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Local exhaust ventilation for the control of welding fumes in the construction industry - a literature review.

Authors
Flynn-MR; Susi-P
Source
Ann Occup Hyg 2012 Aug; 56(7):764-776
NIOSHTIC No.
20040856
Abstract
Arc welding is a common unit operation in the construction industry, where frequent changes in location and welding position make it more difficult to control fume exposures than in industries where fixed locations are the norm. Welders may be exposed to a variety of toxic airborne contaminants including manganese (Mn) and hexavalent chromium (CrVI). Local exhaust ventilation (LEV) is a well-known engineering control for welding fumes but has not been adopted widely in the construction industry. This literature review presents data on the performance of a variety of LEV systems for welding fume control from the construction (five references), shipyard (five references), and other industries. The studies indicate that LEV can reduce fume exposures to total particulate, Mn, and CrVI to levels below currently relevant standards. Field studies suggest that 40-50% or more reduction in exposure is possible with portable or fixed LEV systems relative to natural ventilation but that correct positioning of the hood and adequate exhaust flow rates are essential. Successful implementation of extraction guns for gas metal arc welding (GMAW) and flux core arc welding has been demonstrated, indicating that a successful balance between extraction airflow and shielding gas requirements is possible. Work practices are an important part of achieving successful control of fume exposures; in particular, positioning the hood close to the arc, checking exhaust flow rates, and avoiding the plume. Further research is needed on hood size effects for controlling welding fume with portable LEV systems and identifying and overcoming barriers to LEV use in construction.
Keywords
Construction; Construction-equipment; Construction-industry; Construction-workers; Arc-welders; Arc-welding; Welders; Welding; Welding-equipment; Fumes; Employee-exposure; Industrial-exposures; Engineering-controls; Exhaust-ventilation; Air-contamination; Control-methods; Control-systems; Exhaust-hoods; Air-flow; Exposure-assessment; Ventilation; Metal-fumes; Manganese-compounds; Hexavalent-chromium-compounds; Author Keywords: construction; local exhaust ventilation; welding
Contact
Michael R. Flynn, Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7431, USA
CODEN
AOHYA3
CAS No.
7439-96-5; 18540-29-9
Publication Date
20120801
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
Mike_flynn@unc.edu
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement; Construction
Fiscal Year
2012
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-OH-009762; B06202012
Issue of Publication
7
ISSN
0003-4878
Priority Area
Construction
Source Name
Annals of Occupational Hygiene
State
NC; MD
Performing Organization
CPWR - The Center for Construction Research and Training, Silver Spring, Maryland
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