Welding processes and ocular hazards and protection

Am J Ophthalmol. 1981 Jul;92(1):77-84. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9394(14)75911-2.


There are approximately 60 different forms of welding, but only six of these are commonly used. Shielded metal-arc or stick welding, gas metal-arc welding, and oxyacetylene welding are the most frequently used. All produce ultraviolet, visible, and infrared radiation at damaging levels. Conventional glass welding shields contain ultraviolet, visible, and infrared absorbers. Infrared absorbers, however, cause heating and secondary re-radiation. New polycarbonate lenses offer greater impact resistance, and have less tendency to welding spatter. Early abrasion-resistant and reflective coatings on plastics were ineffective. Thin layers of gold with proprietary coatings provide cool reflection and surface resistance. Thermal monitoring of welding indicated that these new shields reduce temperature rises above the ambient by 150% to 175% compared to green glass filter plates without interfering with the welder's vision.

MeSH terms

  • Eye Burns / prevention & control
  • Eye Injuries / prevention & control*
  • Eye Protective Devices*
  • Humans
  • Occupational Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Protective Devices*
  • Radiation Injuries / prevention & control
  • Welding* / instrumentation
  • Welding* / methods