Well-known electronics tool manufacturer Weller offers a whole mini-website aimed at promoting their Zero-Smog campaign: a plea to you to stop breathing in the nasty stuff released in the air when you’re soldering. And even a quick look at the site shows that the contaminants you smell when soldering are truly hideous health-wise.
Even after you’ve switched to lead-free solder, Weller says there’s still plenty of nasty left — everything from airborne particulate matter to toxic gasses and solvents. Thankfully their mini-site offers lots of advice to help you understand the risks and the options available to you to prevent experiencing those risks.
Of course, it’s no surprise that Weller recommends their own products. But even if you don’t choose Weller, the site’s a great read. Their selection guide walks you through the whole process from selecting either a tip or volume extraction system — tip extraction sucks up the nasty right from the tip of your iron while volume extraction pulls air from around the work area — to maintaining it and understanding how using an extraction system might impact your work.
Remember: The life you save might be your own. Or that of an employee with a workplace injury lawyer for a cousin.