Errant use of gas chromatography for area monitoring of ethylene oxide in SPD departments

In recent months, we have seen certain people touting systems using gas chromatography (provided with a photo-ionization detector) for area monitoring of ethylene oxide in Supply, Processing, and Distribution (SPD) departments. [Sometimes SPD stands for Sterile Processing Department or Sterile Processing and Distribution.] Such systems, despite their expense, were reasonably popular 15–20 years ago. However, for…

When I’m buying a toxic gas detection instrument or system, why do I need applications engineering?

Very simply, since no two toxic gas detection applications are the same. We admit that this concept has been obscured under the quite false rubric that “All gas detection is confined entry.” Certainly, a goodly percentage of all portable gas detection instruments are designed as if they are intended for the confined entry app. These…

Detector Tubes And When To Use Them

A detector tube is a graduated glass tube filled with a chemical reagent that will produce a color change, when exposed to the gas in question. It is used with a hand pump that will draw a sample into the tube. The tubes are generally supplied in packages of ten, and are sealed at both ends.…

Is there a OSHA/DOT or any guideline/regulation that tells me how many ammonia detectors are required in ammonia storage/vaporizer and unloading area?

While guidelines may exist that mandate monitoring of an area for any number of toxic compounds, no official government recommendations are made as to the detailed design of such a monitoring system. In practice, the design of a toxic gas area monitoring system results from a collaboration between the end-user, consultant(if any), monitoring system vendor,…

Are there any documents available that provide a frame work or guidance on when a gas detection system should be installed?

It should be noted that long before OSHA, and long before direct-reading instruments were available, people were doing toxic gas detection to protect their employees; combustible gas detection to protect their employees and their facilities; and, of course, they also did this to obtain lower insurance rates. These days, though, you can count on government…

Alcohol and Electrochemical Sensors

For any gas to be detectable by an electrochemical sensor, it must first be “electroactive.” As defined by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) Analytical Chemistry Division Commission on Electroanalytical Chemistry, an electroactive substance is… In voltammetry and related techniques, a substance that undergoes a change of oxidation state, or the breaking…

Where should I set the alarms on my toxic gas monitoring system?

Ultimately, the entire matter of where to set the instantaneous concentration alarm(s) is tied into what is expected by the regulatory agency. In the United States, for most workplace environments, it is the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA). OSHA has published Permissible Exposure Limits, or PEL’s, for many toxic substances. Three types of PEL’s…