Oxygen makes up approximately one-fifth (or 20.9%) of the air we breathe, with the remaining four-fifths of the atmosphere being comprised of nitrogen. In hazardous environments and sites that utilize oxygen for their processes, the risk of oxygen enrichment and oxygen depletion is present.

When the oxygen level drops even by just a couple of percent, there is an immediate reduction in the delivery of oxygen to human cells has an adverse physiological effect on an individual’s ability to function, known as oxygen depletion. At an oxygen level of 16%, individuals are likely to experience an increased pulse rate, more rapid breathing, compromised thought processes, reduced attention span, and impaired coordination. At an oxygen level of 12.5%, respiration will likely be affected, there may be nausea or vomiting and there is also a risk of permanent heart damage. At an oxygen level of 10% or less, an individual may well experience convulsions, an inability to move, loss of consciousness or even loss of life.

Oxygen enrichment is the name for the hazards associated with gases or liquids that contain oxygen concentrations in excess of 21%. As the oxygen in the air increases there is also a significantly increased risk of a fire or explosion. What’s more, when compared with a fire in the air, a fire in an oxygen-enriched atmosphere is substantially more intense, with higher temperatures and greater heat output. Common causes of oxygen enrichment can include a leaking oxygen cylinder, a faulty pipe connection, incorrect disposal of liquid gas, or the process of cutting or welding.

At combustion plants, alterations in the levels of oxygen can create a higher risk of explosions and fires. However, ION Science offers fixed, portable and personal gas detection solutions for combustion plants and more. However, to ensure each worker (lone or not) is protected from potential hazards regarding oxygen levels, the best tool to achieve ultimate safety is the ARA O2 personal gas detector.

ARA O2 single gas detector is a cost-effective personal detector with 24 months of continuous operation. This wearable oxygen detector has only one button to make use of the oxygen detector simple and alerts workers when oxygen health levels exceed set safety levels. The instrument also has a self-test feature that tests the audio, visual and vibrating alarms to give you confidence before use!

Giving users the best flexibility on the market, the device has a lifetime remaining countdown to help users plan for future projects and site shutdowns. It also displays live reading data options.

ION Science is a leading gas detection and prevention company offering a variety of solutions across a vast amount of applications. To find out more about products offered by ION Science for gas and leak detection, view our products page. For more information about our ARA O2 personal gas detector or if you have a question for us, contact ION Science today.