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Gas Safety Overview

 

 

Precautions and Safe Practices for Shielding Gases

To handle compressed gases safely, you must have a thorough knowledge of the characteristics of the gases you use, including the hazards. This section includes information about the major hazards of compressed gases. For detailed overview of these and more gases, visit our Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS).

Nitrogen, Argon, Helium and Carbon Dioxide

Warning

Nitrogen, argon, helium, and carbon dioxide can all cause rapid asphyxiation and death if released in confined, poorly ventilated areas. Particular attention must be paid with gases that have a higher specific gravity than air as they can collect in confined spaces (displacing oxygen). For detailed information, please consult your Praxair Sales Representative on the availability of nitrogen, argon, helium, carbon dioxide or other gas sensors.

Nitrogen, argon, and helium as cryogenic liquids or cold gases, and carbon dioxide as a cold gas may cause severe frostbite to the skin or eyes. Do not touch frosted pipes or valves with bare skin. Use a properly designed pressure reducing regulator when withdrawing gaseous nitrogen, argon, helium, or carbon dioxide from a cylinder or other high-pressure source. Praxair does not recommend the use of cylinder adapters. A properly designed regulator should be utilized with each gas in question.

Safe Handling of Nitrogen and Argon Video

Safe Handling of Carbon Dioxide Video

Hydrogen

Danger

Hydrogen is a flammable gas. A mixture of hydrogen with oxygen or air in a confined area will explode if ignited by a spark, flame, or other source of ignition. A hydrogen flame is virtually invisible in well lighted areas.

Hydrogen as a liquid or cold gas may cause severe frostbite to the eyes or skin. Do not touch frosted pipes or valves. Always use a pressure-reducing regulator when withdrawing gaseous hydrogen from a cylinder or other high-pressure source. Never open a hydrogen cylinder without a regulator attached as it may cause spontaneous combustion. For detailed information, please consult the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) on hydrogen. With areas of concern, please consult your Praxair Sales Representative on the availability of hydrogen or other gas sensors.

Take every precaution to prevent hydrogen leaks. Escaping hydrogen cannot be detected by sight, smell, or taste. Because of its lightness, it has a tendency to accumulate beneath roofs and in the upper portions of other confined areas.

Do not mix hydrogen with other gases from separate cylinders. Always purchase hydrogen blends ready-mixed.

Safe Handling of Hydrogen Video

Oxygen

Warning

Oxygen supports and can greatly accelerate combustion. Oxygen, as a liquid or cold gas, may cause severe frostbite to the skin or eyes. Do not touch frosted pipes or valves.

Always use a pressure-reducing regulator when withdrawing gaseous oxygen from a cylinder or other high-pressure source.

Read all labels on containers of liquid or gaseous oxygen, and observe all safety precautions on the label. If a label is missing or illegible, do not use the product. Make no assumptions about what is in the container; return it to the supplier.

Keep combustibles away from oxygen and eliminate ignition sources. Many substances which do not normally burn in air, as well as other substances combustible in oxygen, may burn violently when a high percentage of oxygen is present.

For detailed information, please consult the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) on oxygen. With areas of concern, please consult your Praxair Sales Representative on the availability of oxygen or other gas sensors.

Safe Handling of Oxygen Video