A new OSHwiki article highlights the risks and hazards of process-generated contaminants
Process-generated contaminants can be generated as emissions from combustion processes, abrasion and/or other processes that physically or chemically degrade or otherwise modify the starting material(s), e.g. degradation/composting of organic materials. Such emissions are generally complex and variable mixtures of substances that are generated by processes or activities and are incidentally released (i.e. the substances are not supplied or intentionally produced).
They can consist of gases, vapours, mists, fumes and/or particles (fibres and non-fibrous) with their physical and chemical composition determined by the starting material, the process conditions and the level and type of energy applied or generated, and any control measures applied to reduce emissions.
Well-known process-generated contaminants include welding fumes, diesel engine exhaust, crystalline silica dust and organic dusts such as wood dust and materials associated with micro-organisms such as endotoxins.
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