Bad burns from poor helmet - any medical research in to cancer link?

  1. Curiousgeorge Member

    Messages:
    265
    Location:
    Wales
    Hello all.
    I twice had very bad UV burns whilst MIG welding a few years ago due to a crap helmet not covering the neck area sufficiently. Eventually, after my (then) employer seen my red and peeling skin, they ordered 'add ons' of a piece of leather that was stuck to the underside of the helmet.
    A plastic surgeon recently helped me with my claim about this but stated that the area 'is not at risk of developing skin cancer as a result of these incidents'.

    Obviously I'm no plastic surgeon but I wondered if there was any medical evidence out there that made the link between bad welding burns and skin cancer?
     
  2. grim_d

    grim_d Unlikeable idiot.

    Messages:
    2,872
    Location:
    Scotland - Ayrshire
    I wouldn't be concerned about it having happened a couple if times, if it had been consistently over a long period then there would be concerns.

    As much as it is an employer's responsibility to supply appropriate PPE, it's also the responsibility of the employee to keep themselves right in the event that appropriate PPE or safety equipment is not available, best practice for welding is zero exposed skin.

    I have more than once refused to do work because of the above, it's surprising how quickly these problems get resolved in that instance.
     
  3. armalites Member

    Messages:
    5,038
    Herefordshire
    I once said to a manager "I'll go but I'm going to need an email from you acknowledging the safety concerns and that you still want me to go", as you say things go away pretty quick in those situations.

    Whilst your company has to provide a safe working environment your safety is also you responsibility.
     
  4. Wonderweaver

    Wonderweaver Member

    Messages:
    281
    Location:
    Manchester
    Exposure to UV radiation is the main factor that causes skin cells to become cancer cells. Almost all skin cancers (approximately 99% of non-melanoma skin cancers and 95% of melanoma) are caused by too much UV radiation from the sun or other sources such as solaria (solariums, sunbeds, and sun lamps).
    Welding arcs and flames emit intense visible, ultraviolet, and infrared radiation. UV radiation in a welding arc will burn unprotected skin just like UV radiation in sunlight. So I think this guy is talking poo.
     
  5. daleyd

    daleyd Member

    Messages:
    6,834
    Location:
    Wrexham, North Wales
    You caught some UV twice, I’m guessing after some “average” welding it would be the equivalent of some mild sunburn, and probably something the most of us on here have experienced at some point? The fact that you have consulted a plastic surgeon means it was much worse (if it was for the UV related injuries of course) and required surgery to repair some scarring - in which case it sounds pretty bad?? Which prompts the question that you surely must have felt some serious pain at the time? And also how much welding and at what amps were you doing it?

    My guess is the surgeon is suggesting the increased risk from that would be “fairly” minor in the big scheme of things, and not that UV isn’t a contributing factor.
     
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  6. julianf

    julianf Member

    Messages:
    4,745
    Location:
    devon, uk
    DNA damage by UV light is constant. Most of it is repaired most of the time.

    Groups like farmers have higher incidence of skin cancer as they get hit by more photons.

    Kids (I say kids, as they rarely get to adulthood) with things like XP syndrome (a problem with the dna repair mechanism) get tumors from any UV light.

    So you've got chance layered on chance. You're only ever dealing with probabilities.

    Has the incident increased your probability? Undoubtedly. Has it increases it a meaningful amount? Unlikely, and, what's more, unprovable.

    It took about a million years for people to be able to "prove" damage against the tobacco companies and that was way way more clear cut.

    The stress of any prolonged pursuit of a claim for a single incident will probably degrade your health more than the incident.
     
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  7. Wonderweaver

    Wonderweaver Member

    Messages:
    281
    Location:
    Manchester
    I've been burnt on the neck a couple of times and had a hood just forgot to put it back on,it's easy done. The burn only lasted a day or so. Never used a sunbed but I imagine it's a more intense version of that. UV light at those levels ain't good but as far as skin cancer go's I've never heard of any welders or other welders ex workmates getting it .
     
