Dangers of soldering?

Discussion in 'Computer Science & Culture' started by grazzhoppa, Jun 16, 2005.

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  1. grazzhoppa yawwn Valued Senior Member

    I've been doing some soldering with fans and switches for my computer and I am wondering if being around lead fumes is worse than smoking a few cigarrettes

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    . I try to hold me breath when I apply the solder, and I try to keep the iron "downwind." Are the fumes going to do some freak thing if my eyes are exposed to them?

    Anyone been soldering for awhile and have any safety tips?
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  3. cato less hate, more science Registered Senior Member

    I have often wondered about the effects of solder smoke. I never bothered to find out because I figured the smoke probably didn't contain much, if any, lead. I will google real quick and see what I find.
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  5. cato less hate, more science Registered Senior Member

    yeah, basically, the Internet says its bad for you. however, you should be fine as long as you don't breathe it in.
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  7. Voodoo Child Registered Senior Member

    Der soldiers are not making bad on thinking. You fine.
  8. gormo Registered Member

    my dads been an electronics engineer for over 30 years, he doesnt seem to have any problems, apart from slight baldness.

    If you solder professionally these days i think there is supposed to be ventilation. Just dont suck the smoke in.
  9. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

    Solder on a fire resistant surface. Special mats are available, or a piece of plasterboard can be good.

    Never leave your soldering iron plugged in and unattended.

    Do not overload a wall outlet with too many electric appliances.

    Never set your hot iron down on anything other than an iron stand.

    Replace your soldering iron of the cable becomes worn or gets burnt.

    To prevent burning your fingers, use needle nose pliers or heat resistant gloves to hold small pieces.

    Make sure that your soldering iron is properly earthed.
    You might also care to visit our other soldering information pages. The Soldering home page provides links to other resources including a Soldering Quick Fix, an in depth Soldering Tutorial, a Soldering Tools information page, a Soldering Troubleshooter, and even an article on the effects of forthcoming Soldering Regulations.

    If you are seeking further information on Soldering but cannot find it here, please email info@leadsdirect.biz and we will try to both answer your question and make sure that the information is made available through these pages for future reference.

    You can also call us on any of the following numbers:

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  10. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

    I think the smoke might be from the flux, but if you want to be sure, write or call the manufacturer of the solder, and they have to send or fax you the MSDS (material safety data sheet) on the material. This will include any possible health hazards.
  11. gormo Registered Member

    I find that rather than holding things with longnose pliers, its better to use crocodile clips or something. Normally im too lazy to find anything like that so i just trap it under a paperweight and hang it over the desk.
  12. kevinalm Registered Senior Member

    The greater danger of lead exposure from soldering is in the actual handling of solder. It is recommended that one refrain from eating, drinking or smoking while soldering and to thoroughly wash one's hands with soap and water after soldering and before eating, etc. The idea is to avoid putting one's hands up to the face and mouth while traces of lead are on one's hands. Breathing the fumes should be avoided not because of lead but because of rosin. Rosin (originally) is a product of pine tar, and not very healthy to breath. Some rather nasty hydrocarbons there.
  13. Facial Valued Senior Member

    Yeah, I breathed plenty of that stuff in. Don't get addicted to it.

    Rosin smells rather intoxicating.

    For that reason, it is best that you properly ventilate the area, or else you will get dizzy after a while like I did.

    I still think I can drink while soldering safely. Same goes for eating with utensils.

    To reduce the smoke temporarily, use some tinning flux.
  14. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    I've done a fair bit of soldering, and would also appreciate some solid information on breathing the fumes. It's something I generally try to avoid doing, but I'd like to know just how harmful it is.
  15. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

    Ask them here:

  16. Closet Philosopher Off to Laurentian University Registered Senior Member

    I always solder with a fan blowing on it. I hate the smell of the fumes and I have wondered about the possible danger of breathing it in.

    I don't think it's that harmful because if it was, I would be dead by now after doing soldering LED switches in a cramped classroom with little ventilation for about a month (damn, high school sucked).
  17. MRC_Hans Skeptic Registered Senior Member

    There are no lead fumes. There are fumes from the resin, however. Presumbably, they are not good for you. However, for occasional soldering, there is no need to worry. Yes, smoking is MUCH more dangerous.

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