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topic 54905

Can torching galvanized rails cause seizures


April 26, 2010

CAN CUTTING GALVANIZED GUIDERAIL WITH A TORCH CAUSE YOU TO PASS OUT OR HAVE A SEIZURE ? I HAD A SEIZURE AT WORK AND NO ONE KNOWS WHY IT HAPPENED AND THE INSURANCE IS SAYING IT'S NOT DUE TO WORK.

David S
repair guiderail - Colden, New York


April 27, 2010

Hi, David. I have not heard of any incidence of fainting or seizure from exposure to cutting/welding fumes, and in the old days muffler shops frequently burned off galvanized mufflers and piping. But seizures and passing out are very serious business, not really amenable to internet discussion groups. Had you been driving at the time, you might not be alive. Your doctor may suggest tests, cranial x-rays, or who knows what.

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live "Aloha"


April 29, 2010

David,

Search on Google zinc metal fume fever
The case study of Jim Wilson June 2, 2005 is important.
Jim Wilson died.

I personally know of other cases. You can contact me via finishing.com through the hot dip galvanizing section.

Regards,

Dr. Thomas H. Cook
Galvanizing Consultant - Hot Springs, South Dakota 57747


April 30, 2010

David,

I thought about you last night as I was going to sleep and as I was getting up this morning.

On one of my trips to South Africa, I was told two stories about two young workers in a galvanizing plant. The first story was about a recent hire kid who was playing tag with another worker and he stepped onto the ashy surface of a hot dip galvanizing kettle and went up above his knee in molten zinc. They got him out and took him to the hospital where he seemed to recover from his burns in 1 to 3 weeks. Then he died. The postmortem was zinc poisoning. The second story was almost the same except that upon arrival at the hospital the second kid's leg was taken off. As far as I know the kid is alive today.

In your place I would seek proper medical help as soon as possible. I think the zinc in your bloodstream could be very important and you may need immediate treatment for zinc poisoning. Regardless of the means of entry of zinc into your body, I believe your situation is very, very serious.

Regards,

Dr. Thomas H. Cook
Galvanizing Consultant - Hot Springs, South Dakota

April 30, 2010

Hi. After doing a little of the suggested googling, I still didn't find suggestions of a relationship between seizures or fainting and zinc inhalation; but, without medical training, maybe they are there and I'm just missing the proper vocabulary to recognize them.

Was this a single cut, upwind, out in the open air, with no noticeable white "smoke", or was it a full day of cutting in a smoky tight corner?

While I share Dr. Cook's belief in the necessity to see a doctor, without any of the more traditional symptoms of metal fume fever, I wouldn't insist to the doctor that zinc poisoning must be the cause of your fainting. Small amounts of zinc are deliberately inhaled or eaten as a Cold-Easing measure, so it's not like a faint wisp of zinc would do this. While it certainly could be serious, it also could be nothing.

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live "Aloha"



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