Welding Fumes
exposure testing

Welders are particular prone to lung related illness such as Pneumonia, Occupational Asthma, Metal Fume Fever and Cancer


The fumes given off by welding and hot metal cutting processes is a varying mixture of airborne gases and very fine particles which, if inhaled, can cause ill health. Gases such as NOx, ozone, and carbon monoxide may be present in welding and cutting fumes. 

The visible part of the fume cloud is mainly particles of metal, metal oxide and flux with differing exposure limits for each potential metal present. The process of welding stainless steel may generate a fume cloud containing over 15 different metal oxides.

The exact level of risk of exposure to either the gases or particulate fumes will depend on a number of factors:

  • How toxic the fume is (this varies greater depending on the combination of the welding technique and metal being welded)
  • How concentrated the fume is (this will depend on the working environment and extent of ventilation)
  • How long you are breathing the fume (this will depend on the shift lenght and intensity of welding but can only be accurately measured by personal exposure monitoring)

ActionsActions and advice

The first step in the process is to carryout a risk assessment by identifying what welding activities are being carried out on your site. This should include both the range of welding techniques used and the metal combinations, the next step should then be to commission a series of actual personal exposure assessments that cover the full range of activities. 

Depending on the exposure levels recorded, it may then be necessary to install some form of extraction system, or respiratory protection that is adequate, to cover the type of exposure likely from the pre-determined welding activities. Click here to learn more about welding fumes.

HelpHow can we help?

Our consultants are here to help you and can develop and implement monitoring strategies to indentify if maximum exposure limits are being exceeded with respect to metal fumes and gases in the workplace. Our team we will advise on appropriate measures to be taken to reduce the risk of exposure and ensure you comply with the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations.

For further help call us on 0870 7019170 or email: sales@euroenvironmental.co.uk


Knowledge Centre Article

Expand your knowledge on this topic by reading our informative article

Welding Fumes - The Complete Guide
Welding Fumes - The Complete Guide


With up to 80,000 known Welders in the UK, including those that use welding techniques as part of their positions, a big proportion of the population come face to face with potential harmful fumes and gases every single day. The fume given off by welding processes is a varying mixture of airborne gases and very fine metal particles.

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