2022 Practical Guide to Welding Fume Control – Product Controls

Welding Safety News

2022 Practical Guide to Welding Fume Control – Product Controls

The new 2022 Practical Guide to Welding Fume Control aims to give workplaces even clearer advice on limiting welding fume exposure, delving deeper into how Local Exhaustion Ventilation (LEV) in particular can reduce exposure for both the welder and those working near welding operations.

What LEV options are available?

Product controls are available in two main forms: LEV and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

Whilst the importance of PPE cannot be understated, its purpose is effectively to protect the wearer alone. On the other hand, correctly chosen LEV can both protect the welder and stop the spread of fume throughout the workplace. Ultimately, it is strongly suggested that respiratory PPE is always worn in combination with LEV.

There are three main LEV options in the welding industry:

  1. Fixed Installations are designed to deal with a large quantity of welding fume, making them ideal for heavy fume environments. Although a limiting factor for these systems is that they cannot offer flexibility if requirements change, they are best for situations where the welder can remain positioned correctly, relative to the capture point.
  2. Portable Systems can be carried or rolled around the workplace and positioned where required, so are ideal for situations where the welder moves around the workspace. They can also prove to be a more economical option when compared to fixed installations. However, once positioned they do not follow the welder as they move.
  3. On-Gun Fume Extraction is the only product control solution that removes welding fume directly at the source and follows the welder as they move. What’s more, today’s on-gun torches can now be the same size and weight as normal welding guns. Translas On-Gun Fume Extraction is a prime example of this, as their guns deliver market-leading capture rates of up to 98% without affecting the shielding gas.


  Advantages Limitations
Fixed Installations
  • Ideal for heavy fume environments
  • Does not follow the welder
  • Positioning is critical (protection/porosity)
Portable LEV
  • Lower cost vs fixed installations
  • Mobility and flexibility
  • Does not follow the welder
  • Positioning is critical (protection/porosity)
On-Gun Extraction
  • Follows the welder
  • High capture rates (up to 98%)
  • Not available for MMA (Stick) welding 
  • Parameters must be set correctly


Find out more by reading the 2022 Practical Guide to Welding Fume Control


IMPORTANT: Opening a roller door is not enough!

Please note that opening a roller door for wind or a cross breeze should only be used as a general comfort measure, not as an engineering control measure for welding fume. Although it can help disperse welding fume and other contaminants when used in combination with other controls, it should never be used as a control by itself.

Similarly, forced dilution ventilation occurs when contaminants released into the workshop mix with air flowing through the room via forced dilution ventilation systems. This is also not an effective method to control welding fume exposure, as large volumes of dilution air may be required and it is extremely difficult to control individual exposure near the contaminant source where dilution has not yet taken place.


Download the 2022 Practical Guide to Welding Fume Control FREE here

Discover portable fume extraction here

Explore On-Gun Fume Extraction here

View the range of respiratory welding helmets here

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