Classification of pollutants

Many different contaminants are released in the workplace through various processes. The following figure  provides an overview of contaminant classes:

Liquids and solids can exist as aerosols, or droplets and particles so small they float in the air. These are often referred to as vapours, mists or smoke. Particulate matter! and droplets can take hours to settle and while airborne are particularly dangerous for people, machinery and the environment.

They can be distributed over a wide area and even spread their harmful effects far away from the production site.

Dust, smoke, mist or gases and vapours are released during many work processes. These substances have been shown to impact work performance and health.

Side effects are often unknown

The substances being used in a certain process cannot, in most cases, be used as a basis for determining hazards. By the feeding of energy (e.g. sparks) or by meeting with other substances (e.g. impurity), chemical reactions may cause generation of other substances which might have damaging effects on their own.

Database of hazardous substances GESTIS database