Methodology to Assess Metal Content in Welding Fume by Particle Size

Kelsey Hall, Purdue University


Welding is the process used worldwide to join metal pieces during construction. The fumes given off during the process is a major source of worker exposure to hazardous particulates. A variety of chemicals are emitted during welding based on the type of processes used. This research focuses on the development and evaluation of a methodology to assess metal content in welding fume by particle size. The resulting protocol will be used in a pilot study aimed at analyzing manganese in welding fumes in samples acquired as real time data. Sampling was performed at a local semi-trailer manufacturing facility with multiple production lines and several different welding stations that used different metals. Samples for this study focused on metal inert gas (MIG) welding. A Dekati brand electrical low-pressure impactor (ELPI+) was used to collect the samples. Once collected the samples were analyzed for manganese metal content using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Methodology improvements related to use of the equipment in the field were collected throughout the research and will be used to improve the final protocol. Using the data from the pilot study, a power calculation will be done to determine the number of samples needed to perform a full-scale field study using the ELPI+.




Wells, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Occupational safety

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