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Saudi Med J. 2003 Nov;24(11):1176-82.

Health hazards of welding fumes.

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Department of Physiology, College of Medicine, King Khalid University Hospital, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.


Even in the twenty-first century, welding is still a common and a highly skilled occupation. The hazardous agents associated with welding processes are acetylene, carbon monoxide, oxides of nitrogen, ozone, phosgene, tungsten, arsenic, beryllium, cadmium, chromium, cobalt, copper, iron, lead, manganese, nickel, silver, tin, and zinc. All welding processes involve the potential hazards for inhalation exposures that may lead to acute or chronic respiratory diseases. According to literature described earlier it has been suggested that welding fumes cause the lung function impairment, obstructive and restrictive lung disease, cough, dyspnea, rhinitis, asthma, pneumonitis, pneumoconiosis, carcinoma of the lungs. In addition, welding workers suffer from eye irritation, photokeratitis, cataract, skin irritation, erythema, pterygium, non-melanocytic skin cancer, malignant melanoma, reduced sperm count, motility and infertility. Most of the studies have been attempted previously to evaluate the effects of welding fumes. However, no collectively effort illuminating the general effects of welding fumes on different organs or systems or both in human has not been published. Therefore, the aim of this review is to gather the potential toxic effects of welding fumes documented by individual efforts and provide informations to community on hazards of welding.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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