We report preliminary work characterising dust from hyperbaric welding trials carried out at increased pressure in a helium and oxygen atmosphere. Particle size and concentration were measured during welding. Samples for quartz and metal analysis and toxicity assessment were taken from a filter in the local fume extraction system. The residue of dust after metal extraction by nitric acid in hydrogen peroxide predominantly a non-metallic white powder assumed to be dust from welding rod coatings and thermal insulation material. Metallic analysis showed predominantly calcium, from the welding rod coating, and period 4 transition metals such as iron, manganese, magnesium and titanium (inductively coupled mass spectrometry, Agilent 7500c). The presence of zirconium indicated a contribution from grinding. The fume was nanoparticulate in nature with a mean particle diameter of 20-30 nm (MSI Inc WPS 1000XP). It showed an intermediate level of oxidative potential regarding the low-molecular weight respiratory tract lining fluid antioxidants ascorbate and glutathione and caused release of the inflammatory marker IL-8 in a human lung A 549 epithelial cell culture with no indication of cytotoxicity. The study findings have strong implications for the measurement techniques needed to assess fume exposure in hyperbaric welding and the provision of respiratory protection.