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If inhaled in sufficient concentration it can produce a reaction similar to a bout of flu.
This is what is commonly known as 'metal fume fever'.
Metal fume fever symptoms
Although it normally lasts no more than a day, it is possible to get an attack of fume fever more than once. There is no evidence to suggest that repeated bouts cause cumulative damage.
The metal oxides usually associated with metal fume fever are those of zinc and copper, although others can have the same effects.
In welding and cutting, copper alloys, galvanised and some painted components are most likely to cause this problem.
Alternative names for metal fume fever include, 'zinc fume fever', 'brass
chills' or 'brass founders ague'. These derive from the regular occurrence of fume fever in workers employed in brass foundries where zinc, with its low boiling point of 907°C would boil-off when added to molten copper at 1083°C, forming zinc oxide in the air.