[sdiy] Amps and neons - here's a good one!

Neil Johnson neil.johnson97 at ntlworld.com
Mon Feb 11 22:19:19 CET 2013

> Probably - It wouldn't suprise me.  Until quite recently Thorium was
> common in TIG welding rods because the radiation stabilised the
> low-voltage arc.  The thorium (or maybe thoria?) also used to get into
> the lungs in the form of welding fumes where it could wreak its nasty
> havoc on DNA :-(  These days I believe zirconiated is more common than
> thoriated for TIG rods but I'm no expert.

It wasn't fumes from welding itself (it is not hot enough to vaporise 
the tungsten, but you lost the sharp point either by melting it or 
touching the work causing the tip to fuse with the work and having to 
wiggle the torch to break it off), it was when you re-ground the point 
on the tungsten you didn't want to breathe in the dust from the grinding 
wheel.  Radioactive dust is really not nice at all.

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