Health effects of breathing welding fumes include eye, nose, and throat irritation; possible lung damage; various types of cancer; kidney and nervous system damage; and suffocation when oxygen-displacing gases are involved in welding in confined or enclosed spaces.

National Welding Month is Here

The American Welding Society says National Welding Month is an important opportunity to highlight an industry where trade skills are in dire need, with the industry predicting a shortage of more than 200,000 skilled welding professionals by 2020.

April is National Welding Month, described by the American Welding Society as an important opportunity to highlight an industry where trade skills are in dire need, with the industry predicting a shortage of more than 200,000 skilled welding professionals by 2020.

Welders are working every day in shipyards, automotive assembly plants, and construction sites nationwide, working to build the structures and products on which the American economy depends, according to AWS, adding that National Welding Month is a chance to spotlight the welding industry -- past, present, and future -- through education, mentorship, and recognition.

"How to Become a Skilled Tradesperson," a Popular Mechanics article posted in March 2019, showcased the opportunities now available in the skilled trades, reporting that projected employment growth across all occupations is 7.4 percent, and, citing AWS as the source, adding that the median pay for welders is $41,000.

AWS is marking its 100th birthday in 2019. The society said its Centennial celebration "really belongs to all the men and women who've been instrumental to the Society's growth." The society's mission, "to advance the science and art of welding," was in place at its inception in 1919.

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