Emissions from a particular welding process, metal inert gas brazing of zinc-coated steel, induce an increase in C-reactive protein. In this study, it was investigated whether inflammatory effects could also be observed for other welding procedures.
Twelve male subjects were separately exposed to (1) manual metal arc welding fumes, (2) filtered air, and (3) metal active gas welding fumes for 6 hours. Inflammatory markers were measured in serum before, and directly, 1 and 7 days after exposure.
Although C-reactive protein concentrations remained unchanged, neutrophil concentrations increased directly after exposure to manual metal arc welding fumes, and endothelin-1 concentrations increased directly and 24 hours after exposure. After exposure to metal active gas and filtered air, endothelin-1 concentrations decreased.
The increase in the concentrations of neutrophils and endothelin-1 may characterize a subclinical inflammatory reaction, whereas the decrease of endothelin-1 may indicate stress reduction.