Send to

Choose Destination
Am J Ind Med. 1994 Dec;26(6):741-54.

Asthma, lung function, and bronchial responsiveness in welders.

Author information

National Institute of Occupational Health, Solna, Sweden.


The incidence of asthma was compared in welders welding in stainless steel (SS) or mild steel (MS). The study was comprised of welders who had been welding for at least 6 months during the preceding 10 year period in four companies, but who had not been welding occupationally prior to this time. The inclusion criteria were met by 42 SS welders with a total welding time of 196 years. Sixteen of these had left work, six because of airway symptoms. Eighty-five MS welders with a total welding time of 403 years were included. Forty-eight of these had left work, 10 citing airway symptoms as a main reason for leaving work, according to responses in a mailed questionnaire. Ex-welders with airway symptoms were in some cases further investigated with spirometry and bronchial provocation tests. In other cases, medical records gave a clear diagnosis. In addition, bronchial responsiveness and lung function were measured and airway symptoms were recorded in presently active welders. Twenty-three of the 26 active SS steel welders and 23 of the 37 active MS steel welders were examined, together with a reference group of 26 (out of 30 invited) vehicle assemblers. There was no difference in the incidence of welding-associated asthma (5% for SS, 7% for MS welders per 1,000 welding-years). Bronchial responsiveness and lung function in active welders was normal and did not differ between MS and SS welders or between welders and a reference group of vehicle fitters. Welders had a significantly higher prevalence of airway symptoms as compared to vehicle fitters.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center