Manganese exposures during shielded metal arc welding (SMAW) in an enclosed space.J Occup Environ Hyg. 2005 Aug; 2(8):375-82.JO
The work reported here evaluates the effectiveness of various rates of dilution ventilation in controlling welder exposures to manganese in shielded metal arc welding (SMAW) fume when working in enclosed or restricted spaces. Personal and area monitoring using total and respirable sampling techniques, along with multiple analytical techniques, was conducted during the welding operations. With 2000 cubic feet per minute (CFM) (56.63 m3/min) dilution ventilation, personal breathing zone concentrations for the welder using 1/8 inches (3.18 mm) E6010 and E7018 mild steel electrodes were within 75% of the existing threshold limit value (TLV of 0.2 mg/m3 for total manganese and were five times greater than the 2001-2003 proposed respirable manganese TLV of 0.03 mg/m3. Manganese concentrations using high manganese content electrodes were five times greater than those for E6010 and E7018 electrodes. Area samples upstream and downstream of the welder using E6010 and E7018 electrodes exceeded 0.2 mg/m3 manganese. Concentrations inside and outside the welding helmet do not indicate diversion of welding fume by the welding helmet from the welder's breathing zone. There was close agreement between respirable manganese and total manganese fume concentrations. Total fume concentrations measured by gravimetric analysis of matched-weight, mixed cellulose ester filters were comparable to those measured via preweighed PVC filter media. This study indicates that 2000 CFM general dilution ventilation per 29 CFR 1910.252 (c)(2) may not be a sufficient means of controlling respirable manganese exposures for either welders or their helpers in restricted or enclosed spaces. In the absence of site-specific monitoring data indicating otherwise, it is prudent to employ respiratory protection or source capture ventilation for SMAW with E6010, E7018, and high manganese content electrodes rather than depending solely on 2000 CFM general dilution ventilation in enclosed spaces.