Welding fumes (not otherwise specified)

Agent Name
Welding fumes (not otherwise specified)
Major Category
Other Uses
Pyrolysis Products
The 3 main types of arc welding are Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG), Metal Inert Gas (MIG), and Manual Metal Arc (MMA) or stick welding. The welding fume is mainly determined by the composition of the filler metal, not the composition of the parent metal. Of the metals in welding fume, hexavalent chromium and manganese are of greatest concern. Toxic gases may include carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, ozone, and phosgene. [Hendrick, p. 467-79] See the Process "Welding."
• "Welders are exposed to many known and suspected carcinogens. An excess lung cancer risk among welders is well established, but whether this is attributable to welding fumes is unclear. . . . Studies that are able to disentangle welding effects from smoking and asbestos exposure are needed." [PMID 28951802]
• "There is sufficient evidence in humans for the carcinogenicity of welding fumes. Welding fumes cause cancer of the lung. . . . . There is sufficient evidence in humans for the carcinogenicity of ultraviolet radiation from welding. Ultraviolet radiation from welding causes ocular melanoma. . . . "Studies of risk estimates of occupations which may involve unspecific and infrequent welding (such as pipefitters, plumbers, and solderers), are excluded from this review; the frequency of welding in these occupations is not normally clear, and the groupings are too broad to meaningfully evaluate exposure as a welder. Studies that reported only broad occupational aggregations, combining welding with related occupations, were also excluded as they lack specificity for welding." [IARC Monograph 118]
• See the occupational diseases linked to the following Job Tasks: Arc weld aluminum; Arc weld stainless steel; Decompose chlorinated solvents by UV light or heat from welding; Gas or arc weld on galvanized metal; Gas weld or cut in a confined space; Heat or machine chromium alloys; Heat or machine cobalt alloys; Heat or machine manganese alloys; Heat, machine, or spray lead products; Machine or weld on cadmium-alloyed or cadmium-plated steel; Use manganese-containing welding rods; Weld mild steel; Weld on metal painted with chlorinated polyester paint; and Weld or machine on beryllium-containing alloys.
• "While there is general agreement on acute effects, wide variation is found between the conclusions of studies of long-term effects. . . . It is cardinal rule that 'welders' cannot be regarded as a single homogenous group." [Hendricks, p. 467]
• Do welding fumes have a detrimental effect on lung function? Yes. {PMID 25324483] No. {PMID 25315619] Maybe. [PMID 28258373]
Reference Link #1
Biomedical References

Exposure Assessment

Explanatory Notes
NIOSH REL = lowest feasible conc.;

Adverse Effects

Chronic Bronchitis
Toxic Pneumonitis
IARC Carcinogen

Diseases, Processes, and Activities Linked to This Agent


Occupational diseases associated with exposure to this agent: