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is it possible to get a tan (or burn) from welding? and from all the uv light i mean? i was at welding calss for 9 hours the other day, and was wearing a t-shirt most of the time (i know not smart, no overhead stuff at least) and when i got home i realized my arms were all burnt, like a sun burn, but i was undercover most of the time. and it wasnt very sunny. and only the inside of my arms are burnt...
 

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Lost in the 50s!
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Yes...it happens. Why do you think a lot of welders are called ********?

At least I earned my ******* title honestly, when I worked in the shop.

Speaking from experience here...not trying to upset any welders out there. :welcome:
 

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Welders Sunburn

Been there,Done That! back when I was running roundy round I spent a whole day welding in a roll cage & drinkin 'PBR in a T shirt.Woke up next morning looking like a lobster, and Dang that smarts!Makes me glad I finally got older and wiser.
 

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Race The Truck
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Yep permanant vee on the old neck area. Tee shirt long sleeve shirt leather still got the 30 year tan to prove it.
Never go with out protection read the OSHA stuff on welding. Scared You Will Be! :D The dark side you will slide. OSHA save you it will. :thumbup:

Craig
 

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Too much exposure to UV from welding could increase your chances of developing skin cancer. ..Could.

Probably about the same chances as getting the same kind of burn from the sun.

There are not alot of studies that have much conclusive evidence, because most occupational welders are wearing protection, and recreational welders are not good candidates for studies like that.

Watch out for burns from weld spatter though. I have had a few burns from spatter that would not heal right. They wound up being cancerous. I've heard of others with the same experience.

Later, mikey
 

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I tig welded for years and found that SPF 30 or greater sunblock works great to stop the burn. Be careful to cover all exposed skin or you will have some very odd shaped burns. Be careful, you can end up with severe burns quickly.
 

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The worst is when you get the sunburn....

in your eyes. And no, I'm not kidding, ha ha. You always hear to wear eye protection, but you really find out when you wake up in the middle of the night and can't open your eyes because it feels like they're covered in sand. You can't miss a second with the eye protection, one good flash and you can be very uncomfortable!

K
 

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I've spent the last several years as a fit welder. Most commonly referred to as "flash burn" it can be very painful especially if your eyes get burnt. When welding on hot days alot of guys use sunblock with a high spf rating to protect their arms. Obviously this doesn't protect from weld splatter so the leather sleeves come out for overhead jobs. Never look directly at the light when striking an arc. It doesn't take much to burn your eyes. Waking up in the middle of the night with sand in your eyes is an accurate description of its effect. If anyone has this happen to them in the future try this. Cut a small potato in half and spoon out a slight concave depression in each half to generally fit the contour of your eye socket. Place them on your eyes and cover with a cool damp washcloth for about 15-20 minutes.(The more severe the burn is, the longer it will take to sooth) I know this sounds crazy and I didn't beleive it til I tried it. IT WORKS! Flash burn on the skin can be treated just like sunburn with aloe lotion etc.
 

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I burned my eyes so bad I had to wear patches for 3 days. Flux core inside a tank for 4 hours. After that I would always wear a cloth over the back of my hood to keep out the light.
I don't care how hot it is I always wear a long sleeve shirt. My arms look like I have been shooting up everyday for 40 years.
I don't weld anymore, read the label on some of the rods/wire and you will think twice about working in a shop without a fan.
Put your shirt on, good habits are hard to build don't wait too late to start them.
 

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Lost in the 50s!
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Minumum of long sleeves! That helps (doesn't stop) weld spatter from burning you. It also helps (not stops) the weld burn from the UV.

Preferable wear leathers. I know they are hot, but they protect you. I wore them most of the time when welding.

I never tried the sun block. I wore a bandana around my neck most of the time though. That basicallys topped the "red neck" syndrome.

Oh...don't forget running a plasma requires the same protection. It will fry your eyes too.
 

