Gas related risks are present all along the process of metal surface treatment: while degreasing, pickling, during the coating process, and during the silver, copper, gold or nickel plating as well. Many used chemicals and acid products can have important consequences on human health.
Major surface treatment gases and acids
|Surface treatment process||Potential gas and substance|
Halogenated solvents (methylene chloride, perchlorethylene, trichloroethylene)
Highly toxic acids such as chlorydric acid, nitric acid or sulfuric acid
|Chromating, passivation||Chromic acid (Chromium 4), sulfuric acid|
(silver, copper, gold or nickel plating)
|Acid and cyanide compounds (primarily hydrogen cyanide)|
Find out any information about these gases and acids in our INFORMATION ON GAS section. On these pages are gathered gases main physical and chemical properties, their effects on health and equipment for protection and detection.
Gas detection for surface treatment
Surface treatment fixed gas detector units need to be installed close to treatment tanks to measure and control potential presence of toxic and corrosive gases. Health and safety committees oftentimes also ask for air quality traceability of work environments. The installation of these fixed gas detection devices can thus provide a proper alert system and at the same time guarantee compliance.
Workers respiratory protection for surface treatment
In case of an emergency – presence of toxic gas in the working atmosphere – or for short term works in polluted areas; it is necessary to wear respiratory protective equipment. Workers usually use a full face gas mask (as most of acids are irritant to eyes), a powered air purifying respirator or even a self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) in case of severe toxic gas concentrations.