Hazard and Contaminant Types - Airgas.com

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Hazard & Contaminant Types

Particulates
A particle is simply a very tiny piece of matter. If the particle is dry it is referred to as a dust. If the particle is in liquid form it is referred to as a mist. Some particles can be seen by the naked eye; others cannot. Regardless of the form particles are in, they can cause irritability and disrupt your respiratory system.
Example Operations: sanding, drilling, grinding, mixing, spraying, cleaning, etc...

Fumes
A fume is created when a solid material, such as metal, is burned or liquefied. Like other particles, not all fumes can be seen by the naked eye, so the use of respiratory protection is a must in these applications.
Example Operations: welding, foundry, smelting, etc...

Gases
Gases are substances that have no identifiable shape or form. They cannot be seen and they may even be odorless. Gases simply hang in the air around us.
Example Gases: CarbonMonoxide, Carbon Dioxide, Nitrogen, etc...

Vapors
Some liquids, when heated, become gases called vapors. When you boil water, for example, the water evaporates – it turns into water vapor. Vapors cannot be seen by the naked eye, and many can be dangerous when breathed – they can damage not only your respiratory system, but other organs as well.
Example Vapors: solvents, petroleum products, etc...



Hazard/Respirator Selection Chart

Hazard Respirator Style
Particulates Disposable
Air Purifying w/ filter
PAPR w/ filter
Airline
SCBA
Particulate - IDLH
(Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health
Airline w/ escape cylinder
SCBA
EBA
Gas/Vapor Air Purifying w/ chemical cartridge
PAPR w/ chemical cartridge
Airline
SCBA
Gas/Vapor - IDLH Airline w/ escape cylinder
SCBA
EBA
Gas/Vapor/Particulate Air Purifying w/ checmical cartridge/filter
PAPR w/ chemical cartridge/filter
Airline
SCBA
Gas/Vapor/Particulate -IDLH Airline w/ escape cylinder
SCBA
EBA
Oxygen Deficient Atmosphere Airline w/ escape cylinder
SCBA


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