View Full Version : galvanic poisening

01-21-2005, 11:37 PM
breath in too much of the galvey smoke and you're real sick

drink a quart of milk and you're ok

Iron workers welding q decking on hi risers always drink milk at break time

01-21-2005, 11:54 PM
Don't bother with the milk. No known benefit, other than that a quart of milk will make you pee (which may help remove the zinc oxide from you body) The zinc fumes generally won't kill you, just make you wish that they would for a couple days, as the response is an allergic reaction. Can be permanant lung and liver damage with heavy exposure, as well as pneumonia, from the particulate nature of the fume, but the zinc oxide itself isn't particularly toxic, and the body can remove it fairly well.

Better to stay out of the fumes and/or wear a mask, especially since you don't know what else may be alloyed into the galv besides zinc (cadmium, for example, which you won't get over, or phosphides in a base under the zinc... zinc phosphide is a rat poison) and if zinc chloride forms, it decomposes in the lungs to hydrochloric acid and zinc oxychloride, both of which are very damaging.

see: http://www.aws.org/technical/facts/FACT-25.PDF

edit: to fix typos and finish second paragraph... I hit submit without thinking

01-22-2005, 12:13 AM
my brother didn't know better. he was cutting a lot of galv. metal with an ac.oxy
he was so sick, he felt near death. his wife called an old welder and he laughed.
he advised my brother drink a qt. of milk. my brother was amazed how fast it acted. he imediatly felt fine. i've been a tradesman about 43 years. I use to work on hi risers, what i said about the milk and the decking crew is true. it's not out of a book, it's real life experiance!! of course avoid galv. cutting and welding if you can

01-22-2005, 12:37 AM
I am forced to agree. While the milk may not be a "medical" remedy, it does have a positive effect. I welded galv almost 100%, nearly 10 years straight. The only times I got sick, was when I forgot the milk. I downed a pint in the a.m. and a pint at lunch. If I was feeling bad after work, I'd get some then, too. I really didn't care what anyone else said about it ( there were naysayers then too), it worked for me and a few others. I would have walked through fire in order to not get that sick feeling again. It sucked all the fun out of the day. :(

01-22-2005, 02:58 PM
on every hi rise iron workers weld of 100s of tons of q decking, all galvy. maybe there all wrong but they still drink milk. the helical anchors out of canada have the heaviest galv. coating. I have to weld this off to heavy plate in a trench hole. and I drink milk to keep out of trouble ! this was past to me by a guy who was welding when i was a baby and I'm 62! :)

01-23-2005, 12:59 AM
I have put down a good bit of deck and that smoke never even bothered me. Of course we were standing up using a 4' long pole stinger and 6022's. That may have something to do with it. But welding all those studs at eye level... :eek: Smoke city! Milk did this body some good, that's for sure! :D

01-23-2005, 12:14 PM
You know I have heard both sides. But I dont see what harm it can do even if it dosent help.

There is even a section about it in our Collective Bargaining Agreement stating that if galvanized is being welded then the contractor is required to provide sweet milk to the persons doing the welding. Kinda sweet isnt it. :p

Ive welded tons of galvanized and have not been bothered by it. But Ive also seen someone just starting out the day of welding galvanized puking their guts out because its killing them. So I think some people can handle it a little better than others.

Portable Welder
01-23-2005, 02:37 PM
I use a dust mask that is approved for welding galvanize for the last 5 Years or so not that I welded or cut alot of it but it never made me sick just gave me a real bad headache.
What I am going to start doing is to make an effort to wear my dust mask when using a cut off blade, I dont smoke, but I am a little worried as to what all the welding and grinding dust has done to me over the years.
Its funny how the older I get the more I want to live to be old, when I was 27 I never thought about it, but 11 years later I think about it all the time. Life sure becomes alot more preciouse when you have little kids at home and you know how much they count on you coming home every night.

01-23-2005, 03:21 PM
breath in too much of the galvey smoke and you're real sick

drink a quart of milk and you're ok

Iron workers welding q decking on hi risers always drink milk at break time
This is about the thousandth time I heard about drinking milk and that would not do a darn thing for ya! Nobody drinks milk because of Galvanic poisoning and anyone welding galvanized steel all day ought to just take the bridge,because it will be a much easier death in seven years.

01-23-2005, 11:57 PM
Same here. Welded almost 10 years straight on all galv and I'm still here and welding. My arthritis is acting up a bit, though.....you don't suppose...... :eek: :eek:

I hear you loud and clear. I was grinding away in the shop today. After 5 minutes, I got a dust mask. Even 10 years ago, I wouldn't have even had any to grab! 20 years making sparks has made me a little more careful....I still have more things to build!

01-24-2005, 07:43 AM
Anyone welding galvanized steel should use a PAPR system.

If You do not You are a fool!

Only my Opinion

01-24-2005, 09:18 AM
Well, you guys have me scared. :eek:

I made a post earlier about wanting to weld a few galvanized brackets to a galvanized fence post. One reply said to watch the fumes but didn't elaborate.

Would this light job be of any concern?

Rocky D
01-24-2005, 01:33 PM
You can do it, just stay upwind. I've welded lots of galvanized and still do...I don't drink milk either...I'm a herbivor....but I stay away from the fumes....years ago I heard that if you painted the galvznized with white vinegar it would counteract the zinc poisoning...never done it though.
Metal fume fever only last about 48 hours, your immune system will take care of it, providing you're not on steroids. :rolleyes:

01-24-2005, 03:32 PM
have you ever seen a cow with galvanic poisening? :D

Rocky D
01-24-2005, 03:51 PM
have you ever seen a cow with galvanic poisening? :D
Cows don't drink milk... :rolleyes: They don't weld, either :rolleyes: :D

01-26-2005, 05:10 AM
Cows don't drink milk...They don't weld, either

Now......You Don't KNOW That !!

01-26-2005, 06:24 PM
Milk is a old wise tale.. Budweiser cures the sickness. Thats what my foreman tells me