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Toxicol Lett. 2014 Dec 1;231(2):135-41. doi: 10.1016/j.toxlet.2014.09.008. Epub 2014 Sep 16.

Determinants of occupational exposure to metals by gas metal arc welding and risk management measures: a biomonitoring study.

Author information

1
Laboratoire de Toxicologie Professionnelle et Environnementale, DBTP, Institut de Biologie et Pathologie, CHU de Grenoble, CS 20217, Grenoble 38043 Cedex 9, France; Equipe Environnement et Prédiction de la Santé des Populations, Laboratoire TIMC, UMR CNRS 5525, UFR de Médecine, Université Grenoble Alpes, La tronche 38700, France. Electronic address: RPersoons@chu-grenoble.fr.
2
Service de Santé et Travail en Drôme des Collines, rue de Gillières, ZI des Allobroges, BP 131, Romans 26104 Cedex, France.
3
Association Patronale Interentreprises de Médecine du Travail de Crest, 50, ZI Pied Gai, Crest 26400, France.
4
Service de Santé au Travail de Drôme Provençale, Pôle du Meyrol Rue Raymond-Louis, Montélimar 26200, France.
5
Laboratoire de Toxicologie Professionnelle et Environnementale, DBTP, Institut de Biologie et Pathologie, CHU de Grenoble, CS 20217, Grenoble 38043 Cedex 9, France; Equipe Environnement et Prédiction de la Santé des Populations, Laboratoire TIMC, UMR CNRS 5525, UFR de Médecine, Université Grenoble Alpes, La tronche 38700, France.

Abstract

Welding fumes contain various toxic metals including chromium (Cr), nickel (Ni) and manganese (Mn). An assessment of the risk to health of local and systemic exposure to welding fumes requires the assessment of both external and internal doses. The aims of this study were to test the relevance in small and medium sized enterprises of a biomonitoring strategy based on urine spot-samples, to characterize the factors influencing the internal doses of metals in gas metal arc welders and to recommend effective risk management measures. 137 welders were recruited and urinary levels of metals were measured by ICP-MS on post-shift samples collected at the end of the working week. Cr, Ni and Mn mean concentrations (respectively 0.43, 1.69 and 0.27 μg/g creatinine) were well below occupational health guidance values, but still higher than background levels observed in the general population, confirming the absorption of metals generated in welding fumes. Both welding parameters (nature of base metal, welding technique) and working conditions (confinement, welding and grinding durations, mechanical ventilation and welding experience) were predictive of occupational exposure. Our results confirm the interest of biomonitoring for assessing health risks and recommending risk management measures for welders.

KEYWORDS:

Biomonitoring; Determinants of exposure; GMAW; ICP-MS; Metals; Occupational exposure; Risk management measures; Welding

PMID:
25223250
DOI:
10.1016/j.toxlet.2014.09.008
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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