Welder often gets asked if they are using the new type of gas, the 220V high frequency HHO gas. This type of gas is being talked about a lot as being used in welding helmets for new applications and also being made available to the general public. There is some preliminary data available concerning the possible health risks involved when breathing in this high frequency gas. It seems that the gas is a noble metal (the one that we use in our watches) and does not contain any harmful metals in it. It is really hard to say at this time what the health implications might be with the use of these gases, whether they will prove to be safe or not.
Some of the problems that have been identified with the use of these high frequency gasses being used by welders are similar to the problems we see with some of the other gases that welders use. They create fumes that can be irritating to some and allergic to others. It is thought that this may well be because the vaporization of the gas makes it very hot and causes some of the weld to seep out into the air. It is difficult to say for sure at this time, but many in the welding business feel that using this gas is preferable to using something like Tungsten inert gas. This Tungsten inert gas is often used in conjunction with a chamber instead of an arc to prevent the gasses from vaporizing and creating problems with allergy sufferers.
Many manufacturers are working on a solution for this potential problem. They have developed a valve that will allow only a small amount of the gas to escape while the wearer is wearing the helmet. If the valve is electronically operated, then the valve will close off once the flow of gas to the weld is complete and then automatically opens back up once the flow is back down. Currently this is only available on one brand of helmet, but it is hoped that more designs will be available within the near future. 220V high frequency HHO gas welding helmets are currently available by a few manufacturers, but more technological solutions may surface in the near future.