Exposure of healthy subjects with emissions from a gas metal arc welding process: part 3—biological effect markers and lung function
Background Metal active gas welding (MAG) is a widely-used welding technique resulting in high emissions of welding fume particles. This study investigated whether short-term exposure to these fume particles results in changes in lung function and early stages of inflammatory reactions.
Methods Twelve healthy, young male subjects were exposed to MAG fumes for 6 h with three different exposure concentrations in a three-fold cross-over study design. Exposure was performed in the “Aachen Workplace Simulation Laboratory” under controlled conditions with constant fume concentration. Fume concentrations were 0, 1, and 2.5 mg m−3 in randomized order. Before and after each exposure, spirometry, and impulse oscillometry were performed and breath condensate samples were collected in order to quantify inflammatory markers like Nitrate, Nitrite, Nitrotyrosine, Hydroxyprolin and Malondialdehyde.
Results A significant dependency on the exposure concentration could not be established for any of the endpoint parameters.
Conclusion In healthy, young subjects neither changes in spirometry nor changes in inflammatory markers measured in exhaled breath condensate could be detected after short-term exposure.