Particulates and Gases
Every safety professional requires more than a basic understanding of particulates and gases, as they are a common hazard in today's work environment. In order to understand particulates and gases, they must have a good working knowledge of basic chemistry. The periodic table of the elements (Periodic Table) displays all the known chemical elements in a tabular form. The atomic number is the number of protons found in the nucleus of an atom. The atomic mass or weight of an atom includes protons, neutrons, and electrons. The atomic weight of any element is the average weight compared to carbon. The two types of chemical bonding are ionic bonding and covalent bonding. Ionic bonds are formed when two atoms exchange electrons, as in bonding of sodium (Na) and chlorine (Cl) to form table salt (NaCl). A molecule is a unit of matter formed by chemical combination of two or more atoms, usually from different elements, but can be the same element.