Single and Combined Exposure to Zinc- and Copper-Containing Welding Fumes Lead to Asymptomatic Systemic Inflammation

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Abstract

Objective:

Recently, it has been shown that exposure to welding fumes containing both zinc and copper leads to asymptomatic systemic inflammation in humans as shown by an increase of blood C-reactive protein. In the present study, it was investigated which metal is responsible for this effect.

Methods:

Fifteen healthy male subjects were exposed under controlled conditions to welding fumes containing either zinc, or copper, or copper and zinc.

Results:

For each exposure blood C-reactive protein increased.

Conclusions:

Copper- and zinc-containing welding fumes are able to induce systemic inflammation.

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