In this episode, we answer the following questions:
- How do I read a multi-gas monitor and account for correction factors?
- What’s the difference between CPM and REM?
- Can we use bunker gear for all hazmat responses?
- What is a mole and how does it affect our response?
Complete Show Notes
00:45 Question #1 – How Do I Read a Multi-Gas Monitor and Account for Correction Factors?
- Each meter is accompanied by a specific chart that lays out the different correction factors
- Action levels (indicated by beeping) are typically correlated with worst case scenarios
- This means it will beep in time even when the correction is the highest
- LEL meters don’t recognize specific gasses, but they do let us know when one or more combustible gasses are in the atmosphere
- These are calibrated to recognize specific gasses, rather than a wide range of substances like some other meters
3:00 Question #2 – What’s the Difference Between CPM and REM?
- Counts per minute CPM
- Equivalent to being at the shooting range and hearing a gun go off
- When you hear the gun go off, you know a bullet was fired – just like radioactive isotopes release energy
- If you hear a gun go off every 60 seconds, you’re experiencing 1 count per minute
- Same thing goes for the isotope world, but the meter is picking up the “shot,” rather than our ears
- Roentgen equivalent man (REM)
- Equivalent to the caliber of the gun/size of the bullet and how much damage one of its shots can do to us
5:00 Question #3 – Can We Use Bunker Gear for All Hazmat Responses?
- Bunker gear isn’t chemical protective clothing – it’s a Class D chemical protective ensemble
- It does give us a delayed response to the chemicals we’re encountering, though
- If bunker gear isn’t adequate, fall back, reevaluate your PPE selection, and continue the operation
- Bunker gear is particularly useful with radiation since it’s thicker and has denser fibers
7:10 Question #4 – What is a Mole and How Does It Affect Our Response?
- Put simply, a mole is a system of proportional measurements
- Water contains 3 molecules – 2 hydrogens and 1 oxygen
- We can’t just grab these molecules off the shelf to “build” water, so we have to weigh them out proportionally
- In this case, a 2:1 ratio doesn’t work due to the different molecular weights between hydrogen and oxygen
- Turning the molecular weight of a molecule into grams gives you its mole measurement – weights and sizes don’t matter
- Acids and bases are used extensively to create chemical reactions – for every reaction, we need an acid and a base molecule
- Concentrations of acids and bases are listed in 2 different ways:
- The number of moles of solute per kilogram of solvent
- The number of moles of solvent per liter of molecule
- The higher the molarity, the stronger the solution, and stronger solutions require more of the acid or base to titrate down
- We don’t know the actual numbers, though, so we’re focused on our pH paper
- Higher and lower concentrations only change how much we need to titrate
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