Welding fume emissions essentially come from welding consumables.
The preparation before welding (rust, scale, oil, painting, solvent…) are also important causes of fumes.
Some welding processes such as MIG/MAG solid wires or flux cored wires, stick electrodes, plasma cutting give mainly solid pollution (80%) with a dimension of ∅ 0,2 to 5 μm. The welding fume composition mainly depends on welding consumables but is not linked to transfer mode.
Without proposing solution, fume emission will go directly to bronchi and lungs.
National regulation for each country require Permissible Exposure Limits (PEL) for the total aerosol dust and also for some other elements considered as dangerous for welders’ health. These PEL vary according to the countries. For example: in France, PEL for fume emission is fixed at 5 mg/m3. In the Netherlands it is fixed at 1 mg/m3.
The case of Hexavalent Chromium is very specific: this elements is particularly present during welding of stainless steel in SMAW or FCAW processes. It was classified CMR (carcinogenic, mutagenic and toxic for reproduction) in 2014 with a PEL fixed at 1µg/ m3.
Who can help you to find a solution for reducing the exposure of welding fumes to your welders?
When a manufacturing company is looking for solutions to limit the exposure of welding fumes to its welders, it might be necessary to reconsider some elements in the production process.
Here are some questions which need to be answered:
PURE STREAM is the solution to answer to these questions and to define the most adequate solution adapted to your specific situation.