Help ensure your workplace is healthy and compliant
We offer a wide range of dust and fume extraction solutions across a wide selection of industries. Find out if you need extraction and learn about the different types of fumes and legislation:
All businesses, large or small, have a legal obligation to ensure a safe working environment for their people.
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Types of fumes
Airborne emissions vary according to the materials being worked, and some of the fumes resulting from productive processes can be toxic or harmful.
A generalised term for gases and vapours, usually with an odour.
Larger and visible solid particles.
Small particles or droplets generated by the evaporation and condensation of solid materials.
Visible particles or droplets produced from a thermal or combustion process.
The mixture of metal, metal oxide and flux resin fume from the soldering process.
Lasers are now an essential tool in industry for cutting, marking, engraving and welding a vast range of materials, including metals, plastics, paper, and wood.
In virtually all these operations, some form of fume is given off as the laser thermally decomposes the substrate. This fume is a mixture of particulate and gaseous matter.
Fume from materials such as metals and glass is mostly particulate, the majority of which is less than 5µm (microns) in diameter. Organic materials, particularly plastics, produce much more complex fumes.
In tests conducted by BOFA, laser fume consisted of spherical particulate, the majority of which were between 0.5 and 10 microns.
These particles fall within the respirable range (HSE, RR878). Understanding this can be key to assessing the risks from your process.
The gaseous organic compounds produced are known as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), and include aliphatic hydrocarbons, aromatic hydrocarbons, organic acids, aldehydes, ketones, and acrylates.
Additionally, some materials have other specific groups – for example, PVC polymers generate HCl, two-component epoxy polymers yield amines, and PET generates THF.
A considerable number of these have occupational exposure limits set for them. As with the particulate element, these gases need to be removed from the workplace.
Are you compliant?
Our expertly trained P601 qualified engineers help customers meet their obligations when it comes to LEV testing.
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