Evolution of welding-fume aerosols with time and distance from the source: a study was conducted on the spatiotemporal variability in welding-fume concentrations for the characterization of first- and second-hand exposure to welding fumes.
Gas metal arc welding fumes were generated from mild-steel plates and measured near the arc (30 cm), representing first-hand exposure of the welder, and farther away from the source (200 cm), representing second-hand exposure of adjacent workers. Measurements were taken during 1min welding runs and at subsequent 5-min intervals after the welding process was stopped. Number size distributions were measured in real time. Particle mass distributions were measured using a micro-orifice uniform deposition impactor, and total mass concentrations were measured with polytetrafluorothylene filters. Membrane filters were used for collecting morphology samples for electron microscopy. Average mass concentrations measured near the arc were 45 mg/m3 and 9 mg/m3 at the farther distance. The discrepancy in concentrations at the two distances was attributed to the presence of spatter particles, which were observed only in the morphology samples near the source. As fumes aged over time, mass concentrations at the farther distance decreased by 31% (6.2 mg/m3) after 5 min and an additional 13% (5.4 mg/m3) after 10 min. Particle number and mass distributions during active welding were similar at both distances, indicating similar exposure patterns for welders and adjacent workers. Exceptions were recorded for particles smaller than 50 nm and larger than 3 um, where concentrations were higher near the arc, indicating higher exposures of welders. These results were confirmed by microscopy analysis. As residence time increased, number concentrations decreased dramatically. In terms of particle number concentrations, second-hand exposures to welding fumes during active welding may be as high as first-hand exposures.
We take your privacy seriously. You can review and change the way we collect information below.
These cookies allow us to count visits and traffic sources so we can measure and improve the performance of our site. They help us to know which pages are the most and least popular and see how visitors move around the site. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. If you do not allow these cookies we will not know when you have visited our site, and will not be able to monitor its performance.
Cookies used to make website functionality more relevant to you. These cookies perform functions like remembering presentation options or choices and, in some cases, delivery of web content that based on self-identified area of interests.
Cookies used to track the effectiveness of CDC public health campaigns through clickthrough data.
Cookies used to enable you to share pages and content that you find interesting on CDC.gov through third party social networking and other websites. These cookies may also be used for advertising purposes by these third parties.