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Paper on CO2

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Paper on CO2

  1. 1. 1 Paper on: Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Compiled by: Claus Thorberg Hansen June 2014 Revision number Comments Date for Revision Document responsible 0 Preliminary paper 26-06-2014 CTH 1 Finalized with minor corrections 15-08-2014 CTH/RCR/LIC 2
  2. 2. 2 Content What is Carbon Dioxide?............................................................................................................3 Properties of Carbon Dioxide......................................................................................................3 CO2 Overview: .........................................................................................................................3 CO2 poisoning ..........................................................................................................................4 How does CO2 poisoning work?...................................................................................................4 Symptoms When Exposed To CO2 ...............................................................................................5 CO2 Limits ...............................................................................................................................6 Protection Equipment ................................................................................................................7 Detection.................................................................................................................................7 References...............................................................................................................................8
  3. 3. 3 What is Carbon Dioxide? Carbon dioxide is the most frequently used industrial gas today. It is among others used in the beverages industry. Carbon dioxide can be produced during the processes of decay of organic materials and the fermentation of sugars in beer and wine making. Combustion of wood, carbohydrates and hydrocarbon-rich fossil fuels such as coal, peat, petroleum and natural gas, are major contributors to producing CO2. It is emitted from volcanoes, hot springs and geysers and is freed from carbonate rocks by dissolution in water and acids. CO2 is found in lakes, at depth under the sea and mixed with oil and gas deposits. Carbon dioxide was one of the early gases to be studied and categorised as a substance other than air. In the seventeenth century, the Flemish chemist Jan Baptist van Helmont discovered that when he burned charcoal in a closed vessel, the mass of the ash was less than that of the mass of the original charcoal. He deducted that the rest of the charcoal had been transformed into an invisible substance. Properties of Carbon Dioxide. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is colourless, odourless, and tasteless when found in small percentages in the air. In greater concentrations it has an acidic taste and odour. Carbon dioxide is a natural by-product of animal and human respiration and is formed by the oxidation of carbon in food to produce energy for the human organism. For users of SCBA’s (Self Contained Breathing Apparatus) and divers, the two major concerns with carbon dioxide are control of the quantity in the breathing supply and removal of the exhaust after breathing. Carbon dioxide can cause unconsciousness when inhaled at increased partial pressure. In high concentrations, the gas can be extremely toxic. In the case of closed and semi-closed breathing apparatus, the removal of excess carbon dioxide generated by breathing is essential to the safety of the worker. CO2 Overview: - Colourless gas. - Odourless. - Will not burn. - May explode if heated. - Can accumulate in hazardous amounts in low-lying areas especially inside confined spaces. - ASPHYXIANT. - High concentrations can displace oxygen in air and cause suffocation. - May cause frostbite.
  4. 4. 4 CO2 poisoning Early symptoms of carbon dioxide (CO2) poisoning can be confused with food poisoning, viral infections, flu or simple tiredness. Symptoms to be aware of are:  Headaches or dizziness.  Breathlessness or rapid breathing as a result of the lack of oxygen in the body.  An increase in heart rhythm.  Nausea.  Tiredness.  Pains in the chest or stomach.  Erratic behaviour.  Problems with visually focusing.  Loss of consciousness. How does CO2 poisoning work? The physical effects of CO2 depend on the concentration and length of exposure, as well as the individual's health condition. If the concentration of the carbon dioxide in the ambient air is increased, the pulmonary gas exchange in the picture above is compromised. In short, as the concentration in the ambient air increases, lower quantities of carbon dioxide leave the blood stream and/or alveoli and therefore there is less room for oxygen. This blocks oxygen from getting into the body, which can damage tissues and result in death. This effect will result in intoxication. Carbon dioxide intoxication is independent of the effects of oxygen deficiency (i.e. asphyxiation) therefore the oxygen content in the air is not an effective indication of the danger of intoxication.
