Original Date: 04/24/2007
Revision Date: / /
Information : Evaluation of Hex-Chrome Exposure Levels in the Shipbuilding Industry
The University of New Orleans, College of Engineering measured hex-chrome exposure levels under actual field conditions for arc welding in the shipbuilding industry.
When the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) proposed a 200-fold reduction in permissible exposure levels for hex-chrome (Cr)(VI) among industrial workers, considerable problems were posed for the nation’s Navy and shipbuilding facilities. The University of New Orleans, College of Engineering (UNO COE), under the direction of the Navy/Industry Task Group, set out to measure Cr(VI) exposure levels under actual field conditions. Measurements were collected for actual Navy work performed by Avondale. Processes evaluated included: Flux-Cored Arc Welding on AH36 Base Metal
Shielded Metal Arc Welding on AH36 and Stainless Steel
Gas Metal Arc Welding on Stainless Steel
Gas Tungsten Arc Welding on Stainless Steel and Nickel Copper
The data also provided the opportunity to evaluate Nederman Filterbox and Binzel Gun control equipment under actual field conditions. Data was collected for both open areas (e.g., open shop areas and outdoor locations) and confined/semienclosed areas (e.g., tanks, modular units, and exhaust stacks). While the actual data provided limited samples and confidence in open areas, model equations were developed to replicate the concentrations of total fumes (Cr(VI) and Cr) measured against arc time.
Effectiveness of the Nederman Filterbox and the Binzel Gun was also documented for these areas. As a consequence of these efforts, the Navy, the shipbuilding industry, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have a much better basis for proceeding to establish rational permissible levels for Cr(VI) exposures among industrial workers.
There is a continued interest among shipbuilders to reduce weld fume exposures to workers as well as the public due to recent and/or proposed regulations of OSHA and the Environmental Protection Agency. The report continues to be useful in many ways.
For more information see the
Point of Contact for this survey.