Carbon dioxide is a component of normal air, about 0.037%. However, it can be born from the burning of fossil fuels and other chemical reactions, and is a common component in the production of many consumer products, especially beer production and organic beverages, working in these environments at risk of exposure to concentrations higher than the standard. At high levels, CO2 carries the risk of asphyxiation, and it is also a toxic gas that creates potential dangers.
Common errors when people think that CO2 can be detected by smell or taste; That’s not true. Another misconception is that monitoring oxygen concentration (O2) is considered an effective measure of CO2 warning. The dependence on monitoring O2 concentrations against carbon dioxide has led to death. CO2 concentrations cannot be monitored unless appropriate detection is used.
|Potential danger to CO2 in industrial environments|
Exposure of less than 0.5% by volume of CO2 has been toxic to the body , while concentrations greater than 10% by volume can lead to death, regardless of the oxygen concentration then. Because CO2 is completely odorless and colorless, there are no signs of danger until it is too late.
Fixed gas detector systems can be used to monitor an area at risk of CO2 accumulation. Such systems usually consist of one or more “head” probes connected to a separate panel. If a CO2 concentration detection machine has reached a dangerous level, the suction fan is automatically activated and sirens or navigation beacons can also be activated to warn workers to move away from the hazardous area. However, it is still not enough to ensure that workers can personally resist exposure to toxic gases. For this, each employee must have their own monitoring equipment.
This frequent contact is usually determined in two ways:
- 1 – Short-term Exposure Limit (STEL) – Maximum allow-as-you-go concentration for a short period of time, usually 15 minutes
- 2 – Long-Term Exposure Limit (LTEL) – Calculated by an average time of 8 hours (TWA)
I discussed TWA in my previous blog, but in short, the concept is based on the average worker’s exposure for 8 hours a day. It allows contact time to exceed the TWA limit, but only if STEL does not exceed or exceed the exposure limit. In the UK, TWA for CO2 is set at 0.5%, and STEL at 1.5%, and these levels are enforced in accordance with the regulations. Although regulatory levels may vary slightly, similar limits are enforced in other areas.
To ensure worker contact remains below the permitted exposure limit, it is necessary to monitor the CO2 levels each worker is allowed to contact, using a suitable personal gas detector
Trans by Mr. Manh # TESIN VIETNAM