Project: Exposure to welding particles and lung cancer - Weldcancer

Exposure to welding fumes in occupational settings occurs frequently in Sweden and worldwide. Welders have an increased risk of lung cancer, however, the levels of exposure to which these risks are present have yet to be determined.

The overall aim of WeldCancer project is to clarify to what extent today's welders are at risk of lung cancer as well as to understand the underlying mechanisms. We will evaluate the effects of short term exposure to welding fumes in a controlled chamber study as well as the chronic effects using the longitudinal welding cohort (non-smoking welders and controls) evaluated twice (2010 and 2016). We have in the welders found alterations in serum of cancer-related proteins and higher blood pressure even at exposure levels below the occupational exposure limit. In parallel we will use 3D in vitro models of the small airways and toxicogenomic approaches to identify novel mechanisms/pathways of toxicity that will later be validated in situ in lung cancer tissue samples.

Our approach will address novel hypotheses, clarify the interpretation of previous studies, and assist in risk assessment to improve advice to welders on the safety of working with welding fumes.


  • FORTE - The Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare
  • Karolinska Institutet

Selected publications

Gliga AR, Taj T, Wahlberg K, Lundh T, Assarsson E, Hedmer M, Albin M, Broberg K. Exposure to mild steel welding and changes in serum proteins with putative neurological function—a longitudinal study. Frontiers in Public Health 2020, in press.

Taj T, Gliga AR, Hedmer M, Wahlberg K, Assarsson E, Lundh T, Tinnerberg H, Albin M, Broberg K. Effect of welding fumes on the cardiovascular system: a six-year longitudinal study. Scandinavian Journal of Work Environment & Health 2020 Jul 29:3908. doi: 10.5271/sjweh.3908

Gliga AR, Taj T, Hedmer M, Assarsson E, Rylander L, Albin M, Broberg K. Mild steel welding is associated with alterations in circulating levels of cancer-related proteins. Archives Toxicolology 2019;93(12):3535-3547.

Contact persons

Profile image

Anda Gliga

Research Specialist;Assistant Professor
Anna Persson