Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 1977;3(4):203-211    pdf


Mutagenicity of fume particles from stainless steel welding.

by Hedenstedt A, Jenssen D, Lidesten B-M, Ramel C, Rannug U, Stern RM

Welding fume particles collected from different welding procedures were tested for mutagenicity in Escherichia coli, with the inhibition zone in pol A- as compared to pol A+, and in Salmonella typhimurium, TA 100 strain. While no mutagenicity was found with mild steel welding, a mutagenic effect was established with samples from stainless steel welding. This mutagenicity was particularly associated with manual metal arc (MMA) welding, and less so with metal inert-gas welding. A decrease in or an elimination of the effect occurred with a liver microsomal metabolizing system (S-9 mix). The MMA samples produced the strongest mutagenic effect. More-detailed investigations on these samples showed that the mutagenic agent(s) is water soluble. An increased mutagenicity, which also revealed the induction of frame shift mutations, was found with TA 98. The same welding fume sample was used for a mutagenicity test (resistance to 6-thioguanine) with V 79 hamster cells. Because of the high toxicity of these welding fume particles on the cells, only very low concentrations could be tested, but the increase of mutations, when compared to the negative control, was significant. It is suggested that hexavalent chromium may be involved in the mutagenic effect of the welding fumes.