Is CO2 harmful to humans?

The answer to your question is yes, at increased levels, CO2 is harmful to humans! It’s very common to forget about the dangers of carbon dioxide, especially due to the fact that CO2 is naturally in the air we breathe at around 0.037%. At low concentrations such as this, carbon dioxide is not harmful to health, however facilities that use carbon dioxide gas will be at risk of higher concentration levels if a leak occurs.


The effects of CO2 on the human body

Human Body

From levels as low as 0.5%, CO2 will start to have harmful effects on the human body. As the levels of carbon dioxide in the air rises, humans will start to suffer side effects such as;

  • Headaches
  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of consciousness

As CO2 is heavier than air, higher concentrations could lead to those exposed falling into a coma and in more serious cases, it could lead to a potential fatality from asphyxiation. Whilst death from asphyxiation is uncommon, incidents such as this can happen and is more likely to occur in confined spaces such as cellars, tanks, and small rooms. If you think that you or someone around you has been exposed to CO2 and are suffering with the symptoms above, it is important that you seek emergency medical attention immediately.


Carbon Dioxide is extremely hard to detect

Carbon dioxide is a colourless, odorless and tasteless gas meaning it is almost impossible to detect without a CO2 monitor. If your facility uses CO2 for any application, it is likely that you will need a CO2 monitoring system in place.


CO2 Monitoring Systems

To safely protect yourself, your staff and your customers from potentially harmful CO2 leaks, you should explore the different carbon dioxide detection systems available. Your application and facility should determine which CO2 monitor you choose whether it be a fixed monitor or a personal monitor or both.

Fixed monitors, such as the Ax60+, are recommended for commercial areas such as bars, restaurants, pubs, cellars, walk in coolers, and fast-food facilities. The Ax60+ is designed so the sensor can be installed away from the alarms and central display unit in order to alert people of a CO2 leak before entering the dangerous area.

Personal monitors, such as the Aspida, should be used to protect someone who may be entering several different confined spaces that could be at risk of a CO2 leak, like beverage delivery drivers. A personal monitor will alert staff of unsafe levels of CO2, giving them time to vacate the area before any potential harm.

Some facilities may prefer to use both fixed and personal alarm systems to fully protect your staff. If you’re unsure about which CO2 monitoring solution is best for you, please get in touch.


References:

http://www.hse.gov.uk/carboncapture/carbondioxide.htm

https://www.livestrong.com/article/218049-the-effects-of-too-much-carbon-dioxide-in-the-blood/