2000 Volume 38 Issue 1 Pages 69-78
Concentrations of fumes, ozone (O3), carbon monoxide (CO), nitric oxide (NO), manganese (Mn) and total and hexavalent chromium (Cr) as well as size distribution of fumes were measured at a point corresponding to the welder's breathing zone during CO2-arc welding, using a welding robot and three kinds of wires. Concentrations of fumes, O3, CO, Mn and total-Cr were found to exceed their corresponding occupational exposure limit (OEL) values, while the concentrations of NO and Cr(VI) were below those OEL levels. Airborne concentration of Mn exceeded its OEL value, and the Mn content was 8 times higher in welding fumes than in the wire. Using an additive equation of OEL and exposure concentration of each hazardous component, health risk in welders with combined exposure to welding fumes and gases was assessed as 18.6 to 46.0 times of OEL, which exceeded the unity. This finding suggests that effective protection of welders from the exposure can be attained by use of the supplied-air respirator or combined use of a dust respirator and a local exhaust system.