Health risks of welding fumes

Exposure to different types of welding fumes may result in different health effects. If a welder inhales gases, fumes and vapours in large quantities over long periods, this may have a negative effect on his health.

 

Health risks when inhaling welding fumes:

Fume/Dust

Possible immediate effects Possible long-term effects
Welding fume (general) Hoarseness, sore throat, eye irritation, metal fever Bronchitis, reprotoxic

Chromium (in welding fume in case of -among other things- stainless steel welding)

  Carcinogenic

Nickel (in welding fume in case of -among other things- stainless steel welding)

Metal fever Carcinogenic
Aluminium Irritation of respiratory organs, metal fever  
Manganese Pneumonia Damage to central nervous system
Zinc Metal fever  
Copper Metal fever  
Magnesium Irritation of respiratory organs, metal fever  
Lead   Changes of blood and kidneys Reprotoxic

 

 

Gases Possible immediate effects Possible long-term effects
Nitrogen oxide Irritation of bronchial tubes and eyes, pulmonary oedema Bronchitis
Carbon monoxide Difficulty in breathing, unconsciousness Reprotoxic
Ozone Irritation of bronchial tubes and eyes, pulmonary oedema  

 

Source: Keep welding fumes out of your body (2002)

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