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Weld fumes with chrome

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Worker welding and producing chromium trioxide

Chromium trioxide ( CrO3 ) or chromic acid is added to the steel alloy to increase resistance to hardening and corrosion . Chromium trioxide is better known as " hexavalent chromium " ( Cr [VI] ) ; it is the sixth valence state chromium element . This valence state (hex 6) is produced by an industrial process and is known to cause cancer of the respiratory system , kidneys , liver , skin and eyes. Hexavalent chromium is used in chromium plating industry on metal parts to form a decorative or protective coating . Industrial processes involving chromium can result in the exposure of workers to toxic hexavalent chromium .

The major source of worker exposure to Cr (VI) occurs during "hot work" such as welding stainless steel and other steel alloys containing chromium metal. Smoke composed of gas, metallic particles, hexavalent chromium, are transmitted as soon as the temperature reaches the melting point (196˚ C) of CrO3; these toxic fumes are then inhaled by workers and by people who are nearby. It is in this context of high-risk work that all preventive measures should be applied to preserve the health of workers. To know the real state of the situation to which workers are exposed, it is imperative to evaluate the concentration of toxic elements through rigorous analysis. The results of the analysis then guide the stakeholders to the type of solutions to consider: mechanical ventilation and / or wearing appropriate protective equipment and comply with the regulations on health and safety at work regulations.

The standard sampling sessions for finding metals in welding fumes include the following ; Aluminum (Al) Chromium ( Cr) Copper ( Cu) Iron (Fe) Magnesium ( Mg) Manganese (Mn) and zinc (Zn ) . On request any other element can be a particular research reflecting the specific needs and circumstances in each industry .


Crystalline silica is a mineral that is found in abundance in the earth's crust ; it is used as an industrial material . This mineral is found in many forms. The most common is quartz. Quartz is a component of sand , stone , rocks , concrete , bricks , blocks and mortar. Many of these materials are used every day through a variety of industrial sectors , especially in construction , in mining , in manufacturing, in the maritime industry and in agriculture.

Occupational exposure to crystalline silica occurs frequently, as it occurs during operations relating to construction and public works: for example, when cutting , sawing or drilling ; when crushing concrete, brick, block , rock and stone products. Workers handling products in which we find sand ( like glass ) are likely to inhale , when melting and blasting , small particles ( respirable ) crystalline silica in the air .

These types of exposures can cause serious lung diseases such as silicosis ( notifiable disease to be the employer if it occurs in one of his employees) and lung cancer. These diseases have historically associated with exposure to high levels of silicosis and , therefore , places where we practice sandblasting, that is to say where the practice of the sand foundry operations and casting ; they are also related to mines, tunnels , cutting cement and demolition , masonry work and cutting granite. The emergence of diseases related to crystalline silica in the workplace is caused by inhalation exposure from a quartz powder and dust present in the breathing zone of the worker.

Worker producing crystalline silica

Prevention measures aim to minimize workers' exposure to crystalline silica by different means :


Please see our section "Asbestos " for more details on this subject, but here's a quick overview :

If the asbestos fibers are firmly bonded or sealed in a product, such as a wall covering or floor tiles , there is no major risk for the health. Very dense , these products give off little fiber under normal conditions of use . However, if these products are cut or damaged , the fibers may be from it. Asbestos presents a health risk only if one breathes the fibers that are found in the air; when they are inspired in large quantities, asbestos fibers can cause fatal diseases like asbestosis ( scarring training in the lungs that interferes with breathing) and mesothelioma ( a rare cancer of the chest wall or of the abdominal cavity ) , or significantly worsen the condition of vulnerable people (eg , victims of lung cancer linked to smoking ) .

It is therefore strongly recommended to characterize and to analyze all materials likely to contain asbestos ( MSCA ) . If you are planning renovations , but feel that the materials used in the construction of your home ( insulation , siding and floor or ceiling tiles ) contain asbestos , contact a qualified asbestos professional . It will carry out necessary analyzes and perform the work safely. Never try to remove it yourself insulation that contains asbestos . Rather hire a professional asbestos qualified in this field.

SECTION D - METABOLIC - Nanoparticles , potential genotoxicity of nanomaterials

It is not yet possible to collect , quantify and analyze the type of nano particulate contaminants. In strictly informative objective , we make available a French article that addresses this issue.


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