As a welder, you’re trained to know exactly what to do to keep yourself safe from heat and sparks. But what about the microscopic and potentially toxic airborne elements that cling to your lungs with time? Manganese is a very common metal found in over 250 natural minerals. It’s present most often in steel, welding rods and filler metals; where it promotes hardness and durability. But don’t mistake natural for harmless. When manganese is heated and reacts to oxygen in the air, it forms dangerous oxide fumes that show up as a very fine powder, dust or fume and can quietly attack your lungs and affect them for years to come.