Welding is the process of joining metals under heating and compressing parts under pressure. In the process of welding, a combination of gases and vapors is formed, called welding smoke, which is why welding badly for health as it has a toxic effect on the human body.
Not long ago, the US Federal Agency published information indicating a link between inhalation of welding fumes and the development of cancerous tumors.
Welding smoke consists of many chemicals that have a harmful effect on bioorganic. According to the US Federal Agency, these chemicals include lead, mercury, carbon monoxide, asbestos, phosgene, nitrogen dioxide, silicon dioxide, cadmium, nickel, chromium, manganese and arsenic.
The effects of inhalation of welding fumes also vary with chemical levels and it concludes in the cons of welding for health.
Chemicals and their effects on the human body
Due to the fact that welding smoke contains various chemicals, their effect on the human body is enhanced.
The US Federal Agency has published a document listing the possible effects of exposure to these chemicals.
For example, lead can harm all human organs, causing fatigue, irritability and vomiting. Inhalation of mercury leads to neurological complications leading to loss of coordination and sensory impairment. Hydrochloric acid, a derivative of phosgene and ultraviolet radiation during welding, can damage lung tissue.
Long and short term exposure
If the duration of exposure to chemicals did not exceed 12 hours, then symptoms of exposure may include fever, shortness of breath and muscle weakness. 5-6 hours of exposure to chlorinated hydrocarbon can cause dizziness, shortness of breath and eye irritation.
Constant inhalation of welding fume as a result can lead to respiratory diseases, such as pneumonia. And these disadvantages of welding for health are unavoidable sometimes.
Cadmium, nickel and chromium can accelerate the development of cancerous tumors, and put a person at risk of developing cancer of the lungs, larynx and kidneys.
Disease Risk Reduction Measures
The US Federal Agency has developed standards to protect the safety and health of welders, including training in safe working principles, ventilation of the workplace, wearing personal protective equipment, ensuring fire and electrical safety, conducting welding indoors and installing a warning sign.
The US Federal Agency recommends that employers send welders an annual physical examination. If there is a suspicion of pneumonia, most likely you will have to take an X-ray of the lungs and begin treatment with antibiotics.
If there is a suspicion of tuberculosis, doctors will take sputum for analysis and send the worker for a skin test for tuberculosis.
Because welding is a hazardous activity, remember that if unusual symptoms appear, such as weight loss, persistent coughing, vision and hearing problems, skin irritation or poor coordination, you should immediately inform your management and, if necessary seek medical attention.