Soldering in my room

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I live in a student apartment and I plan on soldering indoors. My bed, cooking place, dish washing sink are quite close the desk where I would solder (It is in the center of room 1.jpg).

I will use a standard 60/40 solder, for a fume extraction I will use a fume extractor with a charcoal filter, after I'm done soldering I will wash my hands in bathroom.

Can I possibly poison my room and consequently next residents ?

Should I use lead-free solder in this case ?

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Last Edited: Tue. Dec 27, 2016 - 10:52 PM
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I've been doing it for years with no fume extraction. I'm not dead yet. That's not to say it is good practice. 

I'd suggest the level of contaminants is rather low unlike that of the atomic boy scout.

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Unless you start running a business and doing production work from your apartment, I don't think there is any significant risk to yourself or to the next apartment user, (with or without the fume extractor being used).

 

Good luck with your projects!

 

JC

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Usually the answer to questions like this are in the Materials Safety Data Sheet.  This is a standardized document required by the USA Dept of Labor for all materials used in manufacturing in the USA.

 

If you are a student then there is the possibility that there is an electronics lab at your school.  This would be a better place to do soldering because all the test equipment like oscilloscopes are nearby.

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LightningWalrus wrote:
Should I use lead-free solder in this case ?

You being in Finland I would have assumed that Leaded solder is a banned product with ROHS compliancy and the like.

 

Jim

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jgmdesign wrote:

LightningWalrus wrote:
Should I use lead-free solder in this case ?

You being in Finland I would have assumed that Leaded solder is a banned product with ROHS compliancy and the like.

 

Jim

officially yes, but as long a things are not to be sold to third parties you can still use 'old' solder.

they have been working on getting that changed for years now.

as far as I know it still is not totally banned from use, not to mention all the 'non profesionals' that only use little tion and thus still may be using lead tin. actually you can still buy it.

 

love the bureaucracy.............

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I am sure that students have got more ways to be anti-social than a small amount of soldering.
As far as I know, you can still use 60/40 solder for hobbyist or non-commercial purposes.
.
Just open the windows. I would be far more worried about fumes from the flux than any lead content.
I bet that your plumbing has got lead solder in the copper pipework.
.
If you are a maths or technical student, you can do a swift calculation about air movement and air changes in a ventilated room.
Compare the quantities of flux, solder, ... that you use with that in a commercial factory.
.
David.

Last Edited: Wed. Dec 28, 2016 - 07:21 AM
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I would be far more worried about fumes from the flux than any lead content.

Agreed. I learnt to gently blow while soldering if no fume extractor.  My thinking being that if I am exhaling the fumes can't be going into my lungs.    

 

David

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AIUI, the reason for banning leaded solder has nothing to do with protecting the people doing the soldering - it's about the problems of heavy metals in WEEE.

 

As others have said, the risk from a little hobby soldering is negligible. You are at far more risk from burning the place down due to carelessly leaving the iron lying around!

 

 

 

david.prentice wrote:
I bet that your plumbing has got lead solder in the copper pipework.

Really?

 

Lead in (potable) water plumbing has been banned in the UK for many years.

 

AFAIK, the French tend to braze their plumbing - so what do the Fins do?

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I sent the OP an article, https://diamondenv.wordpress.com/2011/01/06/lead-exposure-during-soldering/, where someone had their production facility and workers tested for lead from 60/40 soldering – even though it is not considered an issue. As the author reports:

I’m glad to say that, as expected, exposures were very low. In fact no lead was detected on any of the samples, meaning that the time weighted average concentrations were less than 2% of the lead exposure limit.

The real issue with soldering, he writes, is the flux fumes.

 

- John

Last Edited: Wed. Dec 28, 2016 - 10:50 AM
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Here is a report from the 80's. Basically they found out that the solder fumes have virtually zero lead, but hands and other surfaces where you work do become contaminated.

