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Pat S Pat S is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Tampa FL
Posts: 798
Okay, Lesson learned #4 - Metal Fume Fever (Zinc Fever) SUCKS more than a spark in the ear!

I had an old 3M respirator, was welding the panel on a 74 chassis, but did it in a closed garage. (Yeah, well, hindsight is always 20/20 and it's cold out you know.)

Well since none of the metal is galvanized I wasn't too worried even though the filters in the respirator needed to be replaced. But today I got hit with a very bad feeling.

Around 1pm (17 hours after I finished welding) I started getting a headache. I didn't think much of it, but then by 6pm today I also got very nauseated, heat flashes/cold chills, fever, and a very strong metal taste in my mouth. Now at about 10pm I'm feeling much better but still have all the symptoms.

Strange though.... I figured this would happen shortly after welding, not nearly a full day later....

From the OSHA web site:
Zinc is used in large quantities in the manufacture of brass, galvanized metals, and various other alloys. Inhalation of zinc oxide fumes can occur when welding or cutting on zinc-coated metals. Exposure to these fumes is known to cause metal fume fever. Symptoms of metal fume fever are very similar to those of common influenza. They include fever (rarely exceeding 102o F), chills, nausea, dryness of the throat, cough, fatigue, and general weakness and aching of the head and body. The victim may sweat profusely for a few hours, after which the body temperature begins to return to normal. The symptoms of metal fume fever have rarely, if ever, lasted beyond 24 hours. The subject can then appear to be more susceptible to the onset of this condition on Mondays or on weekdays following a holiday than they are on other days.
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Old 02-02-2004, 09:12 PM
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