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Arch Environ Contam Toxicol. 2007 Nov;53(4):513-8. Epub 2007 Jul 4.

Production of ozone and reactive oxygen species after welding.

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Department of Occupational Safety and Health, Chung Shan Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan.


Many toxic substances including heavy metals, ozone, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen oxides are generated during welding. Ozone (O(3)) is a strong oxidant that generates reactive oxygen species (ROS) in tissue, and ambient ROS exposure associated with particles has been determined to cause DNA damage. Ozone is produced within 30 seconds during welding. However, the length of time that O(3) remains in the air after welding is completed (post-welding) is unknown. The current study aimed to assess the distributions of ambient ROS and O(3) before the start of welding (pre-welding), during welding, and after welding. The highest O(3) levels, equal to 195 parts per billion (ppb), appeared during welding. Ozone levels gradually decreased to 60 ppb 10 minutes after the welding was completed. The highest ROS level was found in samples taken during welding, followed by samples taken after the welding was completed. The lowest ROS level was found in samples taken before the welding had started. Ozone and ROS levels were poorly correlated, but a similar trend was found for O(3) and ROS levels in particles (microM/mg). Although particles were not generated after welding, ROS and O(3) still persisted for more than 10 minutes. Meanwhile, because O(3) continues after welding, how long the occupational protective system should be used depends on the welding materials and the methods used. In addition, the relationship between metal fumes and ROS generation during the welding process should be further investigated.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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