Contaminants produced by thermal spray are often smaller than a micron, meaning they can easily find their way into a worker’s body and cause serious health consequences.
Hexavalent Chromium (or hex chrome) is produced when heating metals that contain chromium. It is a carcinogenic substance that can cause relatively minor injuries, such as irritation to the upper respiratory system, eyes and skin. However, it has also been known to cause lung cancer and other serious medical problems in cases of long-term exposure.
Nickel is a commonly encountered pollutant in thermal spray. While it can affect the eyes and skin, it’s more damaging effects come from breathing it. Reactions to nickel exposure may include nausea, chest tightness, fever, allergic reactions, or even serious lung conditions like fibrosis and pneumoconiosis.
Cobalt exposure can lead to skin conditions like dermatitis and eczema, respiratory irritation and fibrosis, and thyroid issues.
Copper can create irritation in the eyes and lungs.
Aluminum dust can lead to a variety of respiratory and pulmonary conditions.