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Cut a small potato in half and spoon out a slight concave depression in each half to generally fit the contour of your eye socket. Place them on your eyes and cover with a cool damp washcloth for about 15-20 minutes.(The more severe the burn is, the longer it will take to sooth) I know this sounds crazy and I didn't beleive it til I tried it. IT WORKS!
Wish I had known about this the last time I got Welder's Flash!! I will try to never again repeat the experience, but if it happens, I will DEFINATLY try this. Flash is one of the most uncomfortable, and "nothing you can do about it" things you can get.
 

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DON'T put potatoes on those burned eyes! :nono: Doing this can cause a serious infection that can do permanent damage or even leave you blind! This old home remedy has been around about as long as welding I guess and people swear by it but the fact is it is the cool temps from the potato slices and /or the moist cloth that does the trick and ice cubes work much faster and better. I have been a welder since 1968 and I have fought the "flash burn" all my life it seems. Don't let anyone tell you this is not serious it IS far worse than the sun because of the intensity and wave length and can very easily lead to skin cancer, don't take it lightly. As far as the eye burn once you have been there you will have a deep respect for what that little blue light can do and the damage is cumulative so every time it happens the permanent damage gets worse. Guys don't take a chance with your eyes if this happens it is no time to be a tough guy go to a doctor and get REAL treatment. The standard medicine used for this is Ponticain Hydrochloride which brings almost instant relief from the pain but the most important thing here is to get some antibiotic in those eyes. You only have one set of eyes so DON'T take a chance on an "urban legend" type treatment that could do far more harm than good. I know this has been around for so long I will probably get clobbered for disagreeing but don't take my word for it ask you doctor!
 

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I have the top of the line helmet from Miller, and always wear sleeves and welding gloves, if not leathers. However, I usually wear a long sleeve shirt (cheap Walmart 'long sleeve t') with a t-shirt on the outside. The #1 lesson I've learned recently is DO NOT WEAR WHITE T-SHIRT. Simply because of the reflection into your helmet unless your chin is pressed to your chest.
 

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oldred said:
DON'T put potatoes on those burned eyes! ...the fact is it is the cool temps from the potato slices and /or the moist cloth that does the trick and ice cubes work much faster and better...
Thanks OldRed; I was about to back up what the others were saying, because I too have done and recommended the potatoe trick. Glad you posted the info, thanks.
 

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As I said that old remedy has been around for years but honestly a person needs to remember it is their eyes at stake here and once that infection sets in a person can be in a world of hurt, I think everyone knows how easily a burn gets infected and in fact if not treated immediately it is all but guaranteed to happen. The eyes have a SLIGHT advantage in that the fluids have mild antiseptic properties but even so there is a very real danger of infection when dealing with burns and adding a non-sanitized foreign substance such as potatoes or potato juice is just asking for trouble, maybe home remedies are ok for stomach aches but when it is the eyes we are talking about there is too much to lose. Another extremely dangerous welders home remedy (or myth), and this one could kill you, is drinking milk for metals poisoning. I think some of you have probably heard that if you get sick from welding galvanized metal then drink large quantities of milk (plain milk or butter milk I have heard it both ways) but this is sheer lunacy! I remember a few years back when a crew came in to cut up some galvanized tanks at a mine in KY they all brought milk to drink saying that if you drink a lot of it first then the galvanized metal smoke would not hurt you :pain: , these idiots actually believed this! The mine manager sent these guys on their way and my crew did the job using proper protection. Drinking milk may ease the stomach symptoms but if someone gets sick from metal fumes they should RUN NOT WALK to their doctor because it very well can be fatal and drinking milk is not going to save them! :rolleyes: It is simply amazing how many people believe these two old remedies but both are extremely dangerous and can lead to some serious problems.
 

