Just how safe are borax based fluxes used in soldering and brazing?

ADDITIONAL GUIDANCE for the use of BORAX BASED FLUXES in Schools and Colleges.

Many of you will have picked up on the changes to the WeldabilitySIF COSHH Material Safety Data Sheet for their Borax based fluxes and for most of us via the 2016 SIFBronze flux data sheet.  This rang alarm bells for many in schools as if we applied this on the basis of the work exposure hazard headlines, we would be thinking seriously whether young women or girls should be engaging in this key part of design and technology / engineering practice.  The Design & Technology Association have been in discussion with the manufacturer WeldabilitySIF and have produced this additional guidance to take account of the much more limited use of these materials by schools, students and staff.  With a few basic precautions, outlined in the additional guidance, these fluxes are safe to continue to use in our workshops as long as exposure is limited for any individual.  Good hygiene and effective LEV remain important here.

Please note that when you review any COSHH material safety data sheet, you do need to take account of the exposure level, but please do not just assume that the risk is lower on reduced contact, do ensure you take advice from the manufacturer.  

Remember, it is important that Health and safety training and accreditation, for all staff using workshop equipment, is up to date to ensure you remain compliant. Refresher training is easily accessible from the D&T Association. See Training and Events section on the D&T Association website or call 01789 470007

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