How much welding fumes can we breathe in before it becomes dangerous?
Welding fumes are composed of metals and most fumes contain a small percentage of manganese. How much exposure to this manganese is dangerous?
Manganese is an essential nutrient. A healthy person with normal liver and kidney function can excrete excess dietary manganese. Inhaled manganese is of greater concern because it bypasses the body’s normal defense mechanisms. Learn the occupational limits of manganese.
Workers most at risk of being exposed to manganese often perform welding tasks. Welding occurs in the construction, manufacturing, transportation, mining and agriculture industries. There are other occupations, such as pipe-fitters or millwrights as well. Somewhat smaller numbers of workers in the metallurgical and other manufacturing industries are also at risk. [Learn more]
Because chemicals are necessary in almost every manufacturing facility the use of chemicals in the workplace has been the focus of NIOSH. [NIOSH research related to chemicals]
Pocket Guide includes:
- Chemical names, synonyms, trade names, CAS, RTECS and DOT ID and guide numbers
- Chemical structure/formula, conversion factors
- NIOSH recommened exposure limites (RELs)
- OSHA permissible exposure limits
- NIOSH immediately dangerous to life and health values (IDLHs)
- Measurement methods
- Personal protection and sanitation recommendations
- Respirator selection recommendations
- Exposure routes, symptoms, target organs, and first aid information
- and more
Choosing the right PPE (personal protection equipment) is essential not only to minimize safety risks but also maximizing worker productivity and the quality of the weld.
Therefore, hand, arm and body protection and most importantly breathing are critical to worker safety. Choosing the proper PPE depends on the hazard, where you work, how often you perform the task, jobsite requirements and ultimiately what you are comfortable with.