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oldred said:
As I said that old remedy has been around for years but honestly a person needs to remember it is their eyes at stake here and once that infection sets in a person can be in a world of hurt, I think everyone knows how easily a burn gets infected and in fact if not treated immediately it is all but guaranteed to happen. The eyes have a SLIGHT advantage in that the fluids have mild antiseptic properties but even so there is a very real danger of infection when dealing with burns and adding a non-sanitized foreign substance such as potatoes or potato juice is just asking for trouble, maybe home remedies are ok for stomach aches but when it is the eyes we are talking about there is too much to lose. Another extremely dangerous welders home remedy (or myth), and this one could kill you, is drinking milk for metals poisoning. I think some of you have probably heard that if you get sick from welding galvanized metal then drink large quantities of milk (plain milk or butter milk I have heard it both ways) but this is sheer lunacy! I remember a few years back when a crew came in to cut up some galvanized tanks at a mine in KY they all brought milk to drink saying that if you drink a lot of it first then the galvanized metal smoke would not hurt you :pain: , these idiots actually believed this! The mine manager sent these guys on their way and my crew did the job using proper protection. Drinking milk may ease the stomach symptoms but if someone gets sick from metal fumes they should RUN NOT WALK to their doctor because it very well can be fatal and drinking milk is not going to save them! :rolleyes: It is simply amazing how many people believe these two old remedies but both are extremely dangerous and can lead to some serious problems.
Oldred I agree, I'm a prime example of not being safe enough!
I got my first training from the old guy and we did practice these old fixes. Then when I went to Trade School I said holy Crap. The thing I found is the safety of the worker was keep barely legal and for the most part it was up to you to protect you self better. Remember we worked out in the open or in new warehouse doing projects. Or welding in are fab shops with big fans. So you really have to be safe or you will suffer for it later in life. I say that from long term exposure from welding 24-7 for over 30 years. I never weld with out a fresh air supply now! word to the wise.

Craig
 

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Crazy Ole Ironhead
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I agree with red on on several things.
Yes,,,the weld flash CAN cause skin cancer..it is NOT a rumor..it IS a FACT..
As far as weld flash to the eyes..potato's are an old myth..there is NOTHING you can do to stop the pain from it,ive been to the doctor several times about it & ALL the doctors say the same thing"nothing we can do for it,it is just like sunburn on skin but in the eyes"
As far as being so bad it gets infected?..ive never seen or heard of it YETnot saying it doesnt happen.just sayin havent seen it or heard of it yet)..if you have a bad flash the doctors give an oitment to put in your eyes to prevent it but all the doctors have told me theyve never seen an infection set in from weld flash..its just like a sun burn on skin..thats what causes the pain because the eyes have a rough surface now from the burn untill it heals itself.
They have something to take the pain away but they are NOT legaly allowed to give it to you..cant remember the exact name but its something like Opticaine,,they wont give it to you because if you really do have something in your eye you wont feel it & you could do damage to your eye without knowing it
The worse ive ever had flash is when i was building an addition onto the Ocean City convention center in Ocaen City Md in mid 90's,they sent a bunch of us to weld a bunch of nelson studs onto the floor because the guys who shoot em on's machine broke down & they were pouring concrete that day behind them,we had welders all around us & even though we had our shields & glasses on the light was reflecting off the inside of the shield glass into our eyes,i was out of work 4 days,couldt even leave the house,i dont wish it on ANYONE,it HURTS.
One little thing to remember when wearing clothing while welding also,NEVER wear plain white shirts,they have no dye in them & has no protection..you WILL get burnt right through it

And on the fumes theory?..it DOES cause long term effects..there is even alot of lawsuites going right now about that because the weld rods manufacturers knew of the dangers years ago but didnt put a warning on the rod boxes..take a look at the new rod boxes now.they have it on there

Ive been an Ironworker since i was 17..im 46 now..used to be we didnt have to wear any kind of resperators while welding..now its a standard & recently OSHA made it official to wear one..
On the government jobs & nuclear power plants i work welding,for years now they have made us wear them & also always make proper ventilation for us

Bottom line.....Be safe..work safe...live LONG..dont take those "imma tough guy i can handle it" kinda attitudes..you WILL regret & possibly your loved ones will too from not havin you around anymore
 
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