  5. 5. 5 Symptoms When Exposed To CO2 CO2 concentration is measured in parts per million (ppm). Carbon dioxide (CO2) is naturally present in the atmosphere at levels of approximately 0.030-0.035% (300-350ppm). Most people will not experience any symptoms from exposure to CO2 levels below 1000 ppm but some heart patients might experience an increase in chest pain. As CO2 levels increase and remain above 1000 ppm, symptoms become more noticeable and can include headache, fatigue and nausea. Sustained CO2 concentrations above 3000 to 5000 ppm can cause disorientation and unconsciousness and death can occur at higher levels. The acute effects produced by carbon dioxide in relation to ambient air in parts per million: Administer oxygen, if necessary and treat symptoms. Ensure absolute bed rest for at least 48 hours. Watch for late neurological, psychiatric and cardiac complications. Concentration Symptoms < 350 ppm Normal average concentration of CO2 in ambient air. No symptoms recorded. < 1000 ppm Slight headache within a few hours. 1000-20.000 ppm Frontal headache within minutes; loss of judgment and disorientation. 20.000 - 40.000 ppm Headache and hyperventilation. 40.000 ppm. IDHL (Immediately Dangerous to Health and Life). 50.000 - 70.000 ppm Headache, tachycardia, dizziness, redness, hearing problems and shortness of breath. 80.000 - 100.000 ppm Severe headache, dizziness, drowsiness and problems breathing. > 100.000 ppm Headache and dizziness within minutes. Convulsions, respiratory arrest, muscle spasms and death. > 200.000 ppm Unconsciousness after a few breaths. Death in minutes.
  6. 6. 6 CO2 Limits A number of national and industrial hygiene groups are referred to for the health and safety of the worker in different countries; most quoted are the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH). However, these are recommended standards, not laws. Other national standards are set according to local legislation and tradition; for example COSSH, the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 1999 are followed in the UK and CCOSH, the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety is followed in Canada. Country National Authority Limit Australia STEL: 30,000 TWA: 5,000 Brazil STEL: 10,000 TWA: 5,000 Denmark STEL: 10,000 TWA: 5,000 Germany AGW: 5,000 International AGW: 5,000 South Africa STEL: 30000 TWA: 5,000 United Kingdom STEL: 15,000 TWA: 5,000 United States of America ACGIH: (TLV:5000,STEL: 30000) OSHA: (TLV:5000,STEL: 30000)
  7. 7. 7 Protection Equipment Used to provide the best possible protection for rescue workers when retrieving a poisoned victim and re-locating him/her to the Safe Briefing Area for treatment. The Dräger PAS® Lite is a self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) used for protecting the wearer against any hazardous gas environment. The self-contained breathing apparatus is fitted with an EPDM (include in abbreviations legend) mask and lung demand valve that protects against both smoke gases and other toxic gases such as H2S and CO2. The SCBA comes fitted with a Y-piece (CEJN-connection) for use with airline applications, e.g. PAS Air pack or standard Maersk Cascades. This is often used by workers who must remain on the drill floor, well head or similar places, securing the area by closing valves or operating equipment on site. When retrieving a poisoned victim, the rescue team can bring an EEBA (legend) with them in form of a SAVER CF 15. This supplies the person with a constant flow of breathing air for 15 minutes. The Dräger SAVER® CF 15 Series provides the wearer with respiratory protection when escaping a contaminated or oxygen deficient environment. Detection In order to supply the best possible detection of CO2 being present in the work area a number of fixed detectors are installed to give an early warning. Furthermore all personnel are recommended to wear a personal detector in order to detect the CO2 locally where they are situated.
  8. 8. 8 References The following national and industrial advisory organisations have been studied in the process of creating this document: - EIGA (European Industrial Gases Association) - DRÄGER: Handbook of Gasses (Gase-Dämpfe-Gassmesstechnik by Dr. Wolfgang Jessel) - OSHA: the Occupational Safety and Health Administration - NIOSH: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health - ACGIH: 2014 TLVs® and BEIs® - COSSH: The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 1999 - CCOSH: Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety regulations. - CDC: Centre for Decease Control and Prevention. - U.S. Navy Diving Manual: SS521-AG-PRO-010 rev. 6.

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