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Welding Fume and Metals Exposure Assessment among Construction Welders

건설현장 용접직종별 용접흄 및 금속류 노출 실태

Park, Hyunhee;Park, Hae Dong;Jang, Jae-kil
박현희;박해동;장재길

  • Received : 2016.02.19
  • Accepted : 2016.06.23
  • Published : 2016.06.30

Abstract

Objectives: The objective of this study was to evaluate the assessment of exposure to welding fume and heavy metals among construction welders. Methods: Activity-specific personal air samplings(n=206) were carried out at construction sites of three apartment, two office buildings, and two plant buildings using PVC(poly vinyl chloride) filters with personal air samplers. The concentration of fumes and heavy metals were evaluated for five different types of construction welding jobs: general building pipefitter, chemical plant pipefitter, boiler maker, ironworker, metal finishing welder. Results: The concentration of welding fumes was highest among general building pipefitters($4.753mg/m^3$) followed by ironworkers($3.765mg/m^3$), boilermakers($1.384mg/m^3$), metal finishing welders($0.783mg/m^3$), chemical pipefitters($0.710mg/m^3$). Among the different types of welding methods, the concentration of welding fumes was highest with the $CO_2$ welding method($2.08mg/m^3$) followed by SMAW(shield metal arc welding, $1.54mg/m^3$) and TIG(tungsten inert gas, $0.70mg/m^3$). Among the different types of workplace, the concentration of welding fumes was highest in underground workplaces($1.97mg/m^3$) followed by outdoor($0.93mg/m^3$) and indoor(wall opening as $0.87mg/m^3$). Specifically comparing the workplaces of general building welders, the concentration of welding fumes was highest in underground workplaces($7.75mg/m^3$) followed by indoor(wall opening as $2.15mg/m^3$). Conclusions: It was found that construction welders experience a risk of expose to welding hazards at a level exceeding the exposure limits. In particular, for high-risk welding jobs such as general building pipefitters and ironworkers, underground welding work and $CO_2$ welding operations require special occupational health management regarding the use of air supply and exhaust equipment and special safety and health education and fume mask are necessary. In addition, there is a need to establish construction work monitoring systems, health planning and management practices.

Keywords

construction welding;ironworker;pipefitter;welding fume;welding metals

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