The Benefits of an Oxygen Deficiency Monitor

Most specialty gas supplier laboratories are familiar with safety precautions and procedures to maintain a safe working atmosphere. These precautions can include the installation of safety equipment to ensure that there are no atmospheric factors that would tamper with the work of gas technicians. This includes monitoring Oxygen levels across the entire laboratory.

Normal air we all inhale contains an Oxygen level of about 20.9% v/v. Oxygen levels are considered deficient anytime they are below 19.5% v/v, and is considered unsafe for humans at levels less than 16% v/v.

Oxygen deficiencies can occur due to:

  • Displacement – Liquefied Cryogen gases can displace Oxygen and greatly decrease O2 levels
  • Combustion
  • Oxidation
  • Chemical Reaction
  • Bacterial action

Oxygen monitors should be installed throughout the laboratory but more specifically in poorly-ventilated or confined areas. You should also think about the height of each monitor in relation to other gases. Since Helium tends to be lighter, placing an Oxygen monitor closer to the ceiling is ideal, while for heavier gases like Carbon Dioxide and Nitrogen, the Oxygen monitor should be closer to the ground.

As the Oxygen monitor is being installed, ensure there is an audible alarm to go with the monitor in the event Oxygen levels start to decrease. The monitor should be connected to a command system where a ventilation control system could be activated to restore Oxygen levels. Once the installation is complete testing should be done to ensure accuracy.

To find out more on oxygen levels and monitors feel free to contact your local specialty gas distributor.