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Will a Carbon Monoxide Detector Detect a Natural Gas Leak?

Posted by on Feb 28, 2020 in Gas Detectors, Gas Leak Detection | 0 comments

If you regularly work around natural gas lines, your work environment could be at risk for sudden fire or explosion. That’s obvious. But there is also a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning in the event that low-level oxygen-starved burning occurs from a small leak.  How important is it to make sure that both CO and combustible gas detectors are present? 

Ultimately, no, a carbon monoxide detector cannot detect a natural gas leak. Carbon monoxide (CO) is a toxic gas created when fuel is burned in the presence of low levels of oxygen. Carbon monoxide is very different from methane and cannot be detected with the same sensor. Carbon monoxide might appear during a gas leak, but a carbon monoxide detector is not normally capable of detecting natural gas.

Carbon Monoxide or Natural Gas?

Carbon monoxide is difficult to detect by the human nose but is known to cause rapid loss of consciousness. Similarly, natural gas is normally odorless but gas companies add mercaptan to make it smell like sulfur or rotten eggs. What’s more, natural gas leaks can usually be identified by a hissing sound or visible damage to a gas line.

That being said, not having a complete gas detection system could cause disastrous results. Along with the high flammability of natural gas, carbon monoxide can be fatal under certain conditions. Without proper warning, you could be at risk for sudden fire, explosion or toxic gas. To protect your environment, install a reliable gas detection system to detect dangerous levels of carbon monoxide and methane.

Pro Tip: Does your gas alarm configured to detect carbon monoxide? Install a high-performance sensor in your detection system to combat the poisonous health effects of carbon monoxide.

Types of Natural Gas Detectors

Monitoring unsafe levels of methane in natural gas is crucial to combat natural gas poisoning and combustion. GDS Corp offers a number of gas detection solutions to monitor your gas lines.

  • GASMAX CX Gas Monitor – Single or dual channel gas monitor certified for hazardous areas where gas readings need to be transmitted in real-time.
  • GASMAX II Gas MonitorSingle or dual channel gas monitor of any combination of one toxic and one combustible (bridge-type) sensor.
  • GDS-50 Gas SensorDC-powered infrared gas sensor of any toxic or combustible gas in Class I Div 1 hazardous areas.
  • GDS-IR Gas SensorInfrared gas sensor used to detect carbon dioxide or explosive levels of methane or propane in harsh environments.

Choosing the Best Gas Leak Detectors

Whether you’re protecting against natural gas leaks or the presence of carbon monoxide in your manufacturing or industrial process, finding the right gas monitor is important. In addition to carbon monoxide alarms and smoke detectors, a complete detection system can be customized for you. Be sure to protect your health and working environments from the many dangers of natural gas.

Do you need an accurate and trusted detection system? Connect with our professional technicians to help you choose the best gas leak detector.

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3 Dangerous Health Effects of Natural Gas

Posted by on Feb 21, 2020 in Health And safety, Natural Gas Monitoring | 0 comments

Natural gas, a fossil fuel found under the surface of the earth, is a hydrocarbon gas that primarily contains methane. Natural gas is used in the manufacture of fertilizer, antifreeze, plastics, pharmaceuticals, and fabrics. It’s important to understand the health and safety effects of natural gas, and how to prepare in the unfortunate case of hazardous leaks.

If there was a natural gas leak, would you know how to protect yourself from being poisoned? Pay attention to these top 3 health effects of natural gas!

What Are The Dangers of Natural Gas?

Since natural gas is naturally invisible and odorless, it can be hard to detect at high concentrations in the air. To combat this problem, natural gas distribution companies are required to add a form of mercaptan, a chemical that smells like rotten eggs. At low concentrations, escaping natural gas can be detected by smell; however, relying entirely on your sense of smell can be disastrous. 

Furthermore, in some cases, natural gas used in some plants may not contain any odorant and so would go undetected. Without a natural gas detection system in your manufacturing processes, the health your workers could be at risk in the following three ways.

