Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a colourless, odourless and tasteless gas that is toxic to humans and other red-blooded animals above 35 part per million (ppm).
Long term exposure at even low levels can cause cognitive decline according to recent studies.
<span class="zn-fontweight zn-lineheight" style="font-size: 16px; font-weight: 100; color: #000000; line-height: 7px;"CO is the result of oxygen-starved incomplete combustion in improperly ventilated fuel-burning appliances with gas furnaces, vehicle exhausts, water heaters, wood/coal burners and barbeques being typical examples.
<span class="zn-fontweight zn-lineheight" style="font-size: 16px; font-weight: 100; color: #000000; line-height: 7px;"Long term exposure limit (8 hours TWA) 100ppm. Short term exposure limit (15 minutes) 20ppm.
There are design standards based around the required monitoring of CO in Art, Craft, Design and Technology classrooms where kilns and brazing equipment may be installed. The gas detection system should raise an alarm and isolate the fuel type on detection of CO. Building Bulletin 100 also identifies the need for CO monitoring to raise an alarm and isolate the fuel supply.
With the rising use and associated risks of solid fuel cooking, which unlike other fuels cannot be immediately switched off at the end of a cooking process so will continue to produce carbon monoxide, adequate ventilation and CO detection should be installed with the CO detector designed for a commercial environment. Systems are now available which will monitor for CO continually so that even if detected out-of-hours fans can be switched back on.
CO detection systems can be used to switch on mechanical ventilation to prevent a dangerous build-up of gas in areas where vehicles are used. We have supplied systems for car parks, warehouses with forklifts and refuse plants. Using the systems to switch the ventilation on a demand-based format rather than a constant or timed basis can reduce running costs.