Given that the mobile systems for the collection, extraction and purification of welding fumes are used by those who make sporadic use, the regulation of which is prescribed by EC regulations.
First question: who are the sporadic users?
This category includes operators who carry out welding irregularly, sporadically and do not fall within the category of welders, or those who carry out this occupation on a continuous basis.
For example, the maintenance workshop of an industry that requires welding for a repair, or the craftsman who marginally uses the welding machine in the work cycle or, increasingly more frequently, the hobbyist.
Does the fume extractor allow the mask to not be used?
No. The legislation provides that the respirator (mask) with minimum FFP2 filtration degree is always used, even the presence of a fume extraction system.
Can the filters be cleaned?
Normally the filters can be cleaned following the manufacturer's instructions which are given in the use and maintenance manual.
In particular, it is necessary to carry out this operation being very careful not to compromise their structure.
For example, it is NOT possible to use the classic "blowing" with compressed air, both because the powders are dispersed in the environment ( see blog article on the harmfulness of metal powders ) and because the air pressure could damage and therefore compromise the structure filtering.
How do you clean the filters of welding fume extractors (or fume eaters)?
The most suitable method is through a vacuum cleaner with HEPA filter ( see the Milwaukee vacuum cleaner with Hepa filter at this link ) which, being a microfilter, retains even the finest dust.
The resulting material must be disposed of in the appropriate ecological areas or among the metal processing residues.
We remind you that every EUROPEAN manufacturer has the obligation to communicate in the use and maintenance booklet all the regulations concerning the operator's safety, as well as correct use and maintenance.
This article does not include all types of cases concerning the extraction of fumes but has the purpose of making the user aware of the correct use of protective devices, referring any in-depth analysis to the assessments of the specific SS.PP manager.