  1. Decreased level of oxygen
  2. Release of carbon monoxide
  3. Risk of a flash fire or explosion

1) Decreased level of oxygen

Leaking natural gas can replace oxygen in ambient air. Without oxygen, you will be unable to breathe, resulting in a range of symptoms including:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Eye and throat irritation
  • Fatigue
  • Breathing problems
  • Pale skin or blisters from skin contact

2) Release of carbon monoxide

One of the primary uses of natural gas in industrial applications is to provide heat. This requires that the gas be burned in the presence of air. If natural gas is burned without sufficient oxygen, the incomplete combustion process creates carbon monoxide, a highly toxic gas that is very dangerous to humans. 

Carbon monoxide usually extrudes an extremely pungent odor and can cause a round of dangerous health effects. That being said, carbon monoxide poisoning looks very similar to natural gas poisoning, with severe cases having deadly consequences.

Pro Tip: Each of our detectors can be customized for equipment or facility. Install a carbon monoxide sensor as part of your gas detection system to monitor unsafe gas concentration levels in your vicinity.

3) Risk of a flash fire or major explosion

Finally and most importantly, leaking natural gas can quickly become an explosive hazard. It only takes a concentration of five percent (5%) by volume to create an explosive atmosphere. And there will be a source of ignition! 

Any combustible gas detector system should include highly visible warning strobes and loud horns to indicate the presence of a leak and give employees a chance to leave the premises before hazardous conditions exist. In addition, the gas detection system can be programmed to trigger exhaust fans and close gas valves in the event of a warning indication. 

How to Respond to a Suspected Gas Leak

To guard against the health risks of a potential natural gas leak, it’s important to know what to do if you. In the case of an emergency, immediately call 911 to contact the fire department for further assistance. If the leak is suspected outside and you’re not in immediate danger, follow these instructions:

  • Mild Gas Leaks – Leave the area if you’re not sure of the leak’s extent.
  • Severe Gas Leaks – Leave the surrounding area as soon as possible. Due to the flammability of natural gas, a simple phone call uses enough energy that could ignite a fire. Drive away from the area and contact emergency personnel for further assistance.

Caution: Whatever you do, don’t underestimate the power of natural gas. If there is a suspected gas leak, any source of electricity can create an explosion. Do not touch any electrical components in your vicinity until the natural gas levels are under control.

Prepare for Natural Gas Leaks

Burning natural gas is a safe and common practice, but without proper safety detection, it can cause a myriad of health issues. Install a safety detection system to help prepare for a natural gas leak before it’s too late. 

Don’t put your health at risk. Connect with our gas detection experts to find the right monitor system for your industrial applications.

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What is a Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) Gas Detector?

Posted by on Feb 14, 2020 in Gas Detectors, Hydrogen Sulfide | 0 comments

If you work with crude petroleum, natural gas, or bacterial decomposition, chances are you encounter hydrogen sulfide (H2S) on a regular basis. Hydrogen sulfide is a colorless, highly toxic gas that can cause a myriad of dangerous health symptoms. If proper detection systems aren’t in place, the safety of your workers and equipment could be at risk.

A hydrogen sulfide (H2S) gas detector is often part of a monitoring system designed to detect high levels of hydrogen sulfide in ambient air. Hydrogen sulfide detectors can also be used in sample draw monitors to remotely measure H2S gas in confined spaces, and with the proper equipment can be used to monitor the level of H2S in streams of natural gas. Overall, the hydrogen sulfide (H2S) gas monitor is an efficient way to monitor the gas concentrations in your vicinity.

How Does an H2S Detector Work?

Hydrogen sulfide gas detectors primarily use electrochemical sensors to detect and measure parts-per-billion (‘ppb’) and parts-per-million (“ppm”) levels of H2S gas. These sensors depend on a highly reliable electrochemical reaction that occurs when H2S gas combines with specific materials used in the sensor. This reaction creates a tiny electrical current that is amplified and measured by the electronics in the gas detector. These industrial quality H2S detectors can help make sure the  H2S concentration level stays below the limit required by The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). 

