Welding Around Horses Can Blind Your Horse – Protect Your Animals From Welders

Welders wear Dark eye protection to protect their eyes. Animals can’t protect their eyes and a natural instinct is to look at new, strange or loud things. Protect your dogs, horses, cats and other animals and keep them away from any welding that is on-going. Below is some information about how welding light can cause blindness and eye issues.

The temperature of an electric arc can be from 6,000 to 11,000 degrees or even hotter. This is hotter than the outer visible layers of the sun which are about 5500 deg. C.

When objects are heated, they give off visible light, the hotter they are the more light that is given off. As the temperature rises the frequency of the light also goes up.

It colors changes from light red to orange, yellow, brilliant white. If temperature rises higher eventually the color turns to whitish blue, produced by the extremely hot gas of an arc.

At that temperature of an whitish blue, the frequency is beyond the range of visible light, into the range of invisible Ultraviolet light. More UV light is given off than visible. UV light can cause “sun” burns, kill skin cells and damages the eye.

Certain types of UV radiation can produce an injury to the surface and mucous membrane (conjunctiva) of the eye called ‘welders’ eye or ‘arc flash.’ These are common names for “conjunctivitis” – an inflammation of the mucous membrane of the front of the eye. The symptoms include:
• inability to look at light sources (photo phobia)
• tearing and reddening of the eye and membranes around the eye
• pain or pressure in the eyes to intense pain in severe instances
• can give a sensation of sand in the eye and abnormal light sensitivity

The amount of time required to cause these effects depends on several factors like intensity of radiation, distance from the welding arc source, angle radiation enters the eye and type of eye protection being used. Exposure to a few seconds of intense UV light can cause eye damage. Long-term exposure to UV light can produce cataracts. Exposure to infrared light can heat the lens of the eye and produce cataracts over the long term.

Visible light from welding processes is bright & can overwhelm the ability of the iris to close rapidly enough to limit the light reaching the retina. The result is that the light is temporarily blinding and fatiguing to the eye. (See link to Flash Blindness)

Blue light hazard is the temporary or permanent scarring of the retina due to its sensitivity to blue light and this occurs around 440 nm wavelength. Blindness may result.

Flash Blindness is what happens when someone shines a bright flashlight in your eye or if a flash from a camera goes off. Since Horses have much better night vision, any flashlight at night can cause Flash Blindness for up to 30 minutes. DON’T USE FLASHLIGHTS AROUND HORSES AT NIGHT.