Respiratory hazards of welding.
Clin Pulm Med 1997 Jul; 4(4):194-204
Welding produces a variety of substances toxic to the respiratory tract. A thorough occupational history, based on an understanding of the various work processes, is essential to the prompt identification of potential welding-associated hazards. Several key questions can establish if the worker has been exposed to some of the more potent airborne emissions from welding. Although this trade is not associated with extraordinary morbidity and mortality in occupational health statistics, a wide variety of acute and chronic respiratory disorders are recognized. There is considerable overlap in the presentation of several of the acute disorders, frequently posing a diagnostic dilemma. The health hazards of welding are changing with the evolution of increasingly sophisticated technologies. Although exposure to welding fumes in general is associated with a 30% to 40% increased mortality from lung cancer, it remains controversial whether or not stainless steel welders are at heightened risk.
Occupational-hazards; Welding; Welding-industry; Welders; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Respiratory system disorders; Job analysis; Airborne particles; Welding fumes; Stainless steel; Lung cancer
Clinical Pulmonary Medicine
West Virginia University, School of Medicine, Institute of Occupational and Environmental Health, Morgantown, West Virginia