I know that breathing in solder fumes is not really good for you. I happen to have some respirators lying around. Could I use this instead of a fume extractor? It might save me some money if I could just use the respirator?
If the air filter is not expensive, sure you can use it with suitable air flow.
Solder fumes are entirely vaporized flux (evaporating volatiles).
Rosin core is distilled from acidic tree sap which is basically the nutrient and immune system of trees but its properties are suitable since it melts with solder heat, reduces solder surface tension and the coating over copper reduces oxidation.
**Do not accept** that not all people react negatively to these fumes, but limited exposure may not be harmful. Although it may smell nice of pine smoke, there may be trace amounts of nasty formaldehyde and toluene.
Rosin is a subset of Resin acids that are made from different mixes including organic acids. Inorganic strong acid flux (HCl) is used for non-electrical solder work.
I find flux fumes pretty unpleasant when they're hot and concentrated straight off the iron, but less of a problem once they're cold and diluted in the air.
I simply take a deep breath before starting to solder, and then exhale a steady slow stream across the work, which blows the stuff away from my eyes, and reminds me not to breathe in.
I don't think solder flux fumes are particularly bad for you, unless you are allergic to them or something. I'm 50+ and have been soldering with tin/lead solder for years, with no noticeable health affects. The solder itself only melts, it is not vaporized, so you're not breathing in any harmful metal vapors.
Solder fumes are bad for all. Don't listen to the garbage they can cause unreversable lung damage. Without my respirator I took an accidental big lungful and my chest was burning for like half an hour. It re occurs I get the same burning chest pain on occasion from one big huff of the stuff. With a respirator I feel much better and safer.