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Toxicological information

Health surveillance data

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Administrative data

health surveillance data
Type of information:
other: Human health surveillance
Adequacy of study:
supporting study
Study period:
March 1970 - October 1973
4 (not assignable)
Rationale for reliability incl. deficiencies:
other: Occupational screening.

Data source

Reference Type:
Radiological abnormalities in electric-arc welders
Attfield MD, Ross DS
Bibliographic source:
Br J Ind Med 35(2): 117-122

Materials and methods

Study type:
medical screening
Chest X-rays
Endpoint addressed:
repeated dose toxicity: inhalation
Test guideline
no guideline available
GLP compliance:
not specified

Test material

Constituent 1
Chemical structure
Reference substance name:
EC Number:
EC Name:
Cas Number:
Molecular formula:
Details on test material:
- Name of test material (as cited in study report): Iron dust


Type of population:
Ethical approval:
not specified
Details on study design:
Six hundred and sixty-one currently employed electric arc welders and twelve retired electric arc welders at a United Kingdom company had chest X-rays taken between 1970 and 1973. Study team doctors examined the X-rays for radiological abnormalities. The X-ray scores were analyzed, giving percentages of workers with small rounded opacities of score 0/1 or greater.

Results and discussion

There was no evidence of large opacities in any of the X-rays. About 8% (7.9%) of the welders had x-rays of grade 0/1 or higher, showing evidence of small, rounded opacities. However, more than 50% had only an ILO score of 0/1. Abnormalities other than large or small opacities were recorded, and the most common of those was tuberculosis. The prevalence of small opacities increased as the length of employment as a welder increased. There were no signs of abnormalities until fifteen years of exposure had passed, after which the prevalence of opacities continues to increase.

Applicant's summary and conclusion

Long-term (>15 years) exposure to iron and other dusts shows an increased risk of small opacities in chest X-rays.
Executive summary:

A group of 661 electric arc welders in the United Kingdom had chest x-rays between 1970 and 1973. These x-rays were scored by three doctors for signs of abnormalities. Only 8% of the X-rays scored showed abnormalities of 0/1 or greater (more than 50% of these only 0/1). The risk of abnormality increased with increasing length of employment. There were few signs of severe abnormalities in these workers.