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Journal of Hazardous Materials



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Welding fume particles are hazardous. Their toxicity likely depends on their composition and reactivity. This study aimed at exploring the role of sodium or other fluorides (NaF), which are intentionally added to flux-cored wire electrodes for stainless steel welding, on the solubility (in phosphate buffered saline) and toxicity of the generated welding fume particles. A multi-analytical particle characterization approach along with in-vitro cell assays was undertaken. The release of Cr(VI) and Mn from the particles was tested as a function of fluoride solution concentration. The welding fume particles containing NaF released significantly higher amounts of Cr(VI) compared with solid wire reference fumes, which was associated with increased cytotoxicity and genotoxicity in-vitro. No crystalline Na or potassium (K) containing chromates were observed. Cr(VI) was incorporated in an amorphous mixed oxide. Solution-added fluorides did not increase the solubility of Cr(VI), but contributed to a reduced Mn release from both solid and flux-cored wire fume particles and the reduction of Cr(VI) release from solid wire fume particles. Chemical speciation modeling suggested that metal fluoride complexes were not formed. The presence of NaF in the welding electrodes did not have any direct, but possibly an indirect, role in the Cr(VI) solubility of welding fumes.


Article no. 125273

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Citation of this paper:

Y.S. Hedberg, Z. Wei, S. McCarrick, V. Romanovski, J. Theodore, E.M. Westin, R. Wagner, K.-A. Persson, H.L. Karlsson, I. Odnevall Wallinder, Welding fume nanoparticles from solid and flux-cored wires: Solubility, toxicity, and role of fluorides, Journal of Hazardous Materials, Volume 413, 2021, 125273, ISSN 0304-3894, (

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