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Welding/Grinding Respiratory Protection Requirements -Reply

I only have experience with welding/torch cutting and grinding on uranium
contaminated metals but of all the job tasks that were tracked and
correlated to air concentrations, torch cutting yielded some of the highest
results. Torch cutting created a great deal of metal fume. 

We found that breathing zone concentrations were acceptable with full
face PAPR respiratory protection and the use of local ventilation.  We
used negative air machines to locally exhaust the area.  There were
orders of magnitude difference when the worker was diligent in keeping
the exhaust carefully positioned and the wind at his back.

Grinding gave elevated results, but not to the level of burning.  The
particles were likely larger with grinding as well.  

To err on the conservative side, we would start out with a high level of
protection and only downgrade when air concentration results supported
it.  Also consider lead and cadmium exposure/monitoring.  You may
exceed these levels before any rad ones.           Good luck.

Richard Machado
Health Physicist
BWO (Mound)   kmdrmm@uc.campus.mci.net
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