I’m returning to silversmithing after many years away & I’d like to
take better care of my health this time around. I’ve been
researching ventilation & respirator options & have found the orchid
& ganoksin archives really helpful, as well as Monona Rossol’s
"Artist’s Health and Safety Guide", but I’m still not sure what I
need. I hope someone can help.
I’ve begun to do soldering, keeumboo, and liver of sulpher patinas
(not hot) in a small outbuilding separate from my house. I’m about
to build a ventilation system and I’m wondering if i should also buy
a better respirator, as my lungs are quite sensitive. I figure I need
protection from metal fumes, acid gas (warm Sparex pickle), hydrogen
sulphide gas and flux fumes.
I’ve recently begun using paste solder & find it very useful but now
I realize it contains one of the most hazardous forms of flux.
(Fluoride compounds release toxic gas when heated, some of which
turns to nasty acids in the lungs). Are there any paste solders that
don’t contain fluorides? If I stop using paste solder, what Acid
fluxes (chlorides of zinc, ammonium?) do other users prefer?
I was surprised to learn that the respirator cartridges that protect
against chemical fumes are “considered spent after eight hours of
use or two weeks after they have been exposed to air, which ever
comes first.” New filters every two weeks sounds expensive - is an
"Air- Supplying Respirator" more cost effective in the long run?