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COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)

COPD & welding

04/21/2009

Question:

my husband has been a welder for 25 years can his COPD be caused from welding all those years ?

Answer:

Thank you for visiting NetWellness and for your question. The vast majority of cases of COPD are due to cigarette smoke. If someone was a smoker, that was likely the biggest risk factor in developing COPD. There have been several studies that have looked at the association of welding and lung function loss. Some of these studies show an association between welding and the loss of lung function and some do not show any difference. The association is likely true for welders with a high intensity fume exposure and long duration of exposure and for those who work long-term in poorly ventilated areas.

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Response by:

Michael E Ezzie, MD Michael E Ezzie, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care & Sleep
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University