Internal Exposure, Effect Monitoring, and Lung Function in Welders After Acute Short-Term Exposure to Welding Fumes From Different Welding Processes

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Abstract

Objective:

In this study, the effect of short-term exposure to welding fumes emitted by different welding techniques on workers was investigated.

Methods:

In a 3-fold crossover study, six welders used three different welding techniques for 3 hours. Before and after welding, blood and urine samples were collected to perform biomonitoring of metals. Breath condensate was collected to assess inflammatory reactions, and lung function measurements were performed.

Results:

Welding led to a significant increase of chromium and nickel in blood and urine and of nitrate and nitrite in exhaled breath condensate. These increases were higher for manual metal arc welding with alloyed material (MAW-a). Several lung function parameters decreased after welding. This decrease was significantly higher after MAW-a.

Conclusions:

In respect to biological effects, MAW-a seems to be more important than other welding techniques.

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