Personal protection against hydrogen sulfide exposure: New ARA H2S single gas detector from ION Science

Delivering superior protection against hazardous VOC (volatile organic compound) exposure for workers is one of ION Science’s leading aims as a business. As the only UK OEM for gas detection instrumentation, ION Science is always looking for new ways to support the end-user against dangerous gas exposures. The launch of the ARA H2S (hydrogen sulfide) single gas detector signals a new focus on protecting staff from the dangers of exposure, and aids in health and safety compliance for businesses.

Hydrogen sulfide is present in several industries, notably in anaerobic environments where organic material is in use, such as wastewater and sewage plants, paper and pulp processing, biogas, and fertiliser production. Many people are familiar with the rotten egg smell associated with hydrogen sulfide, although at high levels of concentration it can cause anosmia, rendering it undetectable. Hydrogen sulfide is classed as a hazardous VOC, and exposure to it can cause irritation to the respiratory system, eyes, and stomach even at low concentrations. Higher concentrations of the gas can lead to unconsciousness, coma, and even death. Between 2001 and 2010, hydrogen sulfide exposure was responsible for the deaths of 60 workers in the USA alone. Many workers who are exposed to fatal levels of hydrogen sulfide could have been protected and saved with units such as the ARA H2S.

The ARA H2S is designed to protect users from toxic levels of exposure to hydrogen sulfide. Classed as an item of personal protective equipment (PPE), the ARA H2S is completely maintenance free and offers continuous monitoring of exposure to hydrogen sulfide levels. No need to change batteries or sensors or worry about product reliability, the e-chem detection technology inside can operate without interference. It offers a choice of display for users, either a lifetime countdown or concentration lifetime exposure, and it’s possible to switch between the two if desired. The ARA H2S can also provide short term exposure limits (STEL) or eight hour time weighted average (TWA) readouts for greater visibility into the overall health of a worker.

Each unit is designed with a two-year lifespan, and the ARA H2S operates without compromise over that period. Once activated, the ARA H2S will continuously operate

until the end of the two-year period, giving you appropriate warnings so you can source a replacement in time. There is also the option for a three-year lifespan model which offers a hibernation mode, ideal for contractors or consultants who only visit site on occasion. ION Science also offers a recycling scheme for units that reach the end of their lifespan, as part of the Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE), ensuring units are recycled in an environmentally friendly way.

Designed with practical applications in mind, the ARA H2S unit weighs just 92g and is equipped with a sturdy clip for attaching to a lapel or strap for wearing within the breathing zone. At only 87mm in length, it does not impede worker movement and is suitable for use in confined space working, such as maintenance to pipes or tankers.  As an intrinsically safe model, users can be assured it’s safe in all environments, with a three-signal system of a flashing light, audible alarm, and vibration to alert the wearer of exposure levels reaching dangerous concentrations.

When it comes to protecting worker health and safety, the ARA H2S is a key piece of PPE that could make the difference between life and death. Exposure to hydrogen sulfide, even in low concentrations, can have devastating effects on health and it is a business’s responsibility to ensure workers are able to live and work safely. Using PPE devices like the ARA H2S ensures that at the end of the day, regardless of how dangerous a situation, workers are protected, aware, and able to keep themselves safe from exposures as much as possible.

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