Chlorine Dioxide or CLO2 is commonly used in the disinfection of water across a variety of processes and industries. It is a powerful oxidizing agent that dissolves on contact with cold water which is why it is so widely used throughout water treatment plants, food and beverage production and paper processing.
However, Chlorine Dioxide is a highly toxic and flammable gas that can cause serious harm and even death if it is inhaled. It is estimated that up to 1400 tonnes of aqueous chlorine dioxide are used per year in the United Kingdom which is why occupational exposure incidents are high and gas detection equipment is essential for the health, safety and welfare of the workforce.
Where is CLO2 used?
Chlorine Dioxide is widely used in water treatment plants to control a wide range of harmful bacteria and microbes. Compared to other disinfection agents, CLO2 can disinfect and sanitise in seconds and remains effective even when the PH level of water rises. It is also extremely effective when it comes to controlling legionella bacteria and preventing Legionnaires Disease and is widely used in hot and cold domestic water systems, cooling water systems, swimming pools and hot tubs and spas.
Food Preparation & Packaging
Chlorine Dioxide is a bi-product from the process of using Chlorine to prepare poultry, fruit and vegetables prior to packaging. As well as providing exceptional microbiological control in packaging operations, Chlorine is one of the most powerful, yet environmentally safe biocides in common use in the food industry, as it is an extremely effective biocide at levels that are considered safe for human consumption and does not produce carcinogenic by-products.
Chlorine Dioxide was first used in Sweden in 1946 for the purposes of pulp bleaching. Since then it has become the most widely used oxidizing agent in paper processing and production due to its solubility in water and its ability to attack phenolic groups of lignin without degrading cellulose fibre which produces an increased yield and higher strength bleached pulp.
How Can You Protect Your Workforce?
But although there are many production process benefits to using chlorine dioxide, it can be harmful if your workforce is either exposed to it over long periods of time or if a leak should occur as it reacts quickly with water and moist body tissues which can cause damage to the nose throat and lungs and in high enough doses, prove fatal. The HSE has set WELs for both long term and short term exposure to Chlorine Dioxide of 0.1ppm and 0.3ppm respectively. The only way to measure these exposure limits is through the use of both fixed and portable gas detection equipment depending on the processes carried out and positioning of plant equipment.
What Gas Detection Equipment Options Are There?
GfG has a variety of both fixed and portable gas detection equipment that can protect workers from CLO2 exposure and are most effective when used together. The GMA36 pro is one of our most popular units for measuring CLO2 exposure as it is a combined transmitter and controller. It includes a display, sensor, both audible and visual alarms and is mains powered with a battery backup. Our EC-28 series of highly configurable toxic gas transmitters can be equipped with exactly the right configuration of sensors, displays, relays and local alarms needed for your specific application. The units can be installed as a customised installation with controllers located in a ‘safe’ area that will prevent entry into affected areas in the event of a leak. Workers that are on the frontline of production will benefit from portable gas detection equipment located within their breathing zone to ensure that occupational exposure limits are not being exceeded. A simple one gas portable measurement device such as the Micro IV and Micro V provide a cost-effective solution to risk management and employee welfare.
How Can GfG Help?
As part of our flexible approach to customer service, GfG offers a free gap analysis of your business gas detection needs. There is no obligation to take up this service and it can be used as part of your health and safety and risk management process.
To find out more about Gap Analysis surveys or any of our fixed or portable gas detection solutions, contact our team for help and advice.