Reclassification of Welding Fume as Carcinogenic: from an Australian Perspective
There is no doubt that the recent reclassification of welding fume as carcinogenic to humans by the International Agency for the Research on Cancer (IARC) has encouraged many welders and workplaces to rethink their stance on welders’ respiratory protection.
The second white paper on welding fume by AWS aims to investigate the recent reclassification from an Australian perspective pulling relevant information from multiple sources into one easy-to-read 12-page document, so that Australian employers of welders and welders themselves can make better decisions regarding welding fume and suitable respiratory protective measures.
The paper also attempts to raise awareness of workplace cancer risks associated with welding so that welders question and challenge whether they are suitably protected even when operating under the current Australian workplace exposure standards for welding fume.
If you are a welder, friends or family of a welder or responsible for welders within a business, then this is a must read.
“This paper is a very useful addition to the information available for welders and their employers. A clear explanation of the new classification of welding fume and an exposition of the current situation in regards to the applicable OEL for welding fume in ANZ helps to highlight the level of exposure accepted here and what applies elsewhere. This can assist safety professionals to assess their welders’ situation and consider relevant exposure limits and find information on selection of relevant respiratory protection,” said Terry Gorman, Senior Occupational Hygienist.
“What a good job! This white paper will transfer lots of very important and helpful information to give welders a clearer and more realistic picture of welding applications, potential risks and hazards. This welding white paper gives a good guideline on how to behave and how to work as safely as possible,” said Christian Ripken, Application Engineer.
Workers are exposed to many hazardous fine particles in the workplace.