We have been a leader in North America, offering welding fume extraction solutions since the 1980s. This blog post provides information on the exposure limits in Prince Edward Island for some of the most commonly encountered hazardous metals and gases in welding fumes.

Fumes are produced when a metal is heated past its boiling point, and its vapors condense into very fine particles. These particles vary in size from 0.005 to 20 µm, with the majority being less than 1 µm, capable of dispersing throughout the respiratory system.

The composition of the fume is influenced by a number of factors, including the material being welded, the electrode, coatings, flux, and shielding gas, among others. Air sampling is typically required to identify the hazardous and regulated substances in your work environment. However, acquiring knowledge about the composition of metals, gases, and consumables used in the welding process is a beneficial initial step.

Which particulates in welding fume are potentially harmful?

Here’s a list of some dangerous metals and gases commonly found in welding fume that this article will address:

  • 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 for Welding Fume

In Prince Edward Island, employers are obligated to adhere to the Occupational Health and Safety Act General Regulations. Welding regulations are included in Part 37 (Welding), and Threshold Limit Values (TLV) are specified in Part 11 (Ventilation). Here’s some vital information.

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 the ACGIH and thus cannot be reproduced on other websites. However, you can find links to relevant pages on their website below. These will assist you in understanding the OELs to comply with.

ACGIH has not issued a general recommendation concerning welding fumes. Hence, they fall under the category of Particulates Not Otherwise Regulated. In this scenario, the ACGIH recommendation 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 Inhalation of Welding Fumes

As per OSHA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, and the CNESST (Quebec), inhaling welding fumes can result in the following health impacts:

  • Irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat
  • Dizziness and nausea
  • Breathing difficulties potentially leading to suffocation or asphyxiation
  • Metal fume fever
  • Lung damage and various kinds of cancer
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Damage to the kidneys
  • Damage to the nervous system
  • Manganism
  • Chest pain
  • Asthma
  • Hemorrhaging
  • Dermatitis or eczema
  • Kidney disease
  • Disorders affecting bones and joints
  • Siderosis (iron oxide in lung tissue post-inhalation)
  • Stannosis (tin oxide in lung tissue post-inhalation)
  • Anthracosis (poisoning following inhalation of carbon dust)
  • Berylliosis (poisoning following inhalation of beryllium dust)
  • Accumulation of fluid in the lungs

These constitute compelling reasons to safeguard welders, adhere to standards, and remove pollutants as effectively as possible. Welding fume extractors are the optimal solution for this.

For information about welding fume regulations in another Canadian province or territory, feel free to click on one of the links below, which will direct you to our corresponding article on the topic:

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.