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  Safety and HealthFact Sheet No. 2 October 2003    © 2003 American Welding Society   Radiation AWS disclaims liability for any injury to persons or to property, or other damages of any nature whatsoever, whether special, indirect,consequential or compensatory, directly or indirectly resulting from the publication, use of, or reliance on this Safety and Health Fact Sheet.AWS also makes no guaranty or warranty as to the accuracy or completeness of any information published herein. Fact Sheet No. 2 — 10/03 Page 1 INTRODUCTION  Most arc welding and cutting processes,laser welding, and torch welding, cutting,and brazing, or soldering producequantities of radiation requiringprecautionary measures. Someprocesses, such as resistance welding andcold pressure welding, ordinarily producenegligible quantities of radiant energy. DEFINITION  Radiation is electromagnetic energy givenoff by the arc or flame that can injure eyesand burn skin. An operator sees visiblelight radiation. However, he does not seeultraviolet or infrared radiation. Radiationis often silent and undetected, yet injuryoccurs. Have all users learn about theeffects of radiation. EFFECTS OF RADIATION  The effects of radiation depend on thewavelength, intensity, and length of timeone is exposed to the radiant energy.Although a variety of effects is possible,the following two injuries are mostcommon: ã Skin burns. ã Eye damage. TYPES OF RADIATION  There are two types of radiation associatedwith welding operations: ã Ionizing (such as X-rays). ã Nonionizing (such as ultraviolet, visiblelight, or infrared). IONIZING RADIATION   ã Produced by the electron beam weldingprocess. ã Controlled within acceptable limits byusing suitable shielding around theelectron beam welding area. ã Produced during grinding (pointing) ofthoriated tungsten electrodes for GasTungsten Arc Welding (GTAW) process-- the grinding dust is radioactive. ã Controlled by using local exhaust and, ifnecessary, an approved respirator. NONIONIZING RADIATION   ã Intensity and wavelength of energyproduced depend on the process,welding parameters, electrode andbase metal composition, fluxes, andany coatings or plating on the basematerial. ã Ultraviolet radiation increasesapproximately as the square of thewelding current. ã Visible brightness (luminance) of thearc increases at a much lower rate.    AWS disclaims liability for any injury to persons or to property, or other damages of any nature whatsoever, whether special, indirect,consequential or compensatory, directly or indirectly resulting from the publication, use of, or reliance on this Safety and Health Fact Sheet.AWS also makes no guaranty or warranty as to the accuracy or completeness of any information published herein. Fact Sheet No. 2 — 10/03 Page 2 ã Processes using argon produce largeramounts of ultraviolet radiation thanthose using most other shielding gases. HOW TO PROTECT AGAINST IONIZINGRADIATION   ã Required protection varies with time ofexposure, distance from source, andshielding used. ã Follow recommended procedures inAWS F2.1. ã When grinding (pointing) thoriatedtungsten electrodes, always use localexhaust and, if necessary, respiratoryprotection to prevent inhalation of dust. ã External radiation from thoriatedtungsten electrodes during storage,welding, or disposal of residues isnegligible under normal conditions. HOW TO PROTECT AGAINST NON-IONIZING RADIATION   ã Use welding helmet with correct shadeof filter plate according to ANSI Z87.1. Note: Transparent welding curtains are not intended as welding filter plates, but rather are intended to protect passersby from incidental exposure.   ã Protect exposed skin with adequategloves and clothing according to ANSIZ49.1. ã Be aware of reflections from weldingarcs, and protect all persons fromintense reflections. Note: Paints using titanium dioxide or zinc oxide as major pigmentation media have a low reflectance for ultraviolet radiation.   