74 HPM 0416

HPM-04-APR-2016

Got a story? Ring us on 01732 748041 or e-mail twood@unity-media.com PIPES,PUMPS,VALVES&FITTINGS In a flux over soldering safety When we talk about health and safety surrounding soldering, the need for a hot works licence and the importance of protection against the naked flame are key. But danger also lurks in the form of the solutions used for marking and sealing pipework prior to and after soldering. John Dabb, Hyde MD, explains more... Many of the plumbing solutions available can have a negative impact on your health due to the chemicals used to make them. Many of these dangers are hidden, with plumbers not aware of the harmful impact such products can have on their health while they are using them. Wearing appropriate protective clothing is one thing, but avoiding coming into contact with such chemicals at all is ultimately preferable and completely possible by investing in quality branded solutions. One of the most significant dangers to installers when using soldering solutions such as flux lies in the release of noxious fumes, released when some fluxes are heated and breathed in by installers numerous times a day. BREATHING IN TOXIC FUMES These are particularly dangerous if the flux being used contains lead or other toxic materials. If used infrequently on the odd job here and there these fumes may not cause too much of a problem, but when multiplied by the number of soldering joints the average installer will carry out over the course of their career, the consequences of breathing such fumes in could be significant for all the wrong reasons. Even more of a concern is that the effects of using such products may not begin to be felt until many years down the line, encouraging installers to carry on regardless with little awareness of the potential dangers. With soldering flux, it isn’t only the danger of breathing in anything nasty that should be a concern, but also the damage that fluxes that contain these nasties can do your skin. Some fluxes are acidic and can lead to serious and WWW.HPMMAG.COM enquiry number 150 Pro-Line HT liquid paint markers from Markal are safe to use in any environment as the paint is xylene-free painful burns if they come into contact with your skin, something that often happens when you’re working at a pace. The most effective way of avoiding this hazard is to opt for a solution which is non toxic and lead-free, or at the very least is supplied with the appropriate applicators to make easier work of applying the solution to pipework. It isn’t just fluxes that can cause health and safety problems for installers when soldering, but the markers used for marking out pipes too. While they can look harmless enough, some of these contain xylene, a toxic chemical that can have serious health implications if you were to be exposed to it on a regular basis over a long period of time. Again, look clearly at the 74 APRIL 2016 HEATING & PLUMBING MONTHLY Non-acid, non-toxic, and lead-free to eliminate safety concerns, LA-CO Regular Flux Paste is water-soluble and is easy to apply with the brush conveniently stored in the cap labelling on such products to ensure that you are always working safely when soldering, long after the hot flame has been extinguished. A quality flux and marker will be proud of its non-toxic, non-harmful nature and will, therefore, clearly display these qualities on its label. Just as you would check the ingredients on food packaging prior to purchasing if you had any known intolerances or were feeling particularly health conscious, so it is important to check that the soldering solutions you are working with won’t compromise on your safety while you work. A quality flux and marker will be proud of its non-toxic, non-harmful nature and will, therefore, clearly display these qualities on its label. Products stocked at all major plumbers merchants! The Plumbers Mate! T: 0151 709 6636 E: info@essexflanges.com www.essexflanges.com ESSEX Flanges and Bosses • The easiest and fastest method of making reliable tank connections in awkward places • Available for all sizes of pipe work and immersion heaters • Essex have been makers of quality flanges and bosses for over 80 years • Essex the ‘can do’ solution for fast and easy installation that’s totally reliable, first time, everytime ESSEX Essex Partners Limited enquiry number 354


HPM-04-APR-2016
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