Acute respiratory effects and biomarkers of inflammation due to welding-derived nanoparticle aggregates

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

PURPOSE: Welders are exposed to airborne particles from the welding environment and often develop symptoms work-related from the airways. A large fraction of the particles from welding are in the nano-size range. In this study we investigate if the welders' airways are affected by exposure to particles derived from gas metal arc welding in mild steel in levels corresponding to a normal welding day.

METHOD: In an exposure chamber, 11 welders with and 10 welders without work-related symptoms from the lower airways and 11 non-welders without symptoms, were exposed to welding fumes (1 mg/m(3)) and to filtered air, respectively, in a double-blind manner. Symptoms from eyes and upper and lower airways and lung function were registered. Blood and nasal lavage (NL) were sampled before, immediately after and the morning after exposure for analysis of markers of oxidative stress. Exhaled breath condensate (EBC) for analysis of leukotriene B4 (LT-B4) was sampled before, during and immediately after exposure.

RESULTS: No adverse effects of welding exposure were found regarding symptoms and lung function. However, EBC LT-B4 decreased significantly in all participants after welding exposure compared to filtered air. NL IL-6 increased immediately after exposure in the two non-symptomatic groups and blood neutrophils tended to increase in the symptomatic welder group. The morning after, neutrophils and serum IL-8 had decreased in all three groups after welding exposure. Remarkably, the symptomatic welder group had a tenfold higher level of EBC LT-B4 compared to the two groups without symptoms.

CONCLUSION: Despite no clinical adverse effects at welding, changes in inflammatory markers may indicate subclinical effects even at exposure below the present Swedish threshold limit (8 h TWA respirable dust).

Details

Authors
Organisations
External organisations
  • University of Gothenburg
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Environmental Health and Occupational Health

Keywords

  • Journal Article
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)451-463
JournalInternational Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health
Volume90
Issue number5
Early online date2017 Mar 3
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes