[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The assessment of the occupational electromagnetic field exposure of welders is of great importance, especially in shielded-arc welding, which uses relatively high electric currents of up to several hundred amperes. In the present study, we measured the magnetic field exposure level of welders in the course of working. A 3-axis Hall magnetometer was attached to a subject's wrist in order to place the sensor probe at the closest position to the magnetic source (a cable from the current source). Data was acquired every 5 s from the beginning of the work time. The maximum exposed field was 0.35-3.35 mT (Mean ± SD: 1.55 ± 0.93 mT, N=17) and the average value per day was 0.04-0.12 mT (Mean ± SD: 0.07 ± 0.02 mT, N=17). We also conducted a finite element method-based analysis of human hand tissue for the electromagnetic field dosimetry. In addition, the magnetic field associated with grinders, an air hammer, and a drill using electromagnetic anchorage were measured; however, the magnetic fields were much lower than those generated in the welding process. These results agreed well with the results of the electromagnetic field dosimetry (1.49 mT at the wrist position), and the calculated eddy current (4.28 mA/m(2)) was much lower than the well-known guideline thresholds for electrical nerve or muscular stimulation.
Full-text · Article · May 2011 · Industrial Health
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To assess the exposure of welders to thorium-232 (232Th) during tungsten inert gas arc (TIG) welding, airborne concentrations of 232Th in the breathing zone of the welder and background levels were measured. The radioactive concentrations were 1.11 x 10(-2) Bq/m3 during TIG welding of aluminum (TIG/Al), 1.78 x 10(-4) Bq/m3 during TIG welding of stainless steel (TIG/SS), and 1.93 x 10(-1) Bq/m3 during electrode sharpening, with 5.82 x 10(-5) Bq/m3 background concentration. Although the annual intake of 232Th estimated using these values did not exceed the annual limit intake (ALI, 1.6 x 10(2) Bq), we recommend reducing 232Th exposure by substituting thoriated electrodes with a thorium-free electrodes, setting up local ventilation systems, and by using respiratory protective equipment. It is also necessary to inform workers that thoriated tungsten electrodes contain radioactive material.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Visible light of short wavelength (blue light) may cause a photochemical injury to the retina, called photoretinitis or blue-light hazard. In this study, various light sources were evaluated for blue-light hazard. These sources include the sun, the arc associated with arc welding and plasma cutting, molten steel, iron and glass, the interior of furnaces, the arc or envelope of discharge lamps, the filament or envelope of incandescent lamps, the envelope of fluorescent lamps and light-emitting diodes. The spectral radiance of each light source was measured, and blue-light effective radiance and the corresponding permissible exposure time per day were calculated in accordance with the ACGIH (American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists) standard. The sun, arc welding, plasma cutting and the arc of discharge lamps were found to have extremely high effective radiances with corresponding permissible exposure times of only 0.6-40 s, suggesting that viewing these light sources is very hazardous to the retina. Other light sources were found to have low effective radiances under the study conditions and would pose no hazard, at least for short exposure times.
No preview · Article · Feb 2002 · Developments in ophthalmology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The arcs associated with arc welding emit high levels of ultraviolet radiation (UVR), and this often causes acute injuries in the workplace, particularly photokeratoconjunctivitis. It is important to know the level of UVR emitted by arc welding under various conditions, as this information will help in evaluating potential UVR hazards in welding workplaces and taking protective measures against it. In this study, the ACGIH effective irradiance for UVR was measured experimentally for CO(2) arc welding in order to evaluate its UVR hazards. A welding robot was used in the experiment in order to realize reproducible and consistent welding operations. The effective irradiance at 1 m from the arc was in the range 0.28-7.85 W/m(2) (28-785 microW/cm(2)) under the study conditions. The corresponding permissible exposure time per day is only 4-100 s, suggesting that UVR from CO(2) arc welding is actually hazardous for the eye and skin. It was found that the effective irradiance is inversely proportional to the square of the distance from the arc, is strongly dependent on the direction of emission from the arc with a maximum at 50-60 degrees from the plate surface, and tends to increase with welding current.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2001 · Annals of Occupational Hygiene
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An inhalation exposure system, consisting of an inhalation chamber and an generating and feeding device for welding fumes and gases with a welding robot, was constructed and examined for its application to experimental toxicology for ventilatory responses of conscious rats to welding fumes and gases. The exposure system allowed an inhalation of fresh welding fumes and gases, and could supply airflow containing stable concentrations of fumes and ozone even the levels exceeding those corresponding occupational exposure limit values were supplied into the exposure chamber. The air temperature in the chamber was kept constant under rat's physiological conditions. Rats were exposed to fresh welding fumes and gases and examined for their ventilatory responses with a body plethysmograph in the chamber. A transient increase in breathing frequency with a concomitant decrease in the tidal volume was observed within several minutes immediately after the start of welding operation. The rapid, shallow breathing response disappears after repeated exposures, indicating rapid adaptation of this ventilatory response to inhalation of welding fumes and gases.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2000 · Industrial Health
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: 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.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2000 · Industrial Health
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The adaptation of cardiovascular and thermoregulatory responses to ozone (O3) was examined by repeated exposure of electrocardiographic (ECG) electrode- and thermistor sensor-implanted rats to O3 for 4 consecutive days (8 hrs/day). Circadian rhythms of heart rate (HR) and abdominal core temperature (Tco) were disrupted on the first and second O3 exposure days in a concentration dependent manner. The 8-hr and 12-hr averaged values of HR and Tco during the exposure period and the dark post-exposure period, respectively, decreased significantly on the first and second exposure days. The decreased HR and Tco recovered to respective control values after small but significant rebound increases on the third and fourth days of O3 exposure. The adaptation of the extrapulmonary responses to O3 exposure was discussed in light of the previously reported time periods required to abolish the spontaneous breathing, biochemical, cellular, and morphological responses to O3.
No preview · Article · Feb 1998 · Industrial Health