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Welding on chrome plated surface

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I have a customer inquiring on the effects of his/her employees welding on product that my company has plated through our Nickel-Chrome plating process?

Darryl Godfrey
- Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada


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Answering such questions incurs liability. Not answering may be negligence.

Such welding creates unhealthful fumes which may include Ni and Cr(+6). Use all necessary methods, including but not limited to local exhaust of fumes, fresh air ventilation and respirators, to avoid unhealthful exposures. Refer to the following national standards for guidance:

ANSI Z49.1:1999  Safety in Welding, Cutting, and Allied Processes,
A free download from the American Welding Society:
http://www.aws.org/technical/facts/Z49.1-1999-all.pdf

OSHA adopted this standard in 29 CFR 1910.6(e)(62)
[Actually, a previous version is still on the books].

Canadian should refer to CAN/CSA-W117.2-01 Safety in Welding, Cutting and Allied Processes at
http://www.csa-intl.org/onlinestore/GetCatalogItemDetails.asp?mat=000000000002414476
Appears to be a newer, longer version (83 pages vs. 61) of the ANSI document.

>From ANSI Z49.1:1999:
"Fumes and gases from welding and cutting cannot be classified simply. The composition and quantity of fumes and gases are dependent upon the metal being worked, the process and consumables being used, coatings on the work such as paint, galvanizing, or plating...

Low Allowable-Limit Materials. Whenever the following materials are identified as other than trace constituents in welding, brazing, or cutting operations. .. Antimony, Arsenic, Barium, Beryllium Cadmium, Chromium, Cobalt, Copper, Lead, Manganese, Mercury, Nickel, Ozone, Selenium, Silver, Vanadium.

>From the OSHA link below:

"OSHA also believes that respirators are inherently less reliable than engineering and work practice controls. To consistently provide adequate protection, respirators must be appropriately selected and fitted, properly used, and properly maintained. Because these conditions can be difficult to attain, and are subject to human error, OSHA does not believe respirators provide the same degree of protection as do engineering and work practice controls.

"For air-purifying respirators, in addition to the option of providing a respirator equipped with a filter certified by NIOSH under 30 CFR Part 11 as a HEPA filter, the Respiratory Protection standard allows employers several alternatives. Under 1910.134 the employer may also provide either (1) An air-purifying respirator equipped with a filter certified for particulates by NIOSH under 42 CFR Part 84; or (2) an air-purifying respirator equipped with any filter certified for particulates by NIOSH where dealing with contaminants consisting primarily of particles with mass median aerodynamic diameters (MMAD) of at least 2 micrometers. OSHA believes these requirements are
appropriate for protection from exposures to Cr(VI)."

[Air-purifying particulate respirators per 42 CFR Part 84 effective July 10, 1995 have NIOSH approvals TC-84A-XXXX.]

"Occupational Exposure to Hexavalent Chromium"
Federal Register: ++++++ (Volume 71, Number 39) Pages 10099-10385.
http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=FEDERAL_REGISTER&p_id=18599

Ken Vlach
- Goleta, California  

Ken received a special
"Contributor of the Year" award
from finishing.com for his numerous
helpful and well researched responses
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