Established in the 1980s, we have been at the forefront in North America in delivering solutions for the extraction of welding fumes. This article provides information about the exposure limits set in New Brunswick for some frequently encountered harmful metals and gases in welding fumes.

Welding fumes arise when metal is heated past its boiling point, leading to the condensation of its vapors into minuscule particles. These particles typically range from 0.005 to 20 µm in size, with the majority being less than 1 µm. These particles can deposit throughout the respiratory tract.

Factors such as the material being welded, the type of electrode, surface coatings, flux, and shielding gas influence the composition of the fumes. To ascertain the specific hazardous and regulated substances in your work environment, air sampling is often required. However, you can start by understanding the composition of the metals, gases, and consumables used in your welding processes.

Which constituents in welding fumes are potentially harmful?

Here, we present a list of some hazardous metals and gases typically found in welding fumes:

  • Aluminum (learn more about aluminum welding fume)
  • Antimony
  • Argon
  • Arsenic
  • Beryllium
  • Cadmium
  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Carbon Monoxide
  • Chromium
  • Cobalt
  • Copper
  • Helium
  • Hydrogen Fluoride
  • Iron Oxide
  • Lead
  • Manganese (learn more about manganese in welding fumes)
  • Molybdenum
  • Nickel
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Nitrogen
  • Nitrogen Dioxide
  • Ozone
  • Phosgene
  • Silver
  • Tin
  • Titanium Dioxide
  • Vanadium
  • Zinc

New Brunswick Occupational Health and Safety Act – Welding Fume

Companies in New Brunswick must adhere to the Occupational Health and Safety Act. The Act’s chapter XVIII focuses on welding regulations (Welding, Cutting, and Soldering), and exposure limits are outlined in chapter I (Interpretation).

“Occupational Exposure Limit means, except with respect to lead sulfide, formaldehyde, sulfur dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, nitrogen dioxide, and any other air contaminant for which the Commission sets an exposure limit, a threshold limit value adopted by the ACGIH and set out in the ACGIH publication entitled 2016 Threshold Limit Values for Chemical Substances and Physical Agents and Biological Exposure Indices.”

“An employer shall ensure that an employee is protected from the effects of harmful fumes and gases or particles emitted from welding, cutting, burning or soldering operations by providing a local exhaust system close to the source of the fumes, gases or particles in an indoor welding, cutting, burning or soldering area, and monitoring the work areas in proximity to the welding, cutting, burning or soldering area to ensure that the level of concentration of air contaminants does not exceed the levels or values referred to in section 24.”

The Act’s Section 24 provides detailed guidelines on industrial ventilation systems and maintaining air quality.



Get your hands on our exclusive guide full of actionable insights. Provide your email below and dive into:

  • A compact guide packed with 30 powerful tips to tackle welding fumes effectively.
  • Tailored information on regulations you need to know to stay compliant.
  • Inspiring success stories from industry peers who’ve transformed their operations.
  • Practical advice to help you select the ideal fume extractor tailored to your needs.

ACGIH – Threshold Limit Values (TLVs) for Welding Fumes, Metals, and Gases

The ACGIH holds the copyright for TLVs, hence they cannot be reproduced on other websites. To gain insight into the ACGIH TLVs published in 2016, you can contact WorkSafeNB.

The latest Occupational Exposure Limits recommended by the ACGIH could be implemented in the future. We have provided links to relevant pages on their website below.

ACGIH has not issued a specific recommendation for welding fumes, categorizing them under Particulates Not Otherwise Regulated. In this situation, the ACGIH recommends a TLV-TWA of 3mg/m3 for respirable particles and 10mg/m3 for inhalable particles.

* No concentration limit is mentioned because available oxygen is the limiting factor.

Health Risks Posed by Inhalation of Welding Fumes

Organizations such as OSHA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, and the CNESST (Quebec) suggest that inhaling welding fumes can lead to the following health issues:

  • Accumulation of fluid in the lungs
  • Anthracosis (poisoning after inhalation of carbon dust)
  • Asthma
  • Berylliosis (poisoning after inhalation of beryllium dust)
  • Bleedings
  • Bone and joint disorders
  • Chest pain
  • Dermatitis or eczema
  • Dizziness and nausea
  • Eye, nose, and throat irritation
  • Kidney damage
  • Kidney disease
  • Lung damage and various types of cancer
  • Manganism
  • Metal fume fever
  • Nervous system damage
  • Siderosis (iron oxide in lung tissue after inhalation)
  • Stannosis (tin oxide in lung tissue after inhalation)
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Breathing difficulties that could lead to suffocation or asphyxiation

It is vital to ensure welders’ safety, comply with standards, and efficiently extract pollutants. The most effective way to achieve this is through the use of welding fume extractors.

For more information on welding fume regulations in other Canadian provinces or territories, click on one of the links below to read our related 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.