Assessment of the Biological Effects of Welding Fumes Emitted From Metal Active Gas and Manual Metal Arc Welding in Humans

Objective: Emissions from a particular welding process, metal inert gas brazing of zinc-coated steel, induce an increase in C-reactive protein. In this study, it was investigated whether inflammatory effects could also be observed for other welding procedures.
Methods: Twelve male subjects were separately exposed to (1) manual metal arc welding fumes, (2) filtered air, and (3) metal active gas welding fumes for 6 hours. Inflammatory markers were measured in serum before, and directly, 1 and 7 days after exposure.
Results: Although C-reactive protein concentrations remained unchanged, neutrophil concentrations increased directly after exposure to manual metal arc welding fumes, and endothelin-1 concentrations increased directly and 24 hours after exposure. After exposure to metal active gas and filtered air, endothelin-1 concentrations decreased.
Conclusions: The increase in the concentrations of neutrophils and endothelin-1 may characterize a subclinical inflammatory reaction, whereas the decrease of endothelin-1 may indicate stress reduction.

Source: Dewald, Eva; Gube, Monika; Baumann, Ralf; Bertram, Jens; Kossack, Veronika; Lenz, Klaus.; Reisgen, Uwe; Kraus, Thomas; Brand, Peter. Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine: August 2015, Volume 57, Issue 8, p. 845-850.

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