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Estimation of regional pulmonary deposition and exposure for fumes from SMAW and GMAW mild and stainless steel consumables.
Am Ind Hyg Assoc J 1995 Feb; 56(2):136-142
The particle size distributions and bulk fume densities were used to estimate both regional pulmonary deposition and regional pulmonary exposure for various common welding fumes. The fumes were generated by shielded metal arc welding (SMAW) and gas metal arc welding (GMAW) processes. The regional pulmonary deposition was the fraction of each fume expected to deposit in each region of the pulmonary system. The regional pulmonary exposure was the fraction of each fume expected to penetrate to each pulmonary region and was collected by a particle size selective sampling device. The total lung deposition for GMAW fumes was estimated to be 60% greater than that of SMAW fumes. Considering both the potential for deposition and the fume specific surface areas, the author suggests that it is likely that, for equal exposure concentrations, SMAW fumes deliver nearly three times the particle surface area to the lungs as SMAW fumes. The author suggests that these findings lend support to the hypothesis that exposure to GMAW fumes constitutes a greater pulmonary hazard than equal exposure to SMAW fumes. The implication of this hypothesis regarding the design of future health studies of welders was considered.
NIOSH-Author; Welding-industry; Metalworking-industry; Welding-equipment; Welders-lung; Respiratory-system-disorders; Lung-function; Lung-disease; Metal-fume-fever; Occupational-exposure; Metal-fumes
Paul Hewett, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 1095 Willowdale Road, Morgantown, WV 26505-2845
Issue of Publication
American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal
Page last reviewed: September 22, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division