Occupational Exposure to Welding Fumes Using Different Ventilation Scenarios


Welders may suffer from welding fumes generated during the process if the ventilation systems are improperly applied. The objective of the present work was to study the mitigation of air pollutants at welding stations, using different ventilation scenarios. Four air pollutants including iron oxide, respirable dust, ozone, and carbon monoxide were measured during four different ventilation scenarios using US OSHA and US NIOSH sampling and analysis methods. Meantime, face velocity, volumetric airflow rates, duct velocity, static, and velocity pressures at different locations of the ventilation systems were also measured using BS 1042 standard methods. The paired t-test revealed that with p<0.05 there was a significant difference between occupational exposure to air pollutants in 4 different ventilation scenarios. The results also showed that when local and general ventilation systems were both on, the occupational exposure to iron oxide and carbon monoxide were below than their TLVs, but the exposure to the respirable dust in two welding stations and ozone levels in three welding stations were higher than their respective TLVs. The duct air velocity in three welding stations is higher and in eight stations lower than 10.1 m/s recommended by ACGIH. The mean value of volumetric airflow rates in all 11 stations were 34.7% of the required volumetric airflow rates based on standard ventilation systems recommended value. The applied general exhaust ventilation was only 35.5% of standard required value. The local exhaust ventilation is expected to mitigate the air pollutants to acceptable levels at welding stations.

Racette BA, McGee-Minnich L, Moerlein SM, et al. Welding-related Parkinsonism: clinical features, treatment, and pathophysiology. Neurology 2001; 1(56): 8–13.

Sjogren B, Iregren A, Frech W, et al. Effects on the nervous system among welders exposed to aluminum and manganese. Occup Environ Med 1996; 53: 32–40.

Becker N, Chang-Claude J, Frentzel-Beyme R. Risk of cancer for arc welders in the Federal Republic of Germany: results of a second follow up (1983-8). Br J Ind Med 1991; 48(10): 675-83.

Sinczuk-Walczak H, Jakubowski M, Matczak W. Neurological and neuro-physiological examinations of workers occupationally exposed to manganese. Int J Occup Med Environ Health 2001; 14: 329–37.

Akbar-Khanzadeh F. Short term respiratory function changes in relation to work shift welding fume exposure. International Archives of Occupational and Environment Health 1993; 64: 123-8.

Antonini J. Health effect of welding. Critical reviews in toxicology 2003; 33: 165-72.

Steenland K, Beaumont J, Elliot L. Lung Cancer in Mild Steel Welders. American Journal of Epidemiology 1991; 133(3): 220-9.

Barceloux DG. Manganese, Clin Toxicol 1999; 37: 293-307.

Stampfer MJ, Welding Occupations and Mortality from Parkinson's disease and other Neuro-degenerative Diseases among United States Men, 1985-1999, Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene 2009; 6(5): 267-72.

Richard M. Process-Dependent Risk of Delayed Health Effects for Welders. Environmental Health Perspectives 1981; 41: 235-53.

Jafari MJ, Hassanbeigi M. Safety and Health in Welding. Tehran: Fadak Isatis publishing Co 2007.

Buerke U, Schneider J, Rosler J, Woitowitz j. interstitial pulmonary fibrosis after severe exposure to welding fumes. American Journal of Industrial Medicine 2002; 41: 259-268.

Susi P, Goldberg M, Barnes P, Stafford E, The Use of a Task-Based Exposure Assessment Model (T-BEAM) for Assessment of Metal Fume Exposures during Welding and Thermal Cutting. Applied Occupational and Environmental Hygiene 2000; 15(1): 26-38.

ACGIH. Industrial Ventilation: A Manual of Recommended Practice. 22nd ed. Cincinnati, Ohio: ACGIH 1995.

Haswell SJ. Atomic Absorption Spectrometry: Theory, Design and Applications. Amsterdam: Elsevier 1991.

OSHA. Occupational Safety and Health Administration: Analytical & Sampling Method. In: OSHA, ed.: OSHA 2008.

NIOSH. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health: Analytical & Sampling Method. In: NIOSH, ed.: NIOSH 2008.

HSEGM. Health and Safety Executive General Methods for sampling and gravimetric analysis of respirable and total inhalable dust MDHS 14/2 HSE Books, 1977 ISBN 0 7176 1295 3 1977.

Bartley DL, et al. Respirable Aerosol Sampler Performance Testing. American Industrial Hygiene Assoc Journal 1994; No. 11(55): 85-97.

Heitbrink A, Cooper T, Edmonds A. Control technology for auto-body repair and painting shops. Occupational Safety and Health Administration 1992; 17: 111-6.

Ojima J, Sibata N, Iwasaki T. Laboratory Evaluation of Welder’s Exposure and Efficiency of Air Duct Ventilation for Welding Work in a Confined Space, Industrial Health 2000; 38: 24-9.

Zimmer A, T, Biswas P. Characterization of the aerosols resulting from arc welding processes. Journal of Aerosol Science 2001; 32(8): 993-1008.

Saito H, Ojima J, Takaya M, Iwasaki T, Hisanaga N, Tanaka S, et al. Laboratory Measurement of Hazardous Fumes and Gases at a Point Corresponding to Breathing Zone of Welder during a CO2 Arc Welding. Industrial Health 2000; 38: 69-78.

Evanse MJ, Ingle J, Molyneux MK, Sharp GTH, Swain J. An Occupational Hygiene Study of a Controlled Welding Task Using a General Purpose Retile Electrode. Annals of Occupational Hygiene 1972; 22(1): 1-17.

Korczynski RE. Occupational health concerns in the welding industry. Applied Occupational and Environment and Hygiene 2000; 5: 120-5.

Jafari MJ, Karimi A, Azari MR. The Role of Exhaust Ventilation System in Reducing Occupational Exposure to Organic Solvent in a Paint Manufacturing Factory, IJOEM 2008; 12(2): 82-7

IssueVol 2 No 1 (2010) QRcode
Welding Fumes Ventilation Iron Oxides Respirable Dust Carbon Monoxide

Rights and permissions
Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
How to Cite
Jafari MJ, Shafiei B, Rezazadeh Azari M, Movahhedi M. Occupational Exposure to Welding Fumes Using Different Ventilation Scenarios. Int J Occup Hyg. 1;2(1):1-5.