Lung Cancer in Welders - Featured Image
February 23, 2022
by Jamie Foster

Lung Cancer in Welders

While welders perform an essential job for global industry, their profession can be very dangerous. Among the risks a welder faces, cancer is often the most concerning. In today’s blog post, we will discuss the risks of welding fume exposure and cancer among welders, and how employers can reduce the risk of lung cancer in welders.

The Dangers of Welding

Welders face numerous dangers when carrying out their jobs, like burns from fire and molten materials. To add to these existing worries, recent studies have revealed the increased risk of severe illness from exposure to welding fumes, and have defined these fumes as a known carcinogen. One 2019 study that came to this conclusion found that frequent exposure to welding fumes increased the risk of lung cancer regardless of welding material or technique. 

How are these dangerous fumes produced? The fumes that often cause lung cancer in welders are generated when metals are exposed to extreme heat, raising the temperature of the metal to above its melting point. This causes the material to release vapors into the air. These vapors are made up of tiny (but solid) particles of metal, which are then inhaled by the welder. Though different metals can produce different fumes, the fumes generated by welding stainless steel, nickel compounds and chromium, are known to cause cancer in those exposed to them.

Lung cancer in welders

Louisiana Welders

With the construction industry booming in recent years, there is more of a demand than ever for welders in Louisiana. The welding industry has also managed to remain healthy throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and experts believe welders will continue to be in high demand. This growth in the number of welders and welding projects in Louisiana means an increase of cancerous exposure to Louisiana welders.

Reducing the Risk of Lung Cancer in Welders

The health and safety of welders should be of utmost importance to any employer in the construction industry. Thankfully, there are several ways to reduce the risk of developing cancer as a result of exposure to fumes in a welding environment:
  • Training

    Welders should be properly trained on the risks of welding the materials they are working with. This allows welders to better understand how to prevent illness as a result of exposure.

  • Cleaning

    Welding surfaces should be wiped clean of residues that could cause toxic fumes.

  • Positioning

    Welders can position themselves in ways that limit direct exposure to harmful fumes.

  • Ventilation

    Proper ventilation of the welding area can reduce the amount of vapors present, therefore reducing the volume of fumes that can be inhaled.

  • Substitution

    Manufacturers can consider using materials that are less toxic to welders.

  • Masking

    In environments where substitution or ventilation are not an option, welders should wear respirator masks to prevent vaporized carcinogenic materials from entering their lungs.

Contact Us

Lung cancer in welders can be devastating to Louisiana welders and their families. If you believe that you or someone you know has developed lung cancer as a result of inhaling fumes while welding, please contact the Falcon Law Firm at 504-341-1234. Our toxic tort attorneys will thoroughly investigate your claim and seek the compensation you and your family deserve. You may also contact us online or visit us at our office located at 5044 Lapalco Blvd., Marrero, LA.

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