We have been a pioneer in North America, providing welding fume extraction solutions since the 1980s. In this blog post, you will find the exposure limits in Prince Edward Island for some of the most common hazardous metals and gases found in welding fume.

Fumes are formed when a metal is heated above its boiling point, and its vapors condense into very fine particles. Their size ranges from 0.005 to 20 µm, but most are smaller than 1 µm and may deposit throughout the respiratory system.

The fume composition depends on the material being welded, the electrode, the coatings, the flux, and the shielding gas, among other things. Air sampling is usually necessary to know which hazardous and regulated substances are in your working environment. But getting information on the composition of metals, gases, and consumables used in the welding process is usually a good start.

What particulates are potentially dangerous in welding fume?

Here is a list of some dangerous metals and gases commonly found in welding fume that will be covered on this page:

  • Aluminum
  • Antimony
  • Arsenic
  • Beryllium
  • Cadmium
  • Chromium
  • Cobalt
  • Copper
  • Iron oxide
  • Lead
  • Manganese (learn more about manganese in welding fumes)
  • Molybdenum
  • Nickel
  • Silver
  • Tin
  • Titanium dioxide
  • Vanadium
  • Zinc
  • Argon
  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Carbon Monoxide
  • Helium
  • Hydrogen Fluoride
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Nitrogen
  • Nitrogen Dioxide
  • Ozone
  • Phosgene

Prince Edward Island Workplace Health and Safety Regulations – Welding Fume

In Prince Edward Island, companies must follow Occupational Health and Safety Act General Regulations. Welding regulations can be found in Part 37 (Welding), and Threshold Limit Values (TLV) are defined in Part 11 (Ventilation). Here is some information to know.

37.1 Ventilation

“Where welding or cutting or soldering operations emit harmful fumes and gases, the employer shall ensure that ventilation is provided which will remove the fumes at the source required to maintain the airborne contaminants at or below the permissible levels as outlined in Part 11 of these regulations.”

11.3 Threshold limit values

” Where the air of working areas is contaminated by vapors, fumes, gases, mists or other impurities which constitute a hazard to the health or safety of workers, suitable means of ventilation shall be provided by the employer to reduce contamination in the atmosphere at or below the threshold limit values specified by the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) in the 2019 edition of the publication “Threshold Limit Values and Biological Exposure Indices”, as amended from time to time.”

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Prince Edward Island – Threshold Limit Values for Welding Fume, Metals, and Gases

Threshold Limit Values (TLV) are copyrighted by ACGIH and cannot be reproduced on other websites. However, you will find the links to the relevant pages on their website below. Use them to know the OELs to follow.

ACGIH has not published a recommendation regarding welding fumes in general. Therefore, they fall under the Particulates Not Otherwise Regulated category. The ACGIH recommendation, in this case, is a TLV-TWA of 3mg/m3 for respirable particles and 10mg/m3 for inhalable particles.

* A concentration limit is not included because available oxygen is the limiting factor.

Health risks associated with breathing welding fumes

According to OSHA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, and the CNESST (Quebec), breathing welding fumes could cause the following health effects:

  • Eye, nose, and throat irritation
  • Dizziness and nausea
  • Breathing difficulties that could lead to suffocation or asphyxiation
  • Metal fume fever
  • Lung damage and various types of cancer
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Kidney damage
  • Nervous system damage
  • Manganism
  • Chest pain
  • Asthma
  • Bleedings
  • Dermatitis or eczema
  • Kidney disease
  • Bone and joint disorders
  • Siderosis (iron oxide in lung tissue after inhalation)
  • Stannosis (tin oxide in lung tissue after inhalation)
  • Anthracosis (poisoning after inhalation of carbon dust)
  • Berylliosis (poisoning after inhalation of beryllium dust)
  • Accumulation of fluid in the lungs

These are good reasons to protect welders, meet the standards, and even extract pollutants as efficiently as possible. Welding fume extractors will be the best way to do so.

To learn more about welding fume regulations in another Canadian province or territory, feel free to use one of the links below to be directed to our article on the subject:

3 Ways to Take a First Step Towards a Fume-Free Environment

1 – Attend Our Webinar

2 – Request our Compact Guide “30 Expert Tips for Eliminating Fume”

You will also receive information about regulations, success stories, tips to choose the right fume extractor.

3 – Contact Us

We would be pleased to help you protect your welders and comply with current standards. We travel everywhere in Canada and the United States for free demos.