Hexavalent Chromium emission study - opportunity for California framebuilders to take part

I work for the California Air Resources Board and we’ve got a in-use study of chromium emissions from TIG welding starting up. The study is being done by a professor at UC Davis. I was brought in to the study development team due to having some knowledge of welding through framebuilding. Anyway, I advocated for including chromoly as a test material, as initially they were just focused on stainless steel.

They’re having some trouble finding industry participants for the study, so they’ve asked if I know of any California framebuilders that would be interested in participating. If you TIG chromoly and/or stainless, and are interested in taking part, I’d be happy to pass along your contact info to the folks at UC Davis. Here’s a video of the test apparatus in action. I don’t anticipate it would take up too much time and they would of course come to you. Let me know if you have any questions… thanks.

test apparatus


Hey, that is where I learned how to weld!!

What do they need? Just people doing some test welds while they analyze emissions?

Cool! They have a nice shop.

They want to collect in-situ samples from welding actual commercial work, like welding a frame. From what I understand each sample they collect is in the one to two minute timeframe.

The study did also included a lab test component where they welded inside a sealed chamber and collected all emissions from welding samples of different types of stainless and 4130 using different combinations of welding rod.


I’m curious where is the Hexavalent Chromium in this ?

Hexavalent chromium is emitted into the air when you weld materials containing chromium. 4130 contains some chromium, stainless contains a lot more, and some of the welding rods contain it as well. The welding process itself has a large effect on how much is emitted. MIG was already studied years ago, but I believe this is one of the first studies to attempt to quantify exposure levels from TIG welding.


Would be an interesting poll to see how many of us/youse wear a respirator…

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I would NEVER help anyone from the California Air Resources Board get data on my activities. California environmental laws are already oppressive. If you don’t take care of your own health, that’s on you, not the government.

CARB is a pretty good organization making the world a better, safer place for everyone in it.

We all breathe the same air. If my neighbor decides he’s OK emitting and breathing toxic fumes he’s taking away my opportunity to choose my own safety.

Air quality around the world is pretty bad and generally declining and only government regulation and cooperation will change this. CARB is at the forefront of this regulation in the US.

Honestly nothing that comes from this study is going to effect a small scale operation. Do you employ dozens of welders, have them all congregate in a small space and weld stainless all day? Like a shipyard for example…

The only benefit/outcome for framebuilders of this study is to learn more about their exposure risk. It is all good though. CARB should probably pay businesses to participate IMHO.