Does Soldering Involve Hazardous Materials?

Learn if soldering involves hazardous materials from expert Jeff Koskulics in this Howcast video.

Okay, so let’s talk about hazardous materials and soldering. Now, lead solder contains a hazardous material, lead, which is harmful to health, is known to be a poison. But mainly the risk comes from ingestion. If the solder is eaten or ingested, it can lead to lead poisoning. And that’s a serious risk that should be considered, so that you should take steps to protect against this from happening. And I guess the risk really mainly involves young children who tend to put things in their mouth and if they find a little piece of solder on the ground, it’s conceivable that they’d put it in their mouth and eat it, and that’s a serious risk. But that’s not to say that solder is inherently dangerous. There’s things that we can do to make it safer. One is keeping children away from solder and from the work area. Two, keeping the work area clean. Three, keeping the work area well-ventilated so that smoke doesn’t build up and that there’s no harmful vapors that are present.

To control the little pieces of lead that invariably happen when you’re soldering, you really want to use a vacuum cleaner. You want to make sure that you’ve cleaned the area that you’re working in. It’s better not to work on carpeted surfaces, and rather on hard surfaces because there are fewer nooks and crannies for things to get stuck in. But mainly, to try to keep your work area clean after you’ve finished working, you know, make it a daily habit to run the vacuum and try to keep the little pieces and things off the floor.