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Asphyxiation is an extreme hazard when working in enclosed spaces. Be sure you are trained in confined space entry before working in sewers, storage tanks etc. where gases such as methane may displace oxygen from the atmosphere.
The normal composition of air is:
|Name||Formula||% by volume|
According to the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) the health effects of asphyxiation are:
|Symptoms or effects|
|16 to 12||Breathing and pulse rate increased, muscular coordination slightly disturbed|
|14 to 10||Emotional upset, abnormal fatigue, disturbed respiration|
|10 to 6||Nausea and vomiting, collapse or loss of consciousness|
|Below 6||Convulsive movements, possible respiratory collapse and death|
Examples of asphyxiating gases are nitrogen (N2), helium (He), neon (Ne), argon (Ar), methane (CH4), propane (CH3CH2CH3), and carbon dioxide (CO2).
Remember also that simple air-purifying respirators or dust masks do not protect you from asphyxiation in an oxygen-deficient atmosphere. See the first link below for accidents involving supplied air respirators!
Spray painters should have a complete supplied air respirator system like this one from Safety Emporium.
Entry last updated: Saturday, June 11, 2016. This page is copyright 2000-2016 by ILPI. Unauthorized duplication or posting on other web sites is expressly prohibited. Send suggestions, comments, and new entry desires (include the URL if applicable) to us by email.
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