Metals (Welding Fume)
The potential hazards of welding operations include metal fumes, toxic gases, and ultraviolet and infrared radiation. Fume particles are formed from vaporization of molten metal. They are very fine in size, generally one micron or smaller, and may join to form larger particles. Fumes can be sampled by drawing air through a special filter at a controlled rate. The welding fumes produced at welding operations depend primarily on the composition of the metals being welded and the welding rods. When the base metal is iron or steel, with welding rods of similar composition the main component of the fume will be iron oxide. When welding on stainless steel, fumes containing nickel and chromium may be produced. Welding on plated, galvanized, or painted metals may generate fumes containing cadmium, zinc oxide, or lead.
In addition, welding rods can generate fluoride in the fume as well as free silica, depending on the composition of the welding rod coating. In summary, welding processes may generate many different metal fumes and other toxic components. It is important that the hazards of a welding operation be evaluated properly. Toxic gases that arise in welding include carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxides, and ozone. If welding or cutting operations are conducted in the presence of chlorinated hydrocarbons, such as the form of solvents either on the metals or in the air, hazardous concentrations of phosgene and hydrogen chloride, which are highly toxic irritant gases, may be produced. According to OSHA, the list of metals found in welding fumes include Aluminum, Antimony, Arsenic, Beryllium, Cadmium, Chromium, Cobalt, Copper, Iron, Lead, Manganese, Molybdenum, Nickel, Silver, Tin, Titanium, Vanadium, and Zinc.
OSHA ID-125G - Metal and Metalloid Particulates in Workplace Atmospheres (ICP Analysis)
This method describes the collection and subsequent analysis of airborne metal and metalloid particulates by Inductively Coupled Argon Plasma-Atomic Emission Spectroscopy (ICAP-AES). This method provides rapid simultaneous analysis and data reduction for a wide range of elements, eliminating the necessity of separate analyses by conventional atomic absorption techniques. This method was validated for 13 elements (Be, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Mo, Ni, Pb, Sb, V, and Zn). Other elements can be added to or subtracted from the method. The capability for expanding the analysis to other elements is mainly dependent on laboratory instrumentation and element solubility and stability in the acid matrix used for digestion.
ISO 15202 - Workplace air -- Determination of metals and metalloids in airborne particulate matter by inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry
Workers in many industries are at risk through exposure by inhalation of toxic metals and metalloids. Industrial hygienists need to determine the effectiveness of measures taken to control workers’ exposure, and this is generally achieved by making workplace air measurements. ISO 15202 makes available a method for making valid exposure measurements for a wide range of metals associated with welding and other activities. ISO 15202, published in three parts, specifies a generic method for the determination of the mass concentration of metals and metalloids in workplace air using inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry (ICP AES).
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