Welding Activities and their Associated Impacts in an Urban Area
Necessity for Environmental Standards and Regulation
Keywords:Air pollution, environmental hazards, land use change, sustainability
Welding is an important aspect of industrial process and a viable source of income for a vast majority. It is however characterized by occupational and environmental risks and constitutes much harm due to poor standards and regulations. This study assessed welding activities and its impact on air quality in welding workshops with a view to provide insights on environmental regulations required. Data on air pollution were obtained from 7 welding workshops in Awka town following standard procedures. Notable pollutants identified within the welding environments were: Particulate Matter (PM1.0, PM10, and PM2.5) µg/m3 and chemical compounds: HCHCO (Formaldehyde) mg/m3, Total Volatile Organic Compound (TVOC) mg/m3 , Carbon Monoxide (CO) mg/m3 , and then the Air pollution level (A.P.L). Each of the pollutants contributed to the total air pollution levels without anyone significantly contributing more than others. Particulate matter (PM1.0) and CO were much correlated to the air pollution level than others; and the risks associated with such pollutants used to show the risks and harm welding constituted in the region. With weak regulations and standards as it pertains to the workshops, work ethics and precautionary measures in the area, both welders and non-welders were seen to be prone to the risks emanating from such processes. Adherence to standard procedures and regulations were advocated for safer welding processes.