Carbon Dioxide (CO2) accounts for approximately 0.03% of air by volume. It is a colorless gas with no smell or taste. 

Carbon Dioxide is a colorless and odorless gas, which is present in the air we breathe, in very low concentrations. Classified as a ‘substance hazardous to health’ by the Health and Safety Executive - in higher concentrations Carbon Dioxide becomes harmful to health, and has proved to be fatal in many circumstances.

One of the biggest dangers of Carbon Dioxide is the fact that it is a ‘silent killer’ as it simply cannot be detected, even at the highest of concentrations by human senses alone.

Exposure to elevated levels of Carbon Dioxide has the following effects:

  • 250-350 ppm: Normal, outside air-breathing level.
  • 350 - 1,000 ppm: Normal, indoor air-breathing level.
  • 1,000 - 2000 ppm: Elevated levels in poor quality air, associated with drowsiness.
  • 2,000-5,000 ppm: High Levels in Poor Air: dizziness, nausea, increased heart rate
  • >5,000 ppm: UK Long Term Exposure Limit (8 Hour Reference Period)
  • >15,000 ppm: UK Short Term Exposure Limit

In most workplaces and facilities, it’s the humans within the facility who are responsible for most of the Carbon Dioxide in the immediate atmosphere. Although typically safe in these concentrations - in poorly ventilated offices, workers can report feeling tired and drowsy where they themselves have contributed to elevated Carbon Dioxide levels.

Although elevated carbon dioxide levels can be a problem in poorly ventilated office spaces, carbon dioxide is only a danger to life in workplaces and premises that either store or use Carbon Dioxide in their day-to-day operations. In these premises, it’s essential that carbon dioxide monitoring and detection is in place, to ensure that the owner of a premises, fulfills their duty of care to both employees, customers, and visitors.

Wherever there is carbon dioxide on the premises, there is a risk of potentially fatal carbon dioxide leak. Carbon dioxide leaks happen day in, day out - and often prove fatal. A worker typically enters an environment with high carbon dioxide concentrations, loses consciousness, falls onto the floor - where carbon dioxide concentrations are higher still. Death then occurs through asphyxiation.

It would be a misconception to believe that these accidents only happen in industrial environments, where danger is expected. These deaths and incidents take place in a wide range of environments, including restaurants, bars, and fast food kiosks.

At Analox, our business has been built on the back of successful detection of carbon dioxide using a wide range of sensors, both portable and fixed - all of which can be seen below.

If you have any questions about monitoring carbon dioxide in your workplace environment, please get in touch with our team of experts and we will be happy to discuss your exact requirements in further detail.

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Analox provides the following carbon dioxide (CO2) gas monitoring solutions:

Fun Fact

Carbon gets its name from the Latin word carbo, which means "coal".