-- The Home Page of the Finishing Industry
Serious Education & the most FUN
you can have in metal finishing smiley

No popups, spam, registration or passwords
on this site
current topics
topic 11221

Non-confirmed health hazard


My husband was sent into a non-ventilated crawl space to cut galvanized pipe with an acetylene torch. By 10 pm that same night he was in the ER with chemical pneumonia. He was never the same. Today, 20 years later, he has a combination of health problems, but no proof that they are any direct result of the exposure to the gas released (cyanide?) when he cut that pipe with that torch.

Alice Ann (Rohrer) Campbell
- North Manchester, Indiana, USA


There would certainly be no cyanide released from torching a galvanized pipe, and if there were, cyanide tends to be an acute poison rather than a chronic poison. It's vaguely possible that the coating was cadmium plating rather than galvanizing, so you might want to look up the health effects of cadmium. Cadmium poisoning does tend to be chronic, like lead or mercury poisoning.

Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey


Torch cutting galvanized metal in an enclosed space is a 100% guaranteed heavy metal poisoning from the zinc. How much the body was affected would be dependent on the amount of zinc that was vaporized, the duration of the exposure and the amount of airflow (turnover) in the confined space. Everyone has a different tolerance to it, so two people in the same area might vary from hospitalization to just a nasty headache.

James Watts
- Navarre, Florida


If cutting galvanized pipe is hazardous, would heating it also be hazardous? I was going to heat a galvanized pipe to around 300 degrees and heard about this and thought I should investigate it first.

Steve Perry
- Fort Worth, Texas


300 degrees is not very hot; the zinc plated bolts and other under-hood components on your car get hotter than that. But everything is relative and I wouldn't do anything in a confined space without ventilation.

Ted Mooney,
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey

If you have a question in mind which seems off topic, please Search the Site

ADD a Comment to THIS thread START a NEW threadView CURRENT TOPICS

Disclaimer: It's not possible to diagnose a finishing problem or the hazards of an operation via these pages. All information presented is for general reference and does not represent a professional opinion nor the policy of an author's employer. The internet is largely anonymous & unvetted; some names may be fictitious and some recommendations may be deliberately harmful.

  If you need a product/service, please check these Directories:

JobshopsCapital Equip. & Install'nChemicals & Consumables Consult'g, Train'g, SoftwareEnvironmental ComplianceTesting Svcs. & Devices

©1995-2018, Inc., Pine Beach, NJ   -   About   -  Privacy Policy
How Google uses data when you visit this site.