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All I use is 2% thorium. Smooth stable arc and starts great on my dc transformer.
The fumes are not carcinogenic. It the dust when you dress the tip you have to worry about. However, you stand a greater change of getting cancer from second hand cigarette smoke then you do from grinding or dressing a 2% thoriated tungsten. The ultraviolet light flash from the tig weld arc will give you cancer faster.