This year, John. D. Meeker of the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at the University of Michigan School of Public Health; Pam Susi from the Center to Protect Workers’ Rights and Michael R. Flynn from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill’s Environmental Sciences and Engineering department conducted a study to characterize breathing zone air concentrations of the lung carcinogen hexavalent chromium. In the study, they consulted OSHA, The Welding Institute and the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR), which collected construction welders for the study and conducted welding trials.
The nine-page study, published in the “Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene” on Sept. 13, consulted Gary Batykefer, administrative director of the Sheet Metal Occupational Health Institute Trust (SMOHIT).
The study found that overexposure to hexavalent chromium in stainless steel welding is likely widespread, especially in trades such as shielded metal arc welding, common on construction sites. The proper use of local exhaust ventilation could considerably reduce the level of exposure.
SMOHIT was created in 1986 to address issues of asbestos exposure through screenings and education and has since expanded its mission to include health and safety training products, health and safety training curriculum, and health and safety services. SMOHIT works directly with the International Training Institute (ITI) to offer the training programs.
For more information on SMOHIT visit www.smohit.org or call 703-739-7130.