 

In  11  of  13  air  samples  (Table  1)  collected  during  separate  soldering  operations,  lead  fume was  undetectable. Fume  levels  in  the  remaining  two  samples  were considered  to  be insignificant against  an  OSHA  permissible  exposure  limit  of  50  ug/m3.
The  data  substantially support  the  first  study  objective,  to  confirm  that  lead  fume  is  not  generated  during  soldering operations  in  amounts  significant  to constitute  an  inhalation  hazard  or  source of  surface contamination.

The  data  do indicate  measurable removable  lead  surface  contamination  in  support  of  the second  study  objective of  demonstrating  opportunity  for ingestion.   

 

Most studies confirm that rosin fumes are a lot more dangerous to your health than insignificant amounts of vaporized lead. But you should wash your hands after soldering and do not use the work bench for other activities without a thorough cleaning. These are my conclusions from the study I linked.

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awneil wrote:

david.prentice wrote:
I bet that your plumbing has got lead solder in the copper pipework.

Really?

 

Lead in (potable) water plumbing has been banned in the UK for many years.

 

AFAIK, the French tend to braze their plumbing - so what do the Fins do?

 

I bet that your house has 22mm and 15mm copper piping.    With regular soldered fittings.

The "easy" fittings have a ring of solder already in the fitting.   Just apply flux.   Heat until the capillary flow completes the joint.   

 

Of course the pre-filled fittings might have lead-free solder but when you buy straight solder from the plumbers' merchant,  that certainly contans lead.

 

You would need to find a very old house before you came across traditional lead piping with sweated joints.   I would not drink any water from such a house.

The derivation of "plumber" is from the Latin for Lead.

 

Refrigeration "plumbing" uses better quality copper piping and the joints are brazed rather than soldered.

My friend used to install Air Conditioning in Russia.    Apparently,   Russians just weld steel pipe.

 

David.

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david.prentice wrote:
I bet that your house has 22mm and 15mm copper piping.

Indeed - and some 28mm.

 

Of course the pre-filled fittings might have lead-free solder

Water Regs have required lead-free for years

 

 

but when you buy straight solder from the plumbers' merchant,  that certainly contans lead.

Not for potable (ie, drinking) water, it doesn't

 

http://www.screwfix.com/p/fernox...

 

For potable water, you must use lead-free:

http://www.screwfix.com/p/fernox...

 

 

You would need to find a very old house before you came across traditional lead piping with sweated joints.

I grew up in such a house!

It was certainly post WW1; may have been just post WW2.

 

I would not drink any water from such a house.

We had to run the water before drinking it.

 

My Dad gradually replaced the lead with copper

 

The derivation of "plumber" is from the Latin for Lead.

Indeed.

 

Refrigeration "plumbing" uses better quality copper piping and the joints are brazed rather than soldered.

 

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http://www.harrisproductsgroup.c...

 

IIRC, this is the symbol which shows that a capillary fitting has lead-free solder:

 

 

http://www.screwfix.com/p/yorksh...

 

 

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Last Edited: Wed. Dec 28, 2016 - 01:44 PM
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Ah-ha. I looked at a reel of Plumbers Solder. It just says 3.25mm 500gm CONTAINS LEAD.

And a capillary fitting has your magic sign.

I am not going to lose any sleep over "older" capillary fittings in my house.

Your link goes to a US site. However, I imagine that Europe will have similar timescale and rules.

David.

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david.prentice wrote:
Ah-ha. I looked at a reel of Plumbers Solder. It just says 3.25mm 500gm CONTAINS LEAD.

How long have you had it ... ?

 

wink

 

And a capillary fitting has your magic sign.

 

I am not going to lose any sleep over "older" capillary fittings in my house.

Me neither!

 

Quote:
Your link goes to a US site. However, I imagine that Europe will have similar timescale and rules.

Indeed.

 

I think the "WRAS" mentioned on the Screwfix pages is the relevant UK authority...

 

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