Facilities Management » Welding Fumes


Maintenance employees may be exposed to welding fumes as they are repairing items. Welding fumes contain particulate matter and gases, which may be a health concern for workers, particularly if welding is performed in confined spaces.

Health Effects

There are numerous health hazards associated with exposure to fumes, gases and infrared radiation formed or released during welding, cutting and brazing. These health hazards include heavy metal poisoning, lung cancer, metal fume fever, and others. Flash burns to skin and eye can also occur. The hazards vary depending upon the type of welding materials used and the surfaces welded. For example, welding fumes are composed of metals, most fumes contain a small percentage of manganese, and the CDC has raised concerns about potential neurological effects associated with exposure to manganese in welding fumes. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified welding fumes and UV radiation from welding as Group 1 carcinogens, the agency’s designation for agents that carry sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in humans (IARC).

Requirements under OSHA's Welding, Cutting and Brazing Standard, 29 CFR 1910.252

Local exhaust ventilation unit removing fumes
Local exhaust ventilation unit removing fumes.
Local exhaust ventilation unit
Local exhaust ventilation unit

Follow the requirements of the Welding, Cutting and Brazing Standard:

Additional Information