When we are discussing whether a facility needs to conduct a Combustible Dust Hazard Analysis (DHA) or if dust explosibility testing is needed, it is common for material like aluminum dust, phenolic resin, iron, powder coat, etc. to be included in the discussion as it is relatively known that these materials are combustible dusts. However, it regularly occurs that the dusts and fumes from welding activities are not brought up by the facility. A widely held view in general industry is that dust from welding operations contains only oxidized metal and is therefore not combustible. Recent studies and CTI’s own investigations have found this to be incorrect.
In April 2017, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) determined that welding fume is considered to be a known carcinogen that can lead to lung cancer in humans. This decision may affect all facilities who employ welders or other personnel conducting hot work, as these personnel may be exposed to welding fumes. Employers of welders should ensure engineering and administrative controls are implemented to reduce employee exposure to welding fumes in the workplace. Continue reading “Welding Fumes Have Been Classified as a Group 1 Carcinogen”