More Information on Fume Extraction

Why is Fume Extraction needed?

It may seem less expensive to skip on costly fume extraction systems but fumes (as well as dust particles) are, if inhaled, hazardous to human health. Continuous exposure can cause serious respiratory diseases to your employees. Ensuring you have a well maintained fume extraction system in place will:

  • Help protect employees and their health
  • Ensure compliance with OSHA, NIOSH C.O.S.H.H, and any other local regulations applicable to your business
  • Avoid the worry and stress of health compensation claims being made by staff for inadequate protection
  • Reduce contamination of surfaces as well as the machines you service, produce or work on
  • Provide a safer, better working environment for everyone

What is the best type of Fume Extraction equipment?

Welding Fume Extractors in OperationWe always recommend your fume extractor captures fumes at the source to really make certain there is no chance of these gases remaining in your place of work.

There is clear guidance in place that provides guaranteed solutions to reduce the fumes generated to within recommended acceptable levels.

All systems should be designed to specifically meet your specific production requirements – off the shelf products are not always suitable to meet with this requirement.

Before you embark on purchasing any LEV system you need to ascertain the extent of the problem. Undertake air monitoring of the situation, it could be the best £1000 you ever spend since it will provide you with a clear picture of the extent of the problem, possibly saving you thousands by not over-specifying an LEV system.

With all LEV systems you should ensure your fume extraction system can be placed as closely as possible to any process which generates fumes. You will also want to make sure that the LEV system precisely meets your requirements.


Large Scale Fume Extraction

Vent Tech also specialise in large scale fume extraction systems even to the scale of moving 60,000m3/hour of air using a 55kW motor. We avoid the use of carbon filters in our systems due to:

  • Chemicals that cling to the filter break down and can release (unknown) elements back into the atmosphere
  • The expense of replacement filters and higher running costs when compared to a Vent-to-atmosphere system
  • The difficulties in disposing of a carbon filter solution (most just end up in landfill)
  • We would always recommend that even with a filtered solution you still vent the fume discharge out to the atmosphere.

What types of fumes are the most hazardous?

Good question and one we get asked a lot!

Carcinogens, mutagens and asthmagen’s are the usual suspects.

Very few industrial processes do NOT generate fumes that are not harmful to the employees around them. Therefore in any process that includes material being changed by way of marking, painting, cutting, welding etc can generate fumes that cause ill health and long term health damage in your workforce.

It is presently a greater risk than ever for a business owner to disregard the safety of his employees when it comes to controlling the environment in their work area.


An example of how rosin based soldering fumes can be hazardous

The company failed to protect one of their employees – a solderer and between 1995 and 2004 he was exposed to rosin based solder fume on a daily basis.

His health seriously deteriorated in 1999 and from then onwards he was taking time off work due to difficulties with breathing. The solderer’s employers failed to ensure there was fume extraction equipment and adequate control measures in place to ensure the removal of rosin based soldering fumes from the air it’s solderer’s breathed.

The result? The company was fined £100,000 with £30,000 costs – a stiff penalty for most!


What are the typical symptoms of exposure to fumes to watch out for?

Symptoms from fume exposure can include but are not limited to:

  • Sore, watering eyes
  • Continuously running or blocked nose
  • Regular sore throats
  • Coughing, wheezing, tight chest and breathlessness that refuses to clear up


If you are looking to replace your fume extraction system then talk to our extraction experts today - we can discuss your requirements to provide a long term solution that protects your workforce. Call 01179 712163 today.