Home Podcasts THMG177 – CO2 Hot wash

THMG177 – CO2 Hot wash


We take a completely different tact when discussing Carbon Dioxide emergencies and take the long term view of the incident. Sprinkle in a little medical reference and we have a bunch of takeaways for the memory vault.

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  1. the run that got me thinking.
  2. why is this becoming an issue
    1. The onset of cryogenic to store CO2 for beverage centers
    2. Location in many places
  3. The numbers, TWA IDLH
    1. measurement styles
    2. PPM vs %
      1. understanding ambient C02 levels
      2. O2 displacement vs increase in meter readings
    3. 3.2.1 TWA 5000 ppm
      1. or .5%
    4. 3.3 IDLH
      1. 40,000 ppm or 4%
    5. 3.4 Stel
      1. 15 min limit is 30,000 ppm or 3%
    6. 3.5 EPA
      1. allows for 1000 ppm or .1%  as a continuous exposure
  4. Signs and symptoms
    1. acute
      1. we have talked about the issue with O2 displacement
      2. generally will occur if there is a significant leak in a cryo tank or very little ventilation
    2. chronic
      1. What happens when the event is less catastrophic
        1. Slow leak in the gas line
        2. the icing on the tank may be able to indicate low long a low flow leak has been transpiring. the more generalized frosting on the tank the longer it has been off-gassing.
          1. Especially when you start to get frost on the tank itself. This comes from the pressure building tube around the cylinder.
  1. Pathophysiology of Carbon dioxide
    1. understanding Carbon dioxide poisoning we first need to understand that unlike many of the gasses that are assphyicant, Carbon dioxide is actual and intricate part of our biological system.
    2. CO2 is an end product of our metabolism. Right we all learned this is school. We breath in )2 and breath out Co2. But what many don’t realize is that the Co2 is actually the reason we breathe.
    3. Yes in a what causes us to breath kind of a way. It is the co2 that triggers us to breath. a lot of people assume that we breathe when the body needs 02. but we actually breathe when the body needs to get rid of co2.
    4. So how does this work.  We breathe in. lots of fresh air into our lungs. Oxygen is brought to the cells and the O2 is taken into the cells, used in metabolic process and Co2 is spit back out into the bloodstream.
    5. As Co2 mixes with the water in the blood it creates carbonic acid. A very slightly acidic compound. But as more and more cells give off there co2 to the blood the build up of carbonic acid gets stronger and stronger.
    6. So this mean that the blood become more acidic. Remember we are talking about biological systems so small very small changes in blood acidic. But still enough to be picked up by special neurons in the brain. When the bloods acid levels reach a critical point it triggers us to breath.
    7. As we breath the CO2 is released out of lungs and the ph rises again to start the cycle all over again.
  2. the resulting signs and symptoms then would seem to indicate that our very first sign that an employee has been in the mix to long is going to be and increase in there respiratory rate.
  3. and if we think about why it makes absolute sense. We are taking in more CO2 and breathing off less. so there is going to be a greater baseline buildup of acid in our blood. It is going to take less time for the blood’s ph to hit the critical mark to trigger a breath each time. So there are more breaths taken per min.
  4. 1.5% to 2.5% in air over the a day will give mild respiratory stimulation
  5. 3 to 4 percent brings down can double to quadruple the breathing rate in healthy person.
  6. at 5% to 6 its takes only about an hour to see significant respiratory response.
  7. Symptoms of high or prolonged exposure to carbon dioxide include headache, increased heart rate, dizziness, fatigue, rapid breathing, visual and hearing dysfunctions
The Hazmat Guys

Author: The Hazmat Guys


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