Welding in the World

, Volume 59, Issue 1, pp 145–150 | Cite as

Welding with non-consumable thoriated tungsten electrodes

  • Luca CostaEmail author


This document was prepared by the International Institute of Welding, Commission VIII Health and Safety under the chairmanship of the Author. It constitutes the considered judgement of this expert group on the hazards and risks added to arc welding by the use of thoriated tungsten electrodes and the specific protective measures which are required to control the risks and thus protect the health and safety of welders and those working with them directly or indirectly as in cleaning and maintenance. The experts have drawn on views expressed in previous Commission VIII documents on this topic and information on thorium and its compounds published in papers in the scientific literature. The experts recommend that use of thoriated electrodes ceases as soon as is practicable and that, until that change is completed, special care is taken to inform workers of the hazards and to implement all the other protective measures which are detailed in the report.


Welding GTA welding Plasma cutting Thorium Thoriated tungsten Occupational health 



The Author acknowledges C VIII “Health, Safety and Environment” of the International Institute of Welding (IIW) for the development of this document, and especially its former Chairman, Dr. Grant McMillan who supported its development of this document during his Chairmanship.

Previous IIW Commission VIII documents on thoriated tungsten electrodes.

Experts of Commission VIII worked extensively on the matter of welding with tungsten thoriated electrodes; the following documents represent discussion held during the meetings.

VIII-1582–91Estimated radiation doses from thorium and daughters contained in thoriated welding electrodes.

VIII-1599–91Soudage avec electrodes refractaires—Electrodes en tungsten thorie.

VIII-1657–92Result of the radiometric evaluation of material sample.

VIII-1667–92Assessment of thorium exposure due to grinding of thoriated tungsten electrodes.

VIII-1675–92Radioactivity measurement of tungsten rods containing thorium.

VIII-1702–93Health aspects in the use of thoriated tungsten electrodes

VIII-1771–95Storage and use of thoriated tungsten electrodes (by UK Health and Safety Executive).

VIII-1800–97Handling of thoriated, non-consumable electrodes (tungsten containing thorium oxide) in tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding.


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Copyright information

© International Institute of Welding 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.IISProgress srlGenoaItaly

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