Occupational Health Hazards

The biggest problem with chemicals is that the diseases do not develop immediately but appear after a few years of exposure. The impact of pollution at the workplace on productivity has been well investigated. Studies on the impact of pollution at work environment in productivity reveal a tendency of reduction in economic activity (Marrewijk, 2005). Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) and ‘Building related illness’ (BRI) gives rise to employee complaints such as headaches, dizziness, disorientation, fatigue, ear, eye, and throat irritations.
The world demand for high-speed ferries and LNG tanks is being met with an increase in Aluminium welding and casting production. This has introduced a new health hazard to the Aluminium welders and ways are being probed to protect the welders against the Aluminium fumes. In the U.K, the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) regulations stipulates that the occupational exposure limit for Aluminium fume should not exceed 5mgm exp 3 of air. Aluminum fumes during welding also generate quantities of ozone gas, which can cause nausea (Rabin, 1997) and unconsciousness.
Welding is a process in which metal or other thermoplastic materials are joined together by the application of heat or pore sure or both. Electric welding was introduced in the 1940s. Aluminum welding has been in prominence since 1970. There are several types of welding like Arc welding and Manual metal arc is a common process where the workers are exposed to the fumes. Carbon arc, Cold welding, Electron beam welding, Flux core arc welding, Gas welding, Gas metal arc welding, Gas tungsten arc welding, Shielded metal arc welding, Plasma arc welding, Laser beam welding are the other welding processes where workers are exposed to metal fumes. The welding workers have a high exposure of metal fumes and the exposure depends on the place, confined space, workshop or open air. The metal fumes depend on not only the Aluminium but also the process involved, which may produce gases like acetylene, carbon monoxide, oxides of nitrogen, ozone, phosgene, and tungsten. The metal fumes primarily enter the human system by inhalation route namely Respiration. The deposition of these inhaled metallic particles is influenced by its physical and chemical properties and a variety of host factors. In the lungs, these particles produce a variety of reactions depending on the concentration, duration of the exposure of the particles, and degree of exposure. All Metallic particles greater than 10 are deposited on the Mucous membrane in the nose and pharynx. Particles between 3m and 10 m are deposited throughout the trachea of the lungs. Particles less than 3m are deposited in the alveoli and cause serious hazards. These particles have a fair chance of being carried into the bloodstream and cause Hepatotoxicityand Nephrotoxicity.

You Might Also Like