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Effect of welding fume on rat alveolar macrophage viability, respiratory burst, and tumor necrosis factor-a release.

Antonini JM; Murthy GGK; Rogers RA; Brain JD
Toxicologist 1996 Mar; 30(1)(Pt 2):271
We compared the in vitro, responses of alveolar macrophages (AMs) to welding fumes assessing viability, respiratory burst, and tumor necrosis factor-a (TNF-a) release. Fume was collected during fluxcored manual metal arc (MMA) and gas metal arc (GMA) welding using two consumable electrodes: stainless steel (SS) or mild steel (MS). The elemental constituents of the fume was identified by energy dispersive spectroscopy: 1. MMA-SS: 22.3% K, 19.4% Fe, 13.1% Cr, 12.6% Si, 8.2% Ca, 8.0% Mn, 5.0% Na, 4.3% Ti, 8.1% other; 2. GMA-SS: 52.3% Fe, 22.2% Cr, 18.3% Mn, 4.9% Ni, 2.3% Si; 3. GMA-MS: 89.2% Fe, 8.2% Mn, 2.6% Si. AMs were recovered from CD/VAF rats by bronchoalveolar lavage, incubated with the fume (0.025 and 0.10 mg/ml) suspended in saline, and then assayed 30 min, 12 and 24 hr later. Following a 30 min incubation at 0.025 mg/ml, the respiratory burst increased 26.7%, 17.2%, and 7.9% above control (AMs exposed to no particles) in AMs exposed to MMA-SS, GMA-SS, and GMA-MS fumes, respectively. After 12 hr at the same concentration, a significantly elevated (p<0.05) amount of TNF-a was released from the AMs when incubated with the MMA-SS fume as compared to the other fumes. Following a 24 hr incubation with a concentration of 0.10 mg/ml, the MMA-SS fume caused a 61.2% loss of AM viability as compared to a 42.5% and 39.7% loss from the GMA-SS and GMA-MS fumes, respectively. We have demonstrated that SS fumes were more toxic than MS fumes, consistent with higher non-ferrous constituents in SS. The SS fume from MMA welding had the greater effect on AM function, probably due to fluxes used in MMA.
Welding; Fumes; Fumigants; Laboratory-animals; Animals; Animal-studies; Exposure-levels; Exposure-assessment; Respiratory-system-disorders
Publication Date
Document Type
Funding Amount
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
Issue of Publication
Source Name
The Toxicologist. Society of Toxicology 35th Annual Meeting, March 10-14,1996, Anaheim, California
Performing Organization
Harvard School of Public Health
Page last reviewed: April 9, 2021
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