Rosin-based solder flux fume is now regarded as one of the leading causes of occupational asthma in Britain. Rosin is used mainly as a flux in the electrical and electronics industries where it is heated with the solder (usually tin/lead) to make electrical connections. It may also be used for soldering in plumbing and other pipe-fitting work.
When inhaled, rosin-based solder flux fume can lead to occupational asthma or make existing asthmatic conditions worse. The fume can also cause irritation to the eyes and upper respiratory tract.
Rosin-based solder flux fume is now regarded as one of the leading causes of occupational asthma in Britain. When the asthmatic effects are fully developed they are permanent and irreversible. Continued exposure, even to very small amounts of fume, may cause asthma attacks and the person affected may be unable to do any soldering with rosin-based fluxes again.
Controlling Solder Fume
There are various methods of controlling solder fume in the workplace or teaching environment. AES can provide a wide range of solutions for the extraction of solder fumes to meet your requirements and budget.
Portable Extraction Units, such as those from leading British manufacturer BOFA, extract and filter the fume from the solder job, and expel clean breathable air into the working environment. Filtration usually consists of a three stage process. The initial stage, a fabric pre-filter, captures larger particles from the solder fume. The second stage, a HEPA filter, captures the smaller particles, typically below 3 microns in size. The final stage, an activated carbon filter, absorbs smells and gases created when soldering – one of the most dangerous parts of the fume. This triple filtration process means that BOFA extractors are suitable for using without the need for ducting or externally ventilating hosing.
AES Can also offer fixed systems, which typically require ducting and installation. These systems will typically ventilate externally, removing the need for three stage filtration. The benefit of a fixed system is the ability to offer multiple arms, connected to a powerful extraction fan. Larger electronics production lines and technical colleges can benefit from multiple extraction points to ensure that workers or students are kept protected from dangerous solder fumes.
On-tool soldering iron extraction is the ideal choice for workers who typically solder onto a flat surface such as a circuit board on a regular basis. These systems connect directly to the soldering iron, with the on-tip vacuum system extracting away the solder fume before it has the chance rise and enter the worker’s breathing space. Soldering Iron Tip extraction systems typically allow multiple users to use the same machine simultaneously, with trunking being fitted to distribute extraction points along the workbench.
If you are looking to install a soldering extraction system, or are interesting in purchasing a portable solder fume extraction system then call us on 0800 032 0895 or email us on the address above. Alternatively, for instant purchase of a system and filters for existing systems, click the link below to be taken to the soldering fume section of our web store.