ã Locate welding operations so that otherworkers are not exposed to either director reflected radiation. Use screens,curtains, or adequate distances fromother work stations, aisles, or walkwaysto avoid exposure. ã Wear safety glasses with UV protectiveside shields in addition to a properwelding helmet with filter plate. Theside shields provide needed protectionfrom reflected radiation. ã Have all persons wear safety glasseswith UV protective side shields anytimenear welding or cutting areas. ã Choose safety glasses according toANSI Z87.1. INFORMATION SOURCES ONNONIONIZING RADIATION American Welding Society (AWS). Recommended Practices for Electron Beam Welding  (AWS C7.1), published bythe American Welding Society, 550 NWLeJeune Road, Miami, FL 33126;telephone 800-443-9353; Web site:www.aws.org.International Institute of Welding (IIW).Statement from Commission VIII, Healthand Safety 2000. Welding with Non- Consumable Thoriated Tungsten Electrodes. Document IIW-VIII-1901-00.np: np.Manufacturers’ Product InformationLiterature INFORMATION SOURCES ONNONIONIZING RADIATION  American National Standards Institute(ANSI). Practice for Occupational and Educational Eye and Face Protection     AWS disclaims liability for any injury to persons or to property, or other damages of any nature whatsoever, whether special, indirect,consequential or compensatory, directly or indirectly resulting from the publication, use of, or reliance on this Safety and Health Fact Sheet.AWS also makes no guaranty or warranty as to the accuracy or completeness of any information published herein. Fact Sheet No. 2 — 10/03 Page 3 (ANSI Z87.1), available from ANSI, 25West 43 rd Street, New York, NY 10036(telephone: 212-642-4900; web site:www.ansi.org).American National Standards Institute(ANSI). Safety in Welding, Cutting, and Allied Processes  (ANSI Z49.1), publishedby the American Welding Society, 550 NWLeJeune Road, Miami, FL 33126;telephone 800-443-9353; Web site:www.aws.org.American National Standards Institute(ANSI). Safe Use of Lasers  (ANSIZ136.1), available from ANSI, 25 West 43 rd  Street, New York, NY 10036 (telephone:212-642-4900; web site: www.ansi.org).Hinrichs, J. F. Project Committee on Radiation - Summary Report, WeldingJournal 57(62): 1978 (telephone 800-443-9353; web site: www.aws.org).Moss, C. E. Optical Radiation Transmission Levels Through Transparent Welding Curtains, Welding Journal 58(69-75s): 1979 (telephone 800-443-9353; website: www.aws.org).Moss, C. E., et al. Optical Radiation Levels Produced by Air-Carbon Arc Cutting Processes, Welding Journal 59(43-46):1980 (telephone 800-443-9353; web site:www.aws.org).Moss, C. E. and Murray, W. E. Optical Radiation Levels Produced in Gas Welding, Torch Brazing and Oxygen Cutting, Welding Journal 89(37-46): 1979(telephone 800-443-9353; web site:www.aws.org).National Technical Information Service(NTIS). Evaluation of the Potential Hazards from Actinic Ultraviolet Radiation Generated by Electric Welding and Cutting Arcs, Nonionizing Radiation ProtectionSpecial Study No. 42-0053-77, NTIS,Springfield, VA (telephone: 703-605-6000;web site: www.ntis.gov).National Technical Information Service(NTIS). Evaluation of the Potential Retinal Hazards from Optical Radiation Generated by Electric Welding and Cutting Arcs, Nonionizing Radiation Protection SpecialStudy No. 42-0312-77, NTIS, Springfield,VA (telephone: 703-605-6000; web site:www.ntis.gov).Sliney, D. H. and Freasier, B. C. Evaluation of Optical Radiation Hazards, AppliedOptics, Vol 12, pp. 1-24, January 1973.Naidoff, M. A. and Sliney, D. H. Retinal Injury from a Welding Arc, AmericanJournal of Ophthalmology, Vol. 77, No. 5,pp. 663-668, May 1974.Mine Safety and Health Administration(MSHA). Code of Federal Regulations, Title 30 Mineral Resources, Parts 1 to 199,available from the U.S. GovernmentPrinting Office, Superintendent ofDocuments, P.O. Box 371954, Pittsburgh,PA 15250-7954 (telephone: 202-693-9400;web site: www.msha.gov).American Welding Society (AWS). Ultraviolet Reflectance of Paint  , publishedby the American Welding Society, 550 NWLeJeune Road, Miami, FL 33126;telephone 800-443-9353; Web site:www.aws.org.
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