Do Welding Fumes Cause Cancer?

Whether you are a welder or a welding workshop owner, welding fumes are a danger that you need to address and manage adequately. People often don’t realise the dangers associated with continuous exposure to welding fumes. 

In this article we will answer the question whether welding fumes can cause cancer and cover some of the actions you can take to protect yourself and your employees from welding fumes exposure.

Do Welding Fumes Really Cause Cancer? 

Many studies report increased risk of lung cancer in welders and other workshop or factory workers with prolonged exposure to welding fumes. 

In 2017, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) officially confirmed that the hazardous substances in welding fumes are a danger to people’s health and can cause lung cancer and may also cause kidney cancer. According to the IARC all welding fumes are classified as Group 1 carcinogenic substances

The scientific studies carried out by a group of experts showed welding fumes are carcinogenic to humans, regardless of the process used or the type of metal welded. With each method the only difference was the extent of exposure. 

Results found a higher risk of lung cancer for full-time welders as well as for those who occasionally weld.

What Can You Do to Keep Your Employees Safe from Welding Fumes? 

The welding process releases hazardous fumes into the air that can risk the health of your employees. To best protect your employees from the dangerous fumes and make the whole process safer, you need to have the proper welding fume extraction system in place. 

A local exhaust ventilation system will safely transport the fumes, protecting welders from exposure. It will also make the work environment safer for others nearby. 

An LEV system works by using air-flow to capture and remove contaminated air. The different types of LEC include: 

  • Extraction benches; 
  • Extraction booths; 
  • On-demand extraction; 
  • Movable LEV units. 

To ensure continuous extraction your system should be tested and maintained regularly by a qualified professional. 

How Can Extractly Help You Create a Safer Work Environment? 

The trained design engineers at Extractly have the British Occupational Hygiene Society P602 Proficiency Certificate in Design Principles of Local Exhaust Ventilation Systems. The team at Extractly can help design, install and commission your welding extraction system to suit your needs.

We offer a wide range of welding extraction equipment from the leading manufacturer of welding fume extraction systems, KEMPER Our selection of products includes Mobile Welding Extraction Units, Stationary Welding Extraction Units, Welding Fume Fan Sets, Welding Extraction Filter Media as well as various Spares & Accessories

Shop the full welding extraction range today or inquire about our welding fume extraction system design and installation service. 

To view our Welding Extraction range, click here