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Monica Kåredal


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Acute respiratory effects and biomarkers of inflammation due to welding-derived nanoparticle aggregates


  • Katrin Dierschke
  • Christina Isaxon
  • Ulla B K Andersson
  • Eva Assarsson
  • Anna Axmon
  • Leo Stockfelt
  • Anders Gudmundsson
  • Bo A G Jönsson
  • Monica Kåredal
  • Jakob Löndahl
  • Joakim Pagels
  • Aneta Wierzbicka
  • Mats Bohgard
  • Jörn Nielsen

Summary, in English

PURPOSE: Welders are exposed to airborne particles from the welding environment and often develop symptoms work-related from the airways. A large fraction of the particles from welding are in the nano-size range. In this study we investigate if the welders' airways are affected by exposure to particles derived from gas metal arc welding in mild steel in levels corresponding to a normal welding day.

METHOD: In an exposure chamber, 11 welders with and 10 welders without work-related symptoms from the lower airways and 11 non-welders without symptoms, were exposed to welding fumes (1 mg/m(3)) and to filtered air, respectively, in a double-blind manner. Symptoms from eyes and upper and lower airways and lung function were registered. Blood and nasal lavage (NL) were sampled before, immediately after and the morning after exposure for analysis of markers of oxidative stress. Exhaled breath condensate (EBC) for analysis of leukotriene B4 (LT-B4) was sampled before, during and immediately after exposure.

RESULTS: No adverse effects of welding exposure were found regarding symptoms and lung function. However, EBC LT-B4 decreased significantly in all participants after welding exposure compared to filtered air. NL IL-6 increased immediately after exposure in the two non-symptomatic groups and blood neutrophils tended to increase in the symptomatic welder group. The morning after, neutrophils and serum IL-8 had decreased in all three groups after welding exposure. Remarkably, the symptomatic welder group had a tenfold higher level of EBC LT-B4 compared to the two groups without symptoms.

CONCLUSION: Despite no clinical adverse effects at welding, changes in inflammatory markers may indicate subclinical effects even at exposure below the present Swedish threshold limit (8 h TWA respirable dust).


  • Applied Mass Spectrometry in Environmental Medicine
  • EpiHealth: Epidemiology for Health
  • NanoLund: Center for Nanoscience
  • Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Lund University
  • Ergonomics and Aerosol Technology
  • Genetic Occupational and Environmental Medicine

Publishing year







International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health





Document type

Journal article




  • Environmental Health and Occupational Health


  • Journal Article



Research group

  • Applied Mass Spectrometry in Environmental Medicine
  • Genetic Occupational and Environmental Medicine


  • ISSN: 1432-1246