Risks of cancer through welding smoke containing chromate- and nickel

Project No. BGEM #018


completed 12/1996


The exposure of welders to Cr and Ni when using covered rod electrodes which, in practice, cannot be completely avoided, requires effective health monitoring. Bio-marker methods, amongst other things, are possible here. Goal: evaluation of bio-marker methods for the occupational medical monitoring and early diagnosis of welders at risk of cancer.


Examination of 50 welders and 25 control persons; individual air monitoring of Cr and Ni; determining the level of Cr and Ni in the blood and urine; detecting damage to DNA (breaks in individual strands and protein cross linking) in lymphocytes in the blood, SCE frequency, chromosome damage including G banding; oncogenic protein (p21) and ras gene in serum and urine.


Genotoxic effects on welders exposed to chrome/nickel can be finely detected on the basis of DNA individual strand breaks and protein cross-linking also dependent upon the degree of exposure. On a collective basis both these methods are suitable for indicating genotoxic exposure and strains. The value of the established effects for individual risk assessment must be determined by further research.

Last Update:

15 Aug 2000


Financed by:
  • Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Eisen- und Metall-Berufsgenossenschaften
Research institution(s):
  • Institut für Hygiene und Arbeitsmedizin der Universität/Gesamthochschule Essen

metal working

Type of hazard:

dangerous substances


Krebserregende Stoffe, Arbeitsmedizinische Vorsorge

Description, key words:

Established genotoxic effects suitable in principal for health monitoring of Cr-Ni exposure.