From: Eugene Ngai <eugene_ngai**At_Symbol_Here**COMCAST.NET>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Tragic Asphyxiation
Date: Wed, 3 Oct 2018 06:43:11 -0400
Reply-To: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**PRINCETON.EDU>
Message-ID: 000c01d45b05$e43d1740$acb745c0$**At_Symbol_Here**
In-Reply-To <1764CC49-9649-4D58-ADD5-0F6F8ED20F77**At_Symbol_Here**>

Does it really matter how they died? CO2 does have the effect you mentioned,
only, an autopsy would tell us what happened. In this case it was an
accidental discharge of CO2
that killed them. This is not an isolated case. A women sitting on a toilet
at a MacDonalds in Florida was asphyxiated since the liquid CO2 fill line
leaked. The key issue for me is that CO2 actually poisons a O2 detector
making it useless.

I was an expert witness on a case where liquid Argon was illegally loaded
below deck on a ship, the foreman and two of his crew were
that tragic case. CO2 since it's heavier than air can do the same very
easily. The medical effect is longer term exposure

-----Original Message-----
From: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety On
Behalf Of Osprey, James
Sent: Tuesday, October 2, 2018 7:31 PM
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Tragic Asphyxiation

I don?t doubt the lethality of carbon dioxide at elevated concentrations but
I take issue with the describing CO2 as an asphyxiant. Unlike nitrogen which
functions as a displacer of oxygen, CO2 at elevated partial pressure has a
direct effect on human physiology. Concentration in excess of 10% v/v are
immediately dangerous to life. I recall some authorities reporting pretty
near instantaneous incapacity (possibly due to heart failure) at 20% v/v In
brewing/baking industries where operators have leant into vats/dough bins
and been unable to assist themselves. (I would add that in these last
incidents the concentrations were estimated post mortem).

However I can report that in my student days, whilst making home brewed beer
and leaning on the lid of the brew bin I was exposed to a puff of
fermentation gas which I can best describe as an explosion in my nasal
passages like being kicked in the face with a violent recoil. That was a
learning moment.

Post graduation I developed a range of IR analyzers, one of which was used
in saturation diving. At depth, the gas mix in the bell is heliox and the
CO2 concentration is strictly monitored to maintain a very low ppm.

At face value one might assume partial pressure should not exceed 500 Pa.
However the risk of stratification is very much higher at the extreme
pressures (especially as balance is predominately helium) and alarm action
levels may be set at much lower levels.

Perhaps someone can advise the physiological pathways that elevated partial
pressure of CO2 adversely influences the body, even when the oxygen partial
pressure is maintained at normal levels.

James Osprey C Phys

Novatech Analytical Solutions Inc.
+1 514 378 9076

Sent from my iPhone

> On Oct 2, 2018, at 5:59 PM, DCHAS Membership Chair
> From: eugene_ngai**At_Symbol_Here**
> Subject: Tragic Asphyxiation
> A lot of discussion recently on Liquid Nitrogen safety. Here is a
> tragic example of asphyxiation
> 180904000834
> Eugene Ngai
> Chemically Speaking LLC
> ---
> For more information about the DCHAS-L e-mail list, contact the
> Divisional membership chair at membership**At_Symbol_Here** Follow us on
> Twitter **At_Symbol_Here**acsdchas

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