Comply with the new EPA - NESHAP Regulations
Welding metals containing cadmium, chromium, lead, manganese and nickel pose health risks to anyone who breathes the air when these fumes are present. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has new requirements to reduce air pollution of compounds of these such metals. These compounds are emitted into the air from various operations at metal fabrication and finishing plants.
The rule applies to any business, company, owner or operator of an area source where the primary activity of the facility is in one of the following nine (9) source categories:
- Electrical and Electronic Equipment Finishing Operations
- Fabricated Metal Products
- Fabricated Plate Work (Boiler Shops)
- Fabricated Structural Metal Manufacturing
- Heating Equipment, except Electric
- Industrial Machinery and Equipment Finishing Operations
- Iron and Steel Forging
- Primary Metal Products Manufacturing
- Valves and Pipe Fittings
The EPA’s rule contains requirements for five (5) specific processes. Any of these processes at a facility in one of the nine (9) source categories mentioned above are subject to meet the requirements.
- Dry Abrasive Blasting
- Dry Grinding and Dry Polishing with Machines
- Dry Machining
- Spray Painting
For additional information, please refer to the EPA's website.
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:
|Possible immediate effects||Possible long-term effects|
|Welding fume (general)||Hoarseness, sore throat, eye irritation, metal fever||Bronchitis, reprotoxic, carcinogenic|
Chromium (in welding fume in case of -among other things- stainless steel welding)
Nickel (in welding fume in case of -among other things- stainless steel welding)
|Aluminium||Irritation of respiratory organs, metal fever|
|Manganese||Pneumonia||Damage to central nervous system|
|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|
As welding fumes are potentially dangerous for people’s health, they should be reduced and/or extracted from the area where welding fume collects.
Source: Keep welding fumes out of your body (2002)