(AP) – A new study by Washington University in St. Louis researchers
has found that current safety standards to protect welders from harmful fumes
may be inadequate.
Dr. Brad A. Racette, senior author of the study, tells the St. Louis
Post-Dispatch the research showed that the more exposure one had to airborne
manganese, the greater the progression of parkinsonism, a neurological condition
that causes tremors, muscle stiffness and other movement abnormalities.
The study examined nearly 900 welders at two shipyards and one heavy-machinery
fabrication shop in the Midwest.
A spokesman from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the
federal agency responsible for workplace safety, said in an email that its
current thresholds don’t protect welders and that employers should ensure that
workplace manganese exposure levels are well below the federal standard.
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