Ultraviolet radiation (UVR) is a by-product of the welding process and is emitted by the arc formed between the electrode and the base metal. Exposure to UVR can produce acute and chronic effects on the eyes and skin, including photokeratitis and erythema (acute), and pterygium and skin cancer (chronic). The measurement of UVR can be used to determine the level of hazard posed by a particular source. The personal UVR exposure levels of a group of welders and nearby workers was estimated using a photosensitive polymer film, polysulphone. The polysulphone film was attached to eye protection, the workers clothing and also placed throughout the workarea. The estimated ocular exposures of all subjects were found to exceed the eight-hour maximum permissible exposure limit. As the main UVR protective measure for welders is a welding helmet, the degree of protection afforded by a range of helmets was investigated in a laboratory experiment. Radiation was found to be reflected off the filter and toward the eye after entering through: (1) an opening between the edge of the shield and the side of the face, and (2) an opening between the top lip of the shield and the top of the head. The results of this study suggest that welders require ocular protection in addition to welding helmets, and that all exposed skin surfaces of workers in a welding environment should also be protected
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