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CO2 can kill

Discussion in 'Safety' started by ruinexplorer, Mar 9, 2018.

  1. ruinexplorer

    ruinexplorer Minion CB Mods Premium Member Fight Leukemia

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  2. FMEng

    FMEng Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    A $30 detector could have prevented a death. This is a lesson for all of us who heat with natural gas or oil, too. Install the detector.
     
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  3. bobgaggle

    bobgaggle Well-Known Member

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    I'm interested in learning how this system was set up. Seems odd for a valve to be open that would send the co2 into the room, rather than shunting it onstage
     
  4. JD

    JD Well-Known Member

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    Not sure if a CO detector will pick up CO2. (Never tried it.) People produce an awful lot of CO2 and I know we have crowded classrooms that all have CO detectors but none ever went off. CO2 kills by displacement, which is one of the dangers of dry ice fog. We had an actor who came up through the fog once who almost didn't make it up.

    EDIT: Apparently, no. A CO detector will not trip with high levels of CO2. https://www.analoxsensortechnology....-v-carbon-dioxide-do-you-know-the-difference/
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
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  5. firewater88

    firewater88 Active Member

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    We purchased a set from them last summer and I got to tour the facility. Don't recall seeing the tech room described, but there was a lot of tech on that stage. Tragic event to say the least.
     
  6. Jay Ashworth

    Jay Ashworth Well-Known Member

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    Correct: FMEng: this is about Carbon *Di*oxide, much more common than the *Mon*oxide that detectors usually pick up.
     
  7. StradivariusBone

    StradivariusBone Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    Modern HVAC has CO2 detectors too, but I think they only operate in conjunction with opening outdoor air vents and the like. I don't think they would function in the capacity to warn occupants of high CO2 levels. I've worked in places that had Halon gas fire suppression that had alarm systems designed to warm occupants of an incipient dispersal of the Halon gas, which displaces O2 and smothers fires. This was for a big server farm so they wouldn't trash their whole setup with water in the event of fire. That stuff is scary though. It doesn't take much to displace the oxygen in a room to the point where you'd notice.

    In that same job we often would run fiber optic cable by using nitrogen gas. The idea is that the fiber itself is attached to a "bird" and then threaded inside a tube. You put nitrogen gas on the tube and it blows the fiber in. Buddy of mine was on the other end waiting for the bird to arrive in a small closet and got real dizzy, real quick. The problem with nitrogen is it doesn't create a physiological response like CO2 does and you don't feel like you're gasping for air so he didn't notice there was a problem until he already felt like he was 6 or 7 beers in.
     
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  8. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    This station's version of the story makes it sound more like he was in a small enclosed room preparing to set off a burst of C02 at the end of the show when he was overcome by a leak in the room. That makes a lot more sense than the version above.
     
  9. techieman33

    techieman33 Well-Known Member

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    That had to have been one hell of a leak. It does sneak up on you some, but even a group of us that were a couple of beers in knew that something was happening and that we needed to open the door and get some fresh air in.
     
  10. JD

    JD Well-Known Member

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    I remember a job where I opened the back of the truck and heard hissing. We were using Genie air lifts back then which ran off of CO2 tanks, and was pretty sure something had shifted and nudged the valve on a tank (which was the case.) I crawled in looking for it as I didn't want it to empty. CO2 leaves a taste in your mouth, I can remember that. Found it in about 30 seconds, closed the valve and was working my way back out of the truck when I felt the dizziness. Now, the back of the truck was open and it only took a couple of minutes to shake off the feeling, but I can sure see how you could get overcome. Unlike CO, the body is good at dumping CO2 out of the blood (part of the design.) Still, if you did pass out I can see how it could become fatal. The other CO2 related incident I referred to above. There was a crawl space under the stage and a small trap door which would not be visible to the audience while the stage was covered in a blanket of fog. The actor/musician was really "off" his part that night and later told me that he almost passed out after he opened the door and awaited his cue. (Dry ice fog.)
     
  11. Robert F Jarvis

    Robert F Jarvis Member

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    CO2 from a car is dangerous. Frozen CO2 (Cardice in the UK) can be even more dangerous. Hanging one's head over a open cardice cabinet can cause a puff of freezing CO2 to enter ones lungs and the shock is so great you fall into the cabinet - dead! And, as a young lab tech in Libya I saw several 'deaths in the bath' whereby birds had built nests in the gas heater exhaust pipe causing 'double' burning and CO build up. It pays to take care and know what your dealing with. Read the MSDS sheets! (Material Safety Data Sheet)
     
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