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Dusts, Fumes and Mists are often grouped together as Particulates.
Created when solid materials are broken down into fine particles that float in the air before settling under gravity. Dusts are produced by operations such as grinding, drilling, blasting, sanding and milling.
Created when solid materials vaporise under high heat and then condense. For example metal vapour cools and condenses into extremely small particles, with a particle size generally less than one micron in diameter. Metal fumes can come from operations such as welding, smelting and pouring of molten metal.
Tiny liquid droplets formed from liquid materials by atomisation and condensation processes. For example, mists can be created by:
- Spraying operations
- Plating operations
- Mixing and cleaning operations
Substances that are similar to air in their ability to diffuse or spread freely throughout a container or area. Examples include oxygen, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, nitrogen and helium.
The gaseous state of substances that are either liquids or solids at room temperature. They are formed when solids or liquids evaporate.
Petroleum is an example of a liquid that evaporates easily, producing petroleum vapour. Other examples are paint thinners and degreasing solvents.
Occurs when the percentage of oxygen in the air falls below 19.5% (3M definition). It can be caused by chemical reaction, fire or when other chemicals displace oxygen from the air.