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Carbon Monoxide Information

Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless, and toxic gas, which is predominately produced by incomplete combustion of carbon-containing materials. Incomplete combustion occurs when insufficient oxygen is used in the fuel (hydrocarbon) burning process. Consequently, more carbon monoxide, in preference to carbon dioxide, is emitted. Some examples of this are the following: vehicle exhausts, fuel burning furnaces, coal burning power plants, small gasoline engines, portable gasoline-powered generators, power washers, fire places, charcoal grills, marine engines, forklifts, propane-powered heaters, gas water heaters, and kerosene heaters.

Exposure to carbon monoxide impedes the blood's ability to carry oxygen to body tissues and vital organs. When carbon monoxide is inhaled, it combines with hemoglobin (an iron-protein component of red blood cells), producing carboxyhemoglobin (COHb), which greatly diminishes hemoglobin's oxygen-carrying capacity. Hemoglobin's binding affinity for carbon monoxide is 300 times greater than its affinity for oxygen. As a result, small amounts of carbon monoxide can dramatically reduce hemoglobin's ability to transport oxygen. Common symptoms of carbon monoxide exposure are headache, nausea, rapid breathing, weakness, exhaustion, dizziness, and confusion. Hypoxia (severe oxygen deficiency) due to acute carbon monoxide poisoning may result in reversible neurological effects, or it may result in long-term (and possibly delayed) irreversible neurological (brain damage) or cardiological (heart damage) effects.

View available CO Sensors HERE

How does CO harm you?

Carbon monoxide is harmful when breathed because it displaces oxygen in the blood and deprives the heart, brain, and other vital organs of oxygen. Large amounts of CO can overcome you in minutes without warning—causing you to lose consciousness and suffocate. Besides tightness across the chest, initial symptoms of CO poisoning may include headache, fatigue, dizziness, drowsiness, or nausea. Sudden chest pain may occur in people with angina. During prolonged or high exposures, symptoms may worsen and include vomiting, confusion, and collapse in addition to loss of consciousness and muscle weakness. Symptoms vary widely from person to person. CO poisoning may occur sooner in those most susceptible: young children, elderly people, people with lung or heart disease, people at high  altitudes, or those who already have elevated CO blood levels, such as smokers. Also, CO poisoning poses a special risk to fetuses. CO poisoning can be reversed if caught in time. But even if you recover, acute poisoning may result in permanent damage to the parts of your body that require a lot of oxygen such as the heart and brain. Significant reproductive risk is also linked to CO.

What can you do if you suspect someone has been poisoned?

Contact us for help choosing the right CO Sensor for your application

When you suspect CO poisoning, promptly taking the following actions can save lives:

■ Move the victim immediately to fresh air in an open area.
■ Call 911 or another local emergency number for medical attention or assistance.
■ Administer 100-percent oxygen using a tight-fitting mask if the victim is breathing.
■ Administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation if the victim has stopped breathing. Warning: You may be exposed to fatal levels of CO poisoning in a rescue attempt. Rescuers should be skilled at performing recovery operations and using recovery equipment. Employers should make sure that rescuers are not exposed to dangerous CO levels when performing rescue operations.

Who is at risk?

You may be exposed to harmful levels of CO in boiler rooms, breweries, warehouses, petroleum refineries, pulp and paper production, and steel production; around docks, blast furnaces, or coke ovens; or in  one of the following occupations:
■ Welder
■ Garage mechanic
■ Firefighter
■ Carbon-black maker
■ Organic chemical synthesizer
■ Metal oxide reducer
■ Longshore worker
■ Diesel engine operator
■ Forklift operator
■ Marine terminal worker
■ Toll booth or tunnel attendant
■ Customs inspector
■ Police officer
■ Taxi driver.

What are the OSHA standards for CO exposure?

■ The OSHA PEL is 50 parts per million (ppm). OSHA standards prohibit worker exposure to more than 50 parts of the gas per million parts of air averaged during an 8-hour time period.
■ The 8-hour PEL for CO in maritime operations is also 50 ppm. Maritime workers, however, must be removed from exposure if the CO concentration in the atmosphere exceeds 100 ppm. The peak CO level for employees engaged in Ro-Ro operations (roll-on roll-off operations during cargo loading and unloading) is 200 ppm.

Osha info sheet on Carbon Monoxide

 

 

NIOSH information on Carbon Monoxide

 

The table below summarizes some of the most up-to-date exposure limits, including their date of publication.

