, Volume 53, Issue 4, pp 513-518
Date: 04 Jul 2007

Production of Ozone and Reactive Oxygen Species After Welding

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Many toxic substances including heavy metals, ozone, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen oxides are generated during welding. Ozone (O3) is a strong oxidant that generates reactive oxygen species (ROS) in tissue, and ambient ROS exposure associated with particles has been determined to cause DNA damage. Ozone is produced within 30 seconds during welding. However, the length of time that O3 remains in the air after welding is completed (post-welding) is unknown. The current study aimed to assess the distributions of ambient ROS and O3 before the start of welding (pre-welding), during welding, and after welding. The highest O3 levels, equal to 195 parts per billion (ppb), appeared during welding. Ozone levels gradually decreased to 60 ppb 10 minutes after the welding was completed. The highest ROS level was found in samples taken during welding, followed by samples taken after the welding was completed. The lowest ROS level was found in samples taken before the welding had started. Ozone and ROS levels were poorly correlated, but a similar trend was found for O3 and ROS levels in particles (μM/mg). Although particles were not generated after welding, ROS and O3 still persisted for more than 10 minutes. Meanwhile, because O3 continues after welding, how long the occupational protective system should be used depends on the welding materials and the methods used. In addition, the relationship between metal fumes and ROS generation during the welding process should be further investigated.