It is no secret that looking directly at welding can undoubtedly be harmful to your eyes. However, many question whether or not it is also detrimental to watch the process on a screen.
Is it bad to look at welding on TV? The answer is no. Watching welding on screen is not harmful. The cameras used cannot pick up the intense infrared light that is seen in-person, nor can monitors transmit the infrared light that is harmful to the human eye. In other words, the camera and the screen are like a shield for the harmful light that occurs during the welding process.
Today, we’ll be taking a look at why it is completely safe to look at welding on screens. We will also look at why it is harmful to view in-person and what other dangers you should be aware of.
Why Isn’t Welding Harmful from a TV Screen?
As I mentioned earlier, the screen acts as a sort of prevention from the immense light emitted during welding.
Because the screen is made up of tiny pixels that create the images that you see, you aren’t viewing what you think is a reality. The reality involves infrared light that travels incredibly fast.
It is a complicated process certainly, and with the technology of 4K TV’s and even 8K on the horizon, what we see on the screen seems to become more realistic every single day. However, the bottom line is, these are still pixels that we are viewing, despite how small they may become.
Cameras cannot pick up on, and screens cannot accurately transmit the infrared light welding produces. Thus, the lens of the eye cannot heat up, and the iris can adapt so that the retina is not damaged.
What About Hearing?
If you haven’t been around welding in person, it can be an extremely loud process. Loud enough to cause nerve damage if proper precautions are not taken.
Even though it is minor, small amounts of damage do add up over time. However, TV does not capture the sound as if it was an in-person experience. It can still produce quite high levels of noise depending on the quality of the speakers.
Since noise is still reproduced at high decibel levels with the right speakers, so I would consider this a potential problem. When you start to view a video, I recommend that you begin with the volume set low and decide where to go from there.
Although the intensity of the sound cannot be exactly duplicated, the sound levels can still be harmful. So, compared to the visual potential, I’d say the auditory should be more of a concern than what you see on a screen. This doesn’t mean that it is a common problem, but something to keep in mind.
Can it Ever Become Harmful?
Despite watching welding on TV not being a harmful process, having too much screen time, in general, can be detrimental. There are quite a few ways that TV/screen watching can be harmful. Some of these ways include:
- Watching for too long
- Watching to close to the screen
- Watching shows/movies in the dark
There are more ways that viewing can be harmful, but these are typically the most popular ways in which people view their TV’s that causes harm. However, one of the most damaging things is undoubtedly the fact that many people watch their screens for far too long.
Not only can it have a significant impact on your vision, but it also is a severe threat to your health as well, both mentally and physically. Often, people that spend hours watching TV a day don’t have the energy or motivation to go outside and exercise, which can lead to several health problems.
Also, hours of screen time has been linked with depression, which can become quite serious as well. Whether adult or child, limited screen time is something that should always be implemented to avoid these unnecessary issues.
Why is Viewing Welding Harmful?
The infrared light given off by welding travels so quickly that the iris cannot close soon enough for the light to stop from reaching the retina. This light causes the lens of the eye to heat up.
As you have most likely noticed, when welding, welders wear a specific type of mask to protect their vision and face. Welders wear masks for a reason. Not only is the process physically harmful without proper protection, but it can also have a serious effect on your vision as well.
During the welding process, UV radiation is produced. Cataracts can form and lead to vision loss with prolonged exposure to UV radiation.
This infrared light can be quite harmful, but most educated welders know how to properly equip themselves, so they don’t run into any of these issues.
There have been many instances where inexperienced welders have been harmed during the welding process. Permanent vision harm is high on the list of injuries to newbie welders.
When performing or viewing live a process like welding, you must understand all of the critical safety elements that go into it.
Overall though, if you have the proper equipment or are at a reasonable distance, you should be perfectly fine to view welding. If you aren’t sure where to purchase the masks and are wanting to view or perform welds, then I recommend looking here for our recommendations.
Other Common Issues Associated With Welding
Eyesight is not the only concern when it comes to a process like welding, as it can include many other harmful risks. One of these risks is your hearing.
The welding process is very loud. If you have only experienced the sound on the TV, it is amplified notably in all aspects when it is heard in-person.
Although not always a necessity, ear protection is a reasonable safety precaution when you are close to the welding process (I would argue critical if welding is your occupation) (I would argue critical if welding is your occupation). Also, the fumes from the welding process can be harmful, and not only involving the respiratory system.
The fumes from the process can be quite harmful to your hearing.
Despite this little known fact, the most common hearing problems that derive from welding does come from the loud noises that are made throughout the process.
Overall, viewing Welding on TV is not harmful and is perfectly fine to view and won’t cause you any harm. However, too much viewing time on screens can be quite damaging to your vision and even your mental health.
As I mentioned though, hearing can be an issue if the speakers on are too loud, and it can cause discomfort. In terms of actually affecting someone to the point of severe damage, the chances are little to none.
The process of welding itself can be quite dangerous, especially if you aren’t familiar with what you are doing. Welding is a process that requires time to learn not only how to do it properly, but also the safety precautions and measurements that are needed.
I believe that the biggest takeaway from this is that although viewing a dangerous procedure such as welding on TV is not harmful through the screen, there are certain aspects to watching TV that can be harmful and cause issues that can affect you later on in your life.