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CO2 gas detection

The dangers of CO2 – carbon dioxide gas detection

Find out the dangers of CO2, how increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere can affect the body and how carbon dioxide gas detection can keep you safe.

Visit our carbon dioxide section or contact us to find out more about our carbon dioxide detection monitors, or sign up to our blog for updates about the gas industry.

What is carbon dioxide?

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a gas which occurs naturally in the Earth’s atmosphere at a rate of 400 parts per million (ppm). It is colourless, odourless and non-flammable.

CO2 is used in a wide range of industries:

The level of CO2 normally in the atmosphere is harmless, but an increase of levels of the gas in a working or home environment can have serious health effects. Some organisations have set long and short term exposure limits for working, and this legislation varies globally. OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) have set an exposure limit of 5,000ppm over an eight-hour period, and 30,000ppm over a 10-minute period, whilst the European standard EH40 has set a short-term 15-minute exposure limit of 15,000ppm.

How can different levels of carbon dioxide affect me?


 CO2 Concentration

(%Volume – rising)

 Effects on the body

(at atmospheric pressure) 

 1 Unnoticable increase in breathing rate.
 2 Breathing deepens, rate increases to twice the normal. Continued exposure may cause headaches and exhaustion.
 3 Breathing becomes intensive, rate increases to twice the normal. The ability to hear is reduced, with an increase in blood pressure, pulse and heachaches.
 4-5  Breathing becomes intensive, rate increases to twice the normal with headaches. Signs of intoxication develop with a slight choking feeling.
5-10 A pungent smell becomes noticeable, with breathing continuing to rise in intensively. Headache, sight issues, ringing in the ears and confusion. Usually leads to loss of consciousness within minutes.
10-100 Loss of consciousness is more rapid, with a risk of death from respiratory failure. Danger to life increased with concentrations, regardless of oxygen depletion. Concentrations 20-30% above are immediately life threatening.


How can different levels of CO2 affect me? Downloadable document

Physiological effects of carbon dioxide

What are the physiological effects of increased levels of #CO2 in the atmosphere? Click To Tweet

Physiological effects of carbon dioxide include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Reduced hearing
  • Mild narcosis
  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Headache
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dimmed sight
  • Tremors
  • Sweating
  • Unconsciousness

The benefits of carbon dioxide gas detection

As CO2 has no taste or smell, it can be hard to detect. This is why CO2 monitors are so important, and a workplace risk assessment may suggest that gas detectors are installed.

Analox offer a wide range of carbon dioxide monitors – from portable monitors like the Aspida and the ACG+ to fixed monitors like the Ax60+.

As CO2 is heavier than air, it is recommended that fixed carbon dioxide detectors are not mounted at head height – for example, we recommend that the Ax60 is wall-mounted 450mm off the ground and the repeater unit is placed at head height at the entrance to the room.

Contact us today to find out how we can help with your carbon dioxide gas detection needs.

Author: Kate Ingham, Digital Marketing Executive

Founded in 1981, Analox Sensor Technology provides niche and custom gas detection solutions to industries including beverage and fast food, commercial diving and laboratories. Analox has over 325 years of collective, specialist electronics and software engineering expertise, as well as a worldwide distributor network. Contact us to see how we can provide expert gas monitoring solutions and help you achieve your goals.

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