Hello my name is Doyle from Fl. I was curious if you could answer some questions for me.
I was reading an article by Ron Covell in the newest streetrodder mag. and he mentioned that using thoriated
tungsten is dangerous for your health. I was curious if you new anything about this. I have just started
tig welding about 6 months ago.
All I have used is thoriated tungsten because that is what I was told is used for welding steel. I am only
22 years old and would like to know that I will be shapeing metal late into life.
I was curious if I should be concerned about any damage I might have possibly done or any I could cause in
the future by using this style of tungsten.
I would appreciate any information you have on the subject. Thank you for your time.
The Tinman Respondeth:
Doyle, It sounds like Ron might have fallen into the rumor mill. Several years ago this rumor started because
one company wanted to sell more of their (more expensive) tungstens. I brought this topic up and the
Aluminum Association Welding Convention that year ('95), and learned that:
Yes! If you carry around 4 or 5 lbs of it in a front pants pocket every day for a few years it MIGHT get you.
And...if you get the job of grinding tungstens for 1000 welders on a daily basis and don't wear a respirator,
you will get "glow-in-the-dark" lung boogers.
Ceriated tungstens are therefore "safer", and can carry the current, but cost more. Pure are "safer", too,
but will not carry the same current for the size. That's about it, Thanks for keeping me posted on the
"Street Rodding Authority". Kent