When it comes to workplace safety, welders are well aware that their profession is one of the most dangerous. Welders face an array of hazards from electric shock, retinal damage, ocular melanoma, or serious burns. One of the silent dangers that can be difficult to tackle is the array of toxic fumes welders can be exposed to on a daily basis.
Research has shown that metal fabrication and shipyard workers, exposed to the chemical element manganese through welding, have displayed Parkinson’s disease-like symptoms. Fume fever can affect welders exposed to zinc, copper, magnesium and cadmium. Persistent pulmonary bronchitis is the most frequent chronic problem and there are case reports of interstitial fibrosis in welders from exposure to excessive welding fume concentrations. Shockingly, welders have a 44 percent increased risk of developing lung cancer (1), an increased risk of kidney disease and lower fertility rates.