Since the 1980s, we have established ourselves as a leader in North America, offering welding fume extraction solutions. This article provides insights on the exposure limits in Newfoundland and Labrador for several of the most common hazardous gases and metals found in welding fumes.

Fumes arise when a metal is heated beyond its boiling point, leading to the condensation of its vapors into very fine particles. These particles typically range in size from 0.005 to 20 µm, with the majority being smaller than 1 µm, potentially depositing throughout the respiratory system.

The composition of the fume is influenced by several factors including the material being welded, the electrode, the flux, the coatings, and the shielding gas, among others. To identify which hazardous and regulated substances are present in your workspace, air sampling is usually required. However, initially gathering information about the metals, gases, and consumables used in the welding process is generally beneficial.

Which particles in welding fumes are potentially harmful?

This page will detail a selection of dangerous gases and metals commonly found in welding fumes:

  • 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

Newfoundland and Labrador Occupational Health and Safety Regulations – Welding Fume

Companies in Newfoundland and Labrador are required to adhere to the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Part 6 (Occupational Health Requirements) contains information on Exposure Limits. Here are some important details regarding welding fumes, metals, and gases.

“An employer shall ensure that
(a)  atmospheric contamination of the workplace by hazardous substances is kept as low as is reasonably practicable;
(b)  a worker is informed of the nature and degree of health effects of the hazardous substances to which the worker is exposed;
(c)  exposure of a worker to hazardous substances is as minimal as is reasonably practicable, and where a threshold limit value has been established by the ACGIH, exposure shall not exceed the threshold limit value;
(d)  except as otherwise determined by the division, a worker is not exposed to a substance that exceeds the ceiling limit, short-term exposure limit, or 8-hour TWA (time-weighted average) limit prescribed by ACGIH; and
(e)  where a substance referred to in paragraph (d) has an 8-hour TWA limit, a worker’s exposure to the substance does not exceed
        (i)  3 times the 8-hour TWA limit for more than a total of 30 minutes during the work period, and
        (ii)  5 times the 8-hour TWA limit.”

“TLV means the documentation of threshold limit values for chemical substances and physical agents in the work environment published annually or more frequently by the ACGIH.”

“ACGIH means the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists.”

Welding regulations can be found in Part 21 (Welding, Burning, and Cutting Operations), with article 454 specifically addressing ventilation.

“Effective local exhaust ventilation shall be used at a fixed work station to minimize worker exposure to harmful air contaminants produced by welding, burning or soldering.”



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Newfoundland and Labrador – Threshold Limit Values for Welding Fume, Metals, and Gases

Threshold Limit Values (TLV) are copyrighted by ACGIH and cannot be replicated on other websites. However, we provide links to the relevant pages on their website below to guide you to the Exposure Limits you need to follow.

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

* A concentration limit is not stipulated as available oxygen is the key limiting factor.

Potential Health Hazards from Inhaling Welding Fumes

According to entities such as OSHA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, and the CNESST (Quebec), inhaling welding fumes can lead to various health implications:

  • 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 health risks underscore the importance of protecting welders, adhering to standards, and effectively extracting pollutants. Welding fume extractors are the best tool for achieving this.

To gain more knowledge about welding fume regulations in other Canadian provinces or territories, kindly use one of the links below, which will guide you to our relevant article:

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.