The number of warehouses in America is increasing steadily year by year. As more and more warehouses are being built, the need for safety programs can’t be underestimated due to the toxicity of chemicals used on a regular basis. Discover the difference between the different types of toxic gases to ensure both safety and trust for your warehouse employees.
Common Toxic Gases to Monitor
According to recent reports, there were a total of 19,190 warehouses in operation across the United States in 2020. From the creation of products to the storage and distribution of completed goods, the everyday process of any warehouse involves being around toxic chemicals and gases. Take a look at the three most common types of toxic gases found in warehouse facilities.
- Carbon Monoxide (CO)
- Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
- Oxygen Depletion (O2)
1) Carbon Monoxide (CO)
Carbon monoxide is believed to be one of the most common toxic gases on earth and is almost entirely a man-made gas. Often called the “silent killer” due to being absent of both color and odor, carbon monoxide can be lethal in even small concentrations. It is often used in metal fabrication, chemical manufacturing, pharmaceutical manufacturing, electronic applications, and is often emitted from coal, gas, and diesel engines.
2) Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
Commonly found in the atmosphere, carbon dioxide is a natural byproduct of human and animal breathing, fermentation, chemical reactions, and the decomposition of plants and animals. It is a highly toxic gas that is both colorless and odorless but has a slightly acidic taste. Although it is a natural part of our life, it can be dangerous in high concentrations especially in areas that are poorly ventilated. It is often used in the manufacture of cast molds for metals, welding processes, pharmaceuticals, plastics, food processing, and cleaning supplies.
3) Oxygen Depletion (O2)
Oxygen is what we need to breathe. While we normally breathe air that is 20.9% oxygen by volume under normal conditions, the presence of toxic gases can create disastrous consequences if oxygen levels don’t stay balanced. When certain circumstances reduce the amount of oxygen that we have to breathe, we can start to feel the adverse effects. Circumstances that may reduce oxygen include leaking materials from storage tanks, higher levels of toxic gas, decomposing organic compounds, corrosion, or fermentation.
Different refrigerants are used in warehouses to cool the warehouse and/or coolers within the warehouse. These refrigerants range from Ammonia, to Difluoromethane and everything else in between. Refrigerant leaks can be dangerous to humans, via asphyxiation and/or toxicity as well as as being active greenhouse gases which have negative impact on the environment. Some of the gases are also considered combustible and therefore pose an explosive and/or flammable danger.
Gas Detectors You Can Trust
Toxic gases unseen by the human eye pose a number of health risks, especially if exposure limits are left undetected. GDS Corp is proud to serve a number of different industries across the country with reliable gas detection systems. We consider it our personal mission to provide toxic and combustible gas detectors which will safeguard your warehouse and keep your manufacturing processes in operation long term.
Get in touch with our team for a fully customized detection solution that you can trust.