Cinnaminson, NJ, February 07, 2017
The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) describes welding, cutting and brazing as hazardous activities that pose a unique combination of both safety and health risks to more than 500,000 workers. The risk from fatal injuries alone is more than four deaths per thousand workers over a working lifetime, according to the agency.
One of the significant health concerns associated with welding is exposure to welding fumes and gases. The welding process produces visible smoke that contains harmful metal fumes and gas by-products that workers may inhale.
Due to these hazards, OSHA has developed a fact sheet discussing fumes and gases that could be present during welding. The agency lists aluminum, antimony, arsenic, beryllium, cadmium, chromium & hexavalent chromium, cobalt, copper, iron, lead, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, silver, tin, titanium, vanadium and zinc as metals that may be a component of welding fumes. Gases in welding fumes may include the following:
- Shielding – Argon, Helium, Nitrogen and Carbon Dioxide
- Process – Nitric Oxide, Nitrogen Dioxide, Carbon Monoxide, Ozone, Phosgene, Hydrogen, Fluoride and Carbon Dioxide
“According to OSHA, the health effects of inhaling welding fumes can range from eye, nose and throat irritation to metal fume fever, nervous system damage and cancer,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President, Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “Ensuring proper air movement, ventilation controls, work practices and respiratory protection can all help to mitigate exposure risks, but testing for welding fumes and gases is the only way to know exactly what exposure hazard do exist.”
EMSL offers comprehensive welding fume and gas testing services along with sampling supplies. In addition, they provide air monitoring instruments and personal protective equipment (PPE). EMSL also recently sponsored an educational video about exposure concerns to welding fumes that can be seen at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=voxjn0I9Dr0.
To learn more about welding fumes or other occupational, industrial hygiene, air quality or environmental testing services, please visit www.EMSL.com, call (800) 220-3675 or email info@EMSL.com.
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical, Inc. is one of the leading testing laboratories with over 40 locations throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for mold, bacteria, Legionella, USP <797>, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, char & ash from fires, VOC’s, odors, radon, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage & consumer products and material testing services for the identification of unknown substances. EMSL services both professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA LAP, LLC. (AIHA EMLAP, AIHA IHLAP, AIHA ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website at www.EMSL.com for a complete listing of accreditations. In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.