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Pathologic and Physiologic Studies of Welders' Siderosis

Ann Intern Med. 1963;58(2):293-304. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-58-2-293
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Medicine, like jurisprudence, should make a contribution to the well being of workers and see to it that, so far as possible, they should exercise their calling without harm.

—Bernardino Ramazzini,

De Morbis Artificum Diatriba, 1700

Iron is melted and boiled during the welding process by the heat of the electric arc or oxyacetylene torch and is emitted as blue-grey fumes which are immediately oxidized to ferric oxide. Prolonged inhalation of these fumes, particularly if ventilation is inadequate, frequently produces radiologic changes in the lungs (1). Since its original description, welders' siderosis has been generally assumed to be benign and




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