Air Quality and Gas Testers
Air quality is simply defined as the pollutant concentration of the air. A myriad of elements can make air toxic to human life and testing for these can improve health and even save lives. Some important gasses which lead to reduced air quality are Carbon Monoxide (CO), Carbon Dioxide (CO2), Radon (Rn) and many combustible gasses.
Carbon Monoxide (CO) gas can be dangerous in very small concentrations. 50ppm is the OSHA limit for working conditions while 667ppm is enough to cause seizure, coma and death. It simply keeps oxygen from being absorbed by the body which can quickly have adverse effects. This gas is very easily detected and is slightly lighter than air so will dissipate very quickly. The leading producers of carbon monoxide gas are cars without catalytic converters and home furnaces.
Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is found naturally in the atmosphere at about 0.036% (360ppm) content at sea level. It is recommended that healthy adults should avoid more than 5,000ppm (0.5%) each day. While concentrations over 4% are immediately detrimental to human health. Symptoms of high levels of carbon dioxide exposure include drowsiness, elevated pulse rate, loss of hearing, confusion, dizziness, panic attacks, loss of consciousness and eventually death. Carbon dioxide is produced in high quantities by combustion as carbon and oxygen come together. It is also produced in large quantities by living animals especially humans.
Radon (Rn) is a noble gas that is slightly radioactive and found throughout the earth. As it decays it releases a toxic gas that often times seeps up through foundations and into houses where it can accumulate to dangerous levels. It is lighter than air and very common. Radon exposure has been linked to cancer in prolonged exposures. People who smoke have a higher risk of radon effects and are thought to get cancer as a direct result. Radon is also easy to test for and well ventilated houses rarely have problems.
Combustible gasses can be dangerous in multiple ways including explosions, burns and inhalation effects. Testing for combustible gasses is important in industrial applications as well as for residential use. Propane or natural gas powered grills, stoves, ovens and heaters can all develop leaks and can build up to dangerous levels. Testing for these leaks is easy with the right tools and can be traced back to the leak itself.