  8. premmington

    premmington Member

    Messages:
    1,733
    Location:
    Norfolk
    Pulse MIG is evil for "skin exposure burns". I have caught this on neck a few times.

    I have fitted an expensive "Speedglas bib" to my Speedglas mask.

    I have also go a "cheap leather bib" from China on my Optrel mask.


    My Mother had ginger hair (I don't luckily). But I think I have the "ginger gene" and go really red in the sun - full "pink pig" in a very short time.
     
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  9. Parm

    Parm Oh how I’ve missed my play pen this year

    Messages:
    12,093
    Location:
    Towcester
    If this situation is involved in a claim then probably shouldn’t be discussed on the internet like this.

    Information that folk “know” or quote after looking up the web won’t be helpful to your cause as there will be specifics both about the situation and you as a person that won’t be known. These may or may not have an influence

    Just like being on the beach, some people tan beautiful others look like a lobster in 5 mins. Different types of skin and individual susceptibility
     
  10. pedrobedro

    pedrobedro Man at Matalan

    Messages:
    10,456
    Location:
    CX Derbyshire
    How can you blame the helmet once you knew the skin was exposed ? You need a shirt with a higher neck or a jacket you can button instead of a T shirt.
     
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  11. armalites Member

    Messages:
    5,038
    Herefordshire
    Most welding helmets don't specifically cover your neck, they are there to protect you eyes/face so burning your neck does not make the helmet bad. I am also struggling to understand how any company would think ordering some strips of leather was a solution when it's totally clear that appropriate clothing for welding should have been provided.
     
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  12. Wonderweaver

    Wonderweaver Member

    Messages:
    281
    Location:
    Manchester
    Regardless of the posters intent to find out information or by how that information is sourced.
    The fact is that UV radiation is considered to cause cancer so wearing a hood whilst welding is recommended. Even if you think the Arc source is not penetrating from the front it can be reflected onto your skin by adjacent metal.
     
  13. Parm

    Parm Oh how I’ve missed my play pen this year

    Messages:
    12,093
    Location:
    Towcester
    UV is defo a situation that needs to be taken seriously. Outside of the welding industry folk working outside, think road workers should be wearing full sleeves, sun block etc is supplied as PPE
     
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  14. daleyd

    daleyd Member

    Messages:
    6,834
    Location:
    Wrexham, North Wales
    That’s not in dispute, and I don’t think anyone above has said anything to the contrary. What would be in dispute is any incidents of skin cancer being linked to 2 incidences of it (UV burns) happening, and whilst it would undoubtedly increase your risk there would be too many other factors to consider.
     
    Parm likes this.
  15. armalites Member

    Messages:
    5,038
    Herefordshire
    I agree, we aren't talking about some sort of exposure from years a go that people didn't know was issue. We have known about UV exposure for decades so I don't see how two incidence of UV burns years a go is cause for a claim.
     
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  16. Wonderweaver

    Wonderweaver Member

    Messages:
    281
    Location:
    Manchester
    I don't know the details about his case and he asked if there was any information on welding burns and cancer to which i quoted the link on UV exposure then later on never hearing of anything related to welders. I'm just saying that people should not take the risk and cover up. You could have 10 tig welders welding with no gloves on for 20 years and only 1 gets skin cancer because he/she was more susceptible than the others. Nobody knows how susceptible they are so why take the risk.
     
    Parm likes this.
  17. pedrobedro

    pedrobedro Man at Matalan

    Messages:
    10,456
    Location:
    CX Derbyshire
    Do you have skin cancer or are you trying to claim for a couple of instances which might lead to cancer some time in the future? Are the burns documented to back your claim? If it goes to court you will need to show proof of your injury not just speculation.
     
    Hopefuldave likes this.
  18. Munkul

    Munkul Jack of many trades, Master of none

    Messages:
    2,437
    Location:
    Cumbria
    You got hit by a little bit of sunburn? cry me a river.
     
  19. MBB Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    1,047
    Location:
    northumberland
    I had a basel cell carcinoma a few years ago. The consultant said it was always caused by sun damage or welding. I didn't do much welding so it must have been off the sun.
     
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