3M has compiled its recent White Paper which tackles key safety issues within the welding trade. AWS was established in 1994 as the sole agent for the 3M Speedglas Welding Equipment Brand in Australia and New Zealand and as a result, has played a key part in the welding industry ever since.

"As a company which specialises in welding safety equipment, it’s our goal to raise awareness on the important issues that welders face," a spokesperson said. 

The new 2020 Welding Fume Update takes a closer look at a 2019 study on welding fume and lung cancer, from an Australian and New Zealand perspective.

Down load the update here.

The conclusions for the 2019 report were:

  • Exposure to welding fume increases the risk of lung cancer.
  • Welders present, on average, a 43% increased risk of lung cancer when compared with those who have never welded or been exposed to welding fume.
  • This increased risk of lung cancer is regardless of the type of steel welded, the welding process and independent of exposure to smoking.
  • Increased risks persist regardless of time period or occupational setting.
  • The risk increases with years of employment as a welder.

To protect welders purifying respirators should be worn, to protect non-welding employees there should be some kind of fume extraction where welding is taking place.

Purifying respirators, correctly worn, have a RMPF of 50 meaning that they supply breathing air a minimum 50 times cleaner than the welder would otherwise be breathing unprotected. Supplied air respirators provide the welder with a RMPF of 100+.
This means that these systems deliver air to the welder that is at least 100 times cleaner than the air in the surrounding environment. To put this into perspective, disposable and reusable half-face style respirators have a RMPF of 10 if properly fitted and worn.



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