Limit / Level Type Organization Industry / Area Sources Date
9 PPM
TWA
 (8 Hours)
EPA
General
http://www.epa.gov/air/criteria.html Web page authored: 8/2007
9 PPM
TWA
(8 Hours)
World Heallth Organization
General (Outdoor)
http://www.who.int/ipcs/publications/ehc/en/ehc_213_part_1.pdf, page 19.
1999
9 PPM
Ceiling
ASHRAE
General
(Living Areas)
ASHRAE
Unknown
25 PPM
TWA
(8 Hours)
ACGIH
General
2004 ACGIH Handbook of TLVs and BEIs
2004
35 PPM
TWA
(1 Hour)
NIOSH
General
http://www.osha.gov/dts/chemicalsampling/data/CH_225600.html
Web page authored: 6/2004
35 PPM
TWA
(1 Hour)
EPA
General
http://www.epa.gov/air/criteria.html
Web page authored: 8/2007
50 PPM
OSHA PEL as TWA
(8 Hours)
OSHA
General
http://www.osha.gov/dts/chemicalsampling/data/CH_225600.html
Web page authored: 6/2004
50 PPM OSHA PEL as TWA
(8 Hours)
OSHA Construction http://www.osha.gov/dts/chemicalsampling/data/CH_225600.html Web page authored: 6/2004
50 PPM OSHA PEL as TWA
(8 Hours)
OSHA Maritime http://www.osha.gov/dts/chemicalsampling/data/CH_225600.html Web page authored: 6/2004
125 PPM
Excursion Limit (EL)
ACGIH
General
Based on definition of EL in 2004 ACGIH Handbook, and the fact that there is no defined STEL for CO in this handbook.
2004
200 PPM
Ceiling
NIOSH
General
http://www.osha.gov/dts/chemicalsampling/data/CH_225600.html
Web page authored: 6/2004

Contact us for help choosing the right CO Sensor for your application

View our portable CO Monitors HERE

View our fixed mount CO Monitors HERE

 

Our full line of Carbon Monoxide (CO) monitoring solutions are shown below

Pocket CO, Model 300

Small, lightweight, and low cost.  Perfect for handheld personnel safety.

0-500 PPM range with integreated audible alarms in a package that weighs only 1 oz, makes this a perfect monitor for daily use.

 Pocket CO, Model 300

GasAlert CO

Rugged and versatile.  This feature rich sensor is capable, with integrated audible alarm and datalogging capabilities.

0-1000 ppm range and intrinsically safe design make this a great monitor for personnel safety in hazardous environments.

GasAlert Extreme CO (GAXT-M-DL)

C-16 PortaSens

The C-16 allows for multiple gas sensors go be purchased and used.  With a fast response time, and features such as data logging, alarms, and min,max,avg recording, this is a great all around gas sensor for most every use.

In the C-16 page choose the sensor that is right for you. Carbon Monoxide sensor is available in a 0-200 ppm range.  Also choose other sensors that may be right for you.

The sensors used in the C-16 are also directly interchangeable with either the F-12, or D-12 toxic gas transmitters.  This makes the C-16 the perfect handheld device to use along with wall mounted toxic gas transmitters

C-16 PortaSens II Gas Detector

Series-200 Monitor

The Series-200 Monitor Carbon Monoxide heads are available in 0-25 ppm or 0-100 ppm ranges.  Sensor technologies of Gas Sensitive Semiconductor (GSS), or Electrochemical (ECM) are also available. 

The Series-200 can be configured with a variety of other gas detecting heads to provide you with additional flexibility.

The Series-200 boasts:

  • audible alarm
  • min/max/avg recording
Aeroqual Series 200 with Sensor Head

Series-300 Monitor

The Series-300 Monitor Carbon Monoxide heads are available in 0-25 ppm or 0-100 ppm ranges.  Sensor technologies of Gas Sensitive Semiconductor (GSS), or Electrochemical (ECM) are also available. 

The Series-300 can be configured with a variety of other gas detecting heads to provide you with additional flexibility.

The Series-300 boasts:

  • audible alarm
  • min/max/avg recording
  • internal relays for external control of devices or alarms

Aeroqual Series 200 with Sensor Head

Series-500 Monitor

The Series-500 Monitor Carbon Monoxide heads are available in 0-25 ppm or 0-100 ppm ranges.  Sensor technologies of Gas Sensitive Semiconductor (GSS), or Electrochemical (ECM) are also available. 

The Series-500 can be configured with a variety of other gas detecting heads to provide you with additional flexibility.

The Series-500 boasts:

  • audible alarm
  • min/max/avg recording
  • internal relays for external control of devices or alarms
  • integrated data logging with industry leading desktop software

Series-900 Controller

The Series-900 Controller Carbon Monoxide heads are available in 0-25 ppm or 0-100 ppm ranges.  Sensor technologies of Gas Sensitive Semiconductor (GSS), or Electrochemical (ECM) are also available. 

The Series-900 can be configured with a variety of other gas detecting heads to provide you with additional flexibility.

The Series-900 boasts:

  • Versatile controller with 4-20mA output and RS-485 output
  • 2 alarm relays and 2 control relays that are user settable

F-12 Toxic Gas Detector

The F-12 allows for multiple gas sensors go be purchased and used.  The F-12 is configurable with options such as and intrinsically safe enclosure, remote mounted sensors and others.

In the F-12 page choose the sensor that is right for you. Carbon Monoxide sensor is available in a 0-200 ppm range.  Also choose other sensors that may be right for you.

D-12 Toxic Gas Transmitter

The D-12 allows for multiple gas sensors go be purchased and used.  The D-12 is designed for operation in hazardous areas. The cast aluminum housing for the D12 transmitter is rated for Class 1, Division 1, Group B, C, D locations and is UL, FM, and CSA certified.

In the D-12 page choose the sensor that is right for you. Carbon Monoxide sensor is available in a 0-200 ppm range.  Also choose other sensors that may be right for you.

D-12 Toxic Gas Detector
 

 

Contact us for help choosing the right CO Sensor for your application


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