Soldering fume arising when soldering or brazing is usually both environmentally harmful and unhealthy. It may consist of several components:
On the one hand, there are fumes and solids originated from flux. These can be alcoholic fumes – since flux is often based on alcohol – or either the flux itself or the result of the reaction between flux and air constituents. Flux is often irritant or corrosive.
On the other hand, soldering-fume components originated from solder itself are to be considered, too. So-called solder skimmings or dross particles consist of oxidized metals. When soldering with lead, cadmium or other heavy metals, it also includes these elements and is thus particularly dangerous.
Fine and very fine dust can block pulmonary alveoli or the blood can absorb it directly at the lung. Consequently, it is extremely harmful to health. Furthermore, irritant or corrosive substances can irritate or even damage eyes, as well.
Proper professional extraction of soldering fumes is indispensible in order to prevent environmental or health hazards.
Some of the pollutants that could arise when soldering or brazing: (source, June 16, 2008)
|Soft soldering ||Brazing |
| Hydrogen bromide ||Boron oxide |
|Lead oxide ||Boron trifluoride |
|Hydrogen chloride ||Cadmium oxide |
|Formaldehyde ||Fluorides |
|Hydrazine ||Copper oxide |
|Colophony ||Phosphorus pentoxide |
|Tin compounds ||Silver oxide |
|Zinc oxide |