HEALTH AND SAFETY GUIDE TO SMOKE & VAPOURS:
Smoke and vapour effects can give rise to a variety of hazards depending on the substances used. Manufacturers and suppliers must provide information about the hazards which may arise from their products. This information should be obtained and used when carrying out risk assessments.
The following general hazards may need to be considered:
• Freeze burns or frostbite caused by skin contact with liquid nitrogen or blocks of dry ice.
• Skin irritation from mineral oils or glycols.
Asphyxiation due to high concentrations of carbon dioxide or nitrogen gases.
• The presence of toxic substances in the smoke or vapour.
• Smoke or vapour may obscure visibility and so increase the possibility of slips, trips or falls.
• Slips due to spilt oil.
• Some of the substances used to create these effects may have Occupational Exposure Standards (OESs) assigned to them. The current levels are given in guidance note EH 40 and should be referred to in the manufacturer's information. Exposure below these levels should cause no ill effects in most people although asthmatics and small children may be at greater risk.