Carbon Monoxide Hazards in Chemical Plant

87463669Carbon monoxide (CO) or carbon oxide is one of the toxic gases that are commonly found in chemical processing plant. It is used as raw material for other chemicals production or generated as by product from certain chemical processes.

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, poisonous (toxic), odorless and tasteless gas. It is non-irritating gas, which is lighter than air.

Carbon Monoxide Hazards

CO is referred as the invisible killer. Unfortunately, most workers do not aware against CO hazards because of the above properties and it hazards people’s life without warning. According to Department of Health and Human Services of U.S, every year more than 500 people died in the U.S as result from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning.

When carbon oxide is breathed, it displaces oxygen in the blood or interferes with the oxygen-carrying capacity of blood. Then, it will cause some health risks such as changes in body temperature and blood pressure, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, nerve damage, coma and death.

The degree of CO health effects depend on the exposure level and time. The detail of potential health effects of carbon monoxide and its permissible exposure limit standards can be extracted from its MSDS.

Source of Carbon Monoxide Hazard in the Chemical Plant

Basically, CO is generated through incomplete combustion of any carbon based fuels such as petrol, diesel, natural gas, wood, coal and liquid petroleum gas (LPG). By using this simple definition, we could recognize CO sources that exist in the plant site easily.

It is vitally important to be able to identify CO gas sources, so that we can set up appropriate hazard controls directly at these sources.

There are some common sources of carbon monoxide in the plant site. Be careful when you are attempting to identify the sources. Here are some examples of them.

1. Furnace
2. Calciner
3. Diesel engine
4. Incinerator
5. Welding machine
6. Boiler
7. Reformer
8. Chimney

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