What is a Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) Gas Detector, GDS Corp, Houston, TX

Depending on the environment, the Permissible Exposure Limits (PEL) for H2S gas are:

  • General Industry Ceiling Limit: 20 ppm
  • General Industry Peak Limit: 50 ppm (up to 10 minutes if no other exposure during shift)
  • Construction 8-hour Limit: 10 ppm
  • Shipyard 8-hour limit: 10 ppm

Types of Hydrogen Sulfide Detectors

GDS Corp offers a number of gas detectors that can be programmed to monitor hydrogen sulfide exclusively, such as:

 

  • GASMAX CX Gas Monitor – Single or dual channel gas monitor certified for hazardous areas where gas readings need to be transmitted in real-time
  • GASMAX EC Gas Monitor – Loop-powered gas detector for all toxic gases; certified for Explosion Proof or Intrinsically Safe installations
  • GDS-58NXP – Single or dual channel sample draw gas monitor designed to measure gas samples pulled from remote locations up to 100 feet away
  • GDS-49 Gas Sensor  – Loop-powered stand-alone gas sensor transmitter with replaceable sensors for any toxic gas
  • GDS-68XP or GDS-68SXP Process Monitor – Process gas monitor used to measure hydrogen sulfide or mercaptans in low oxygen streams such as gas pipelines.

Pro Tip: In addition to your health, don’t neglect to protect your equipment from hydrogen sulfide’s flammable nature in very high concentrations. Install a flame detector to ward off any potential fires.

Reliable Gas Detection Systems

Does your waste facility or manufacturing process have a gas detection system installed? While hydrogen sulfide is typically characterized by its rotten egg smell, you can’t rely on your senses alone since high levels of H2S cannot be detected by smell. Don’t ignore the hazardous effects of H2S in your vicinity; install an H2S gas detector you and your team can rely on.

Not sure which gas detector to choose? Connect with our gas detection professionals to find the best solution for your facility.

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Harmful Health Effects of Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S)

Posted by on Feb 7, 2020 in Hydrogen Sulfide | 0 comments

Hydrogen Sulfide is commonly found in crude petroleum and natural gas. It is produced by the bacterial decomposition of organic matter and can also be found in sewerage plants, livestock pens, bogs or swamps. In high concentrations, hydrogen sulfide gas can be extremely dangerous. If you’ve been exposed to a harmful level, the effects of hydrogen sulfide can range in severity from nausea to death.

Do you regularly work in processes that produce hydrogen sulfide gas? While the gas has been found in homes as a result of plumbing leaks, there is a greater chance for overexposure in workplaces and industrial settings. Depending on your industry, high levels of hydrogen sulfide could cause injury or death if not properly detected. Protect the health of your workers by understanding the dangers and signs of H2S poisoning and by installing gas detectors that can provide early warnings.

Dangerous Effects of Hydrogen Sulfide

Exposure to hydrogen sulfide usually occurs through inhalation, but occasionally can cause skin or eye irritation. Due to the invisible nature of gas, the spread of hydrogen sulfide has no bounds. While its foul-smell can warn of a hazardous leak, your sense of smell isn’t reliable. High concentrations of H2S in the air can actually corrupt your senses from working (olfactory desensitization), which could put your health at grave risk.

The dangerous nature of hydrogen sulfide is reflected in its ability to affect every organ in your body. According to the Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry (ASTDR), prolonged exposure could cause eye irritation, fluid in the lungs, and eventual loss of consciousness. Your prognosis is usually determined by the amount of H2S that you were exposed to, especially if you’re wondering about your long term outcome.

Pro Tip:  We have a selection of gas detectors that can be set up as hydrogen sulfide monitors for your facility’s detection system.

Symptoms of Exposure

Depending on the length of time and amount of hydrogen sulfide exposure, your symptoms will range in severity. To enable detection systems to monitor levels of exposure, OSHA has set a permissible exposure limit for H2S gas of 10 ppm over an 8-hour period. Anything higher than that could cause extensive injuries or death.

