A special study of the potential skin hazards arising from the transmission through fabrics of actinic UV generated from various welding processes was conducted by the US Army Environmental Hygiene Agency as part of a cooperative effort with the Industrial Safety Equipment Association, The Aluminum Association, and the American Welding Society Committee on Safety and Health. It was determined that most fabrics transmit less than 0.01 percent—considered adequate. But potentially hazardous UV from welding arcs could be transmitted by several of the woven fabrics that were evaluated. The fabrics studied included leather, cotton, denim, Nomex®, and other materials common in work clothing used in industrial environments. Two lightweight fabrics (FR-8® Breeze and Nomex Green and Yellow) showed transmission values approaching 1 percent. Only these latter fabrics would transmit sufficient UVR from a welding arc to result in exposure of the skin to UVR exceeding present occupational exposure limits (ELs). It is recommended that welders be taught the reason for the use of proper clothing; that fabrics showing visible light transmission not be worn; and that welding instruction manuals be updated with this information.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health