Physical effects by absorbing pollutants in welding fumes

The occurring pollutants have to be distinguished into 3 types:

  • Substances that place strain on respiratory tract and lungs
  • Toxic or poisonous substances
  • Carcinogenic substances


Substances that place strain on respiratory tract and lungs

For example:

  • Iron oxides
  • Aluminum oxides

If exposed for a long period and if the concentration is high, then these substances can cause strain to the respiratory tract and the lungs.This can lead to respiratory illnesses such as (chronic) bronchitis or asthma and deposits of metals in the lungs (siderofibrosis, aluminosis).


Toxic or poisonous substances

For example:

  • Prussic acid
  • Carbon monoxide / carbon dioxide
  • Chrome III compounds
  • Manganese oxide

These substances cause poisoning if a certain dose is exceeded within the Body. Their toxic effect may e.g. prevent oxygen supply to the blood. Other symptoms may be:

  • Irritation to mucous membranes and respiratory tract
  • Respiratory paralysis or strong acceleration of breathing and pulse
  • Headaches, tiredness and dizziness including fainting
  • Nausea
  • Pulmonary oedema (water oedema in the lung) which may cause death

Some of these substances are also suspected to have a carcinogenic effect.


Carcinogenic substances

For example:

  • Chrome (VI)-compounds
  • Various oxides (prussic acid, beryllium oxide, nickel oxide)

Carcinogenic substances can result in malignant Tumors. An growing dose of these substances increases the risk of cancer. These substances frequently also have a toxic effect.


>> to 1. Welding fumes - What are they?
>> to 2. Composition of welding fumes
>> to 3. How large are the individual particles in welding fumes?

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