacts the metal. They are likely also quite
a bit further from the flame than most of us, particularly when
soldering intricate or delicate work. Likewise with UV - it all
depends on how much you're doing, and how you're doing it.
There is also an issue of personal sensitivity to exposure.
Personally, I have eyesight that is very intolerant of bright
sunlight -- causes migraines if I'm in the sun for very long on a
bright day without dark sunglasses. So, my sight doesn't tolerate the
glare factor of an oxy-acetylene setup without reacting to it more
intensely than some other folks may find. That tells me that I need
more intense protection than you might. But I have no problem with
the glare of an acetylene-air setup, so for that I've determined that
I "just" need UV protection unless I'm doing casting.
As with anything, it depends on exposure and personal need.
With regard to the MRI, my friend was just as surprised by the
requirement as I was and was told that this is a fairly new and
strict policy for MRI testing (here in the U.S.). I believe it was
adopted after the death of a 6-year-old boy in Texas in 2001, who was
killed when the MRI room had not been cleared of metal objects, and
an Oxy cannister (the size of a fire extinguiser) was pulled across
the room by the MRI magnet. That was the first death, but certainly
not the first injury from similar accidents. (Not an urban myth,
here's one of the AP articles on it:
Here is safety text excerpted directly from WebMD
is one reputable medical source available online. If your doctors
aren't asking about metal exposures, they should be. My mom, with 2
hip replacements, cannot have an MRI -- her doctor told us that 4
years ago when she had the first hip done.
QUOTE: Before the MRI test, tell your doctor if you:
a.. Have a pacemaker, artificial limb, any metal pins or metal
fragments in your body (especially in the eyes), metal heart valves,
metal clips in your brain, metal implants in your ear, tattooed
eyeliner, or any other implanted or prosthetic medical device (such
as a drug infusion pump). Also, tell your doctor if you have worked
around metal or if you have recently had surgery on a blood vessel.
In some cases you may not be able to have the MRI test done.
b.. Have an intrauterine device (IUD)in place. An IUD may prevent
you from having the MRI test done. END QUOTE
As always, I will be happy to read any further sources that you can
point to that contradict (or support) this research ... it's my goal
to be a well-informed and well-protected jeweler