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 applicable in Yukon 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

Yukon Workers’ Safety and Compensation Act – Welding Fume

In Yukon, employers must comply with the Workers’ Safety and Compensation Act, which is a consolidation of multiple regulations.

Welding regulations can be found in Part 13 (Trades and Miscellaneous), article 13.08 to 13.12 of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations. Here are a few essential parts.

“Any fixed workplace shall have effective local exhaust ventilation to minimize worker exposure to harmful air contaminants produced by welding, burning or soldering.”

“Work areas close to welding, cutting, burning or soldering shall be monitored to ensure that the concentration of the air contaminants is kept within the limits, as established by the Occupational Health Regulations.”

“Respiratory protective equipment shall be used only for short duration welding or burning operations if the use of effective local exhaust ventilation is not practicable.”

Finally, Permissible Concentrations for Airborne Contaminant Substances can be found in Table 8 of the Occupational Health Regulations.

If you have any questions about welding fume, do not hesitate to contact us. We will be happy to give you some insight, and we can even visit you for free in the US and Canada.

Henlex Inc.

Yukon – Permissible Concentrations for Welding Fume, Metals, and Gases

Based on the Workers’ Safety and Compensation Act, the following limits are the applicable Permissible Concentrations for Airborne Contaminant Substances (PCACS) in Yukon for welding fume and some of its components.

Abbreviations used in the tables below:

  • TWA: The Time-Weighted Average concentration for an 8-hour workday
  • STEL: Short-Term Exposure Limit (maximum time-weighted average concentration for 15 minutes)
Welding Fumes5mg/m35mg/m3
Iron Oxide5mg/m310mg/m3
Tin oxide10mg/m320mg/m3
Titanium dioxide10mg/m320mg/m3
Zinc oxide5mg/m310mg/m3
Carbon Dioxide5,000ppm15,000ppm
Carbon Monoxide50ppm400ppm
Hydrogen Fluoride3ppm3ppm
Nitric Oxide25ppm35ppm
Nitrogen Dioxide5ppmNone
* Simple asphyxiant: must be controlled to ensure that no atmosphere is oxygen deficient (less than 18% oxygen) at any time.

ACGIH – Threshold Limit Values for Welding Fume, Metals, and Gases

The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) is an important organization researching hazardous substances and recommending exposure limits. They influence most health and safety organizations in North America, and knowing their recommended Threshold Limit Values (TLV) is very valuable.

Threshold Limit Values 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.

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-TWAEV 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:

Any Questions?

Feel free to contact us. We will help you protect your workers and comply with welding fumes standards anywhere in the US and Canada.