Low Concentrations (10 ppm or less)

  • Burning eyes
  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Headache
  • Nausea

Moderate Concentrations

  • Eye irritation
  • Fluid in lungs
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Insomnia

High Concentrations (100 ppm or greater)

  • Tremors
  • Convulsions
  • Rapid unconsciousness
  • Coma
  • Death

Hydrogen Sulfide Poisoning: What To Do

If you’ve been exposed to hydrogen sulfide, the most important thing to do is to not panic. While it is a very toxic gas, there might be time before you start experiencing symptoms. For eye or skin exposure, it’s important to wash immediately and remove all of your clothing. If you’ve inhaled hydrogen sulfide, try to get to fresh air and away from the contaminated area.

No matter the situation, it is crucial for you to get to a hospital immediately, even if you’re exposed to low concentrations. While headache or nausea might see like minimal concerns, those symptoms could be your first warning of a nervous system failure.

Protect Your Buildings from H2S Gas

In workplaces where hydrogen sulfide gas is produced, the effects of exposure can cause bodily harm as well as damage to your equipment. Due to the flammable nature of H2S, it’s critical for wastewater facilities and industrial manufacturers to have a reliable gas detector in place at all times.

Does your business have an H2S gas monitor? Connect with our team to choose the best detection system for your area.

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3 Flammable Gas Facts You Didn’t Know

Posted by on Jan 31, 2020 in Offshore Gas Detection | 0 comments

What exactly is flammable gas? If your industry handles combustible or toxic gases on a daily basis, you know the importance of minimizing the risk of fire or explosion. Become an expert in your field by understanding the facts behind flammable gases in your warehouse.

The Truth Behind Flammable Gases

A gas is considered flammable if it has the potential to explode or ignite when mixed with oxygen. In other words, if a certain level of flammable gas were to leak into the air, it could result in a fire. The most popular flammable gases are ammonia, butane, carbon monoxide, hydrogen, methane, and propane. Depending on your background, these flammable gas facts might be surprising.

  1. Chlorine Trifluoride is the most flammable gas
  2. Oxygen doesn’t start fires or explosions
  3. Not every flammability limit is the same

1) Chlorine Trifluoride is the most flammable gas

Of all the dangerous chemical gases, chlorine trifluoride is known to be the most flammable. It is a colorless and extremely reactive gas that can burn through concrete and gravel. The high flammability nature of chlorine trifluoride is due to its ability to burn without any ignition source, giving it the ability to exceed the oxidizing power of oxygen. In the few cases that the chemical has been used, it has caused massive explosions and been the source of multiple casualties.

2) Oxygen doesn’t start fires or explosions

Unlike what is commonly misunderstood, oxygen cannot cause an explosion or flash of fire. In order to start a fire, you need three elements: a source of ignition (heat), a combustible material (fuel), and oxygen (air). Moreover, while the presence of oxygen doesn’t start fires, it is necessary for flammable or combustible materials to burn.

3) Not every flammability limit is the same

In order for a chemical gas to ignite, the concentration limit in the air must be within a certain range. That range is known as the flammability limit. Depending on the flammable and combustible liquids or gases you’re using, that range can vary greatly.

To understand the flammable limit for a specific gas, you must know its’ LEL and UEL values. A concentration value below the lower explosive limit (LEL) is considered too lean to burn. In comparison, a gas or vapor exceeding the upper explosive limit (UEL) would be considered too rich to burn. That being said, the range of flammability is the concentration level that lies between the LEL and UEL values of the chemical gas.

Pro Tip: If a chemical gas exceeds its LEL value, it can quickly become an explosion hazard. Protect your business from combustible gases by installing an accurate gas detection system

Detect Fuel Gases in Houston

Regardless of your industry, it’s crucial for your warehouse or offshore rig to practice routine material safety. Our engineers agree that reliable gas detection is the key to lowering the risk of fire or explosion near you. To guard against flammable gases, install a gas monitor to efficiently check your facility.

What flammable gases do you work with? Share with us on social media!

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