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Health Effects of Soldering. W. Smith Chandler, MD, MPH, MS. Toxicology. All substances are poisons. There is none which is not a poison. The right dose distinguishes a poison from a remedy. Paracelsus. Dose-Response. Low Dose Exposures. Subtle effects ignored IQ Personality

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Health effects of soldering

Health Effects of Soldering

W. Smith Chandler, MD, MPH, MS


Toxicology
Toxicology

All substances are poisons. There is none which is not a poison. The right dose distinguishes a poison from a remedy.

Paracelsus



Low dose exposures
Low Dose Exposures

  • Subtle effects ignored

    • IQ

    • Personality

    • Reproductive

  • Latency periods complicate cause-effect

  • “No evidence of an effect”

  • ALARA


Solder
Solder

  • Lead

  • Cadmium

  • Tin

  • Bismuth

  • Silver

  • Antimony


Lead

  • Ben Franklin

  • Fetoprotection

  • Half-life in blood, one month; bone, 27 years


Lead levels
Lead Levels

  • PbB units-micrograms/dl

  • 50-medical removal

  • 30-adult symptoms

  • 10-pediatric standard

  • JLab-all below 10

  • Marker for other exposures


Lead toxicity
Lead Toxicity

  • Can affect most organs

  • Developing nervous system has no clear NOEL for IQ

  • Adult nervous system

    • Psychological effects: reduced memory & slowed responses at PbB 20-40

    • Wrist and foot drop at higher levels


Lead toxicity cont
Lead Toxicity, cont.

  • Anemia

  • Reduced kidney function

  • Hypertension with no clear NOEL

  • Reproductive effects in both sexes

  • Reduced immune function

    • Studied at levels of 20-85

    • Increased colds & flu; reduced IgA


Cadmium
Cadmium

  • Itai Itai disease

  • Carcinogenic

  • Reduced brain function and intelligence

  • Irreversible kidney damage in solderers

  • Reduced lung function

  • Testicular damage in animal studies


Other solder metals
Other Solder Metals

  • Tin: overexposure to inorganic is “stannosis” & involves lung irritation

  • Silver: argyria, argyrosis, possible kidney effects

  • Antimony: numerous effects with uncertain dose-response including GI irritation and possible cancer

  • Bismuth: Pepto-bismol, tellurium breath


Flux and defluxers
Flux and Defluxers

  • Terpenes: taxol, menthol

  • Halogenated solvents: CNS depression (anesthetic gases), liver & kidney damage

    • Trichloroethylene

    • Trichloroethane (methyl chloroform)

  • Fluorides: toothpaste

  • Chlorides: irritants


Summary
Summary

  • Numerous important toxicants

  • Dose-response relationships are inconsistent

  • Long term effects are nebulous

  • Practice ALARA


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