Approximately 12,000 deaths in the UK each year are attributed to occupational respiratory diseases, about two-thirds of which were due to asbestos-related diseases or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).
These diseases take a long time to develop following exposure to the agent that caused them, therefore current deaths reflect the effect of past working conditions.
About 33,000 people who worked in the last year, and 141,000 who had ever worked currently have breathing or lung problems they thought were caused or made worse by work (LFS). Estimated 10,000 new cases of breathing or lung problems caused or made worse by work each year (LFS).
Resipiritory Protection Equipment (RPE) should only be used as the last option after you have taken every other reasonable step to control the exposure, and improve air quality in your work area. Your justification for using RPE should be clear in your risk assessment, which is required if you have five or more employees.
Welding fumes are extremely harmful and present serious hazards to the respiratory system. Welding fumes consist of a toxic, carcinogenic mixture of dust, metallic oxides, silicates, fluorides and metallic particulate vapours containing iron, chromium, nickel, etc. Symptoms due to breathing welding fumes can include fatigue, irritated nose and throat, chest pain, shortness of breath and bronchitis.
Most dust particles larger than 5 microns (0.005mm) are eliminated by mucociliary movement in the respiratory tract, but smaller particles and dangerous dusts such as silica are difficult to eliminate and can damage lungs and even be absorbed into the blood stream where they can damage other organs.
For reference, a strand of spider silk ranges 3-8 microns and human red blood cells range around 6-8 microns in diameter.
Elipse P3 protecive respirators have a minimum efficiency of 99.97% and porosity of 0.3 microns. With additional A1 carbon filters they give your employees complete protection against welding fumes.
For RPE to work properly, it is imperative that the equipment creates a proper seal around the human breathing apparatus - the nose and mouth.
Thanks to the flexible and soft characteristics of the TPE (Thermo Plastic Elastomer), used in the ELIPSE® masks, they are very comfortable and more importantly, create an excellent seal to ensure the filters do their job!
The compact profile of the body and the super low profile filters ensures the greatest possible field of vision during use, without interfering with other eye or ear protections which users choose to wear. They even fit under welding masks!