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Control of physical agent hazards of arc welding and cutting.
Bartley-DL; McKinnery-WN Jr.; Wiegand-KR
NIOSH 1980 Jan; :1-48
Ultraviolet emission from gas tungsten (7440337) arc welding and gas metal arc welding and noise emission during plasma arc cutting were investigated using spectroradiometric equipment and analyzers. Manual welding and noise measurements were made at 90 degree angles from the cut line. Magnesium (7439954) concentration in base metal and ultraviolet transmission of protective clothing were also determined. All operations were conducted with standard instrumental settings. Welding of aluminum (7429905) alloys containing 5 percent magnesium yielded significantly high ultraviolet emission and biological activities one order of magnitude higher than nonmagnesium alloys at settings of 1 meter distance. A similar effect was observed using an alloy containing 2.5 percent magnesium. The heat produced by these reactions increased the vaporization rate of magnesium, yielding radiation up to 1000 times greater than that of sunlight at the surface of the earth. Helium (7440597) was a better shielding gas than argon (7440371) against ultraviolet emission. Measurements from welding using stainless steel electrode wire also yielded strong ultraviolet emission, which were comparable in magnitude to that from welding with electrode wires composed of 5 percent magnesium. Noise emitted during plasma arc cutting was equal to 70 decibels. Measurement of transmission of protective clothing gave a value of 3.5 hours as the time needed to surpass the recommended 8 hour limit at a distance of 1 meter from the arc. The authors conclude that potential hazards associated with welding arc radiation emissions are real.
NIOSH-Author; Welding-industry; Industrial-equipment; Industrial-noise; Radiation-shielding-materials; Safety-research; Health-protection; Exposure-levels; Electromagnetic-radiation; Employee-exposure; Occupational-exposure
7440-33-7; 7439-95-4; 7429-90-5; 7440-59-7; 7440-37-1
NTIS Accession No.
Division of Physical Sciences and Engineering, NIOSH, Cincinnati, Ohio, NTIS PB164-866, 48 pages, 20 references
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division