You may be in need of an oxygen monitor if you work in the hospitality industry, especially in breweries and in food packaging. However if you work in a laboratory, oxygen monitoring is essential.
Inert gases and nitrogen
Inert gases and nitrogen displace oxygen in the atmosphere, meaning a gas leak can cause oxygen to drop to dangerous levels. Normal air consists of 20.9% oxygen. A drop to 10% is enough to cause loss of consciousness.
Inert gases such as neon, argon and helium, as well as nitrogen are used as carrier gases as they are nonreactive.
Reactions are often conducted under inert gases for the same reason. Liquid nitrogen is used in cryogenics and to preserve specimens.
In 2011 there was a tragic incident when a scientist was found dead in a laboratory after using liquid nitrogen to freeze blood samples.
High levels of oxygen need to be monitored too
Enriched oxygen (oxygen gas which contains more than 20.9% oxygen) is used used in procedures such as gas production and gas blending.
However, enriched oxygen increases the flammability of any combustible matter in the area, causing a potential fire risk. Even an increase of oxygen to 24% can be enough to start a fire.
Enriched oxygen can also be toxic, with high levels causing nerve and brain damage.
Why do I need an oxygen monitor?
You cannot gauge levels of oxygen in the atmosphere by smell, sight or taste alone. This means that if levels of oxygen are too high or too low, you will not know until it is too late.
An oxygen gas detector will provide audio and visual cues when levels of oxygen fall below or rise beyond an acceptable level. This will give you time to vacate the laboratory before any dangerous side effects can take hold or alternatively, trigger a ventilation system or shut down the supply of inert gases/nitrogen.
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.