CC BY-NC 3.0 Polska

Occupational exposure of welders to ultraviolet and "blue light" radiation emitted during TIG and MMA welding based on field measuremants

Centralny Instytut Ochrony Pracy - Państwowy Instytut Badawczy / Central Institute for Labour Protection - National Research Institute, Warszawa, Poland (Zakład Techniki Bezpieczeństwa / Safety Engineering Department)
Med Pr 2013;64(1):69–82
Background: The aim of the study was to present the results of welders' occupational exposure to "blue light" and UV radiation carried out at industrial workstations during TIG and MMA welding. Materials and methods: Measurements were performed at 13 workstations (TIG welding: 6; MMA welding: 7), at which different welding parameters and materials were used. The radiation level was measured using a wide-range radiometer and a set of detectors, whose spectral responses were adequately fit to particular hazard under study. The measurement points corresponded with the location of eye and hand. Results: The highest values of eye irradiance were found for aluminum TIG welding. Effective irradiance of actinic UV was within the range Es = 7.79-37.6 W/m2; UVA total irradiance, EUVA = 18-53.1 W/m2 and effective blue-light irradiance EB = 35-67 W/m2. The maximum allowance time ranged from 1.7 to 75 s, which means that in some cases even unintentional very short eye exposure can exceed MPE. Conclusions: The influence of welded material and the type of electrode coating on the measured radiation level were evidenced. The exceeded value of MPE for photochemical hazard arising for the eyes and skin was found at all measured workstations. Welders should use appropriately the eye and face protective equipment and avoid direct staring at welding arc when starting an arcwelding operation. Besides, the lack of head and neck skin protection can induce acute and chronic harmful health effects. Therefore, an appropriate wear of personal protective equipment is essential for welders' health. Med Pr 2013;64(1):69–82
Agnieszka Wolska   
Zakład Techniki Bezpieczeństwa, Centralny Instytut Ochrony Pracy – Państwowy Instytut Badawczy, ul. Czerniakowska 16, 00-701 Warszawa