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PPE Canary Mine Gases: Properties and Facts

Carbon Dioxide
Carbon Monoxide
Hydrogen
Hydrogen Sulfide
Oxygen
Methane
Nitrogen
Nitrogen Dioxide
Sulfur Dioxide

Conversion Tip:  Percent and PPM
Move the decimal point 4 places right or left.
Examples:
2% equals 20,000 PPM
1500 PPM equals 0.15%


Mine Gas Charts linked below
Coal     M/NM 

Mine Gas PowerPoint Presentations Mine Gas PowerPoint Presentations
Find additional information on Mine Gases in underground mines in these ready-to-use PowerPoint Presentations.
Adobe PDF Mine Gas Files Adobe PDF Mine Gas Documents
Find additional information on Mine Gases in underground mines in these Adobe PDF documents.



Carbon Dioxide (CO2)

Carbon Dioxide is a natural component of air at approximately 0.03%.  It is also a key component of Black Damp, caused by biological oxidation such as rotting mine timbers.  Increased concentrations of carbon dioxide replace the oxygen content of the mine air thus producing a toxic atmosphere.

 

Specific Gravity: 1.529

 

Properties:

·       Colorless

·       Odorless

·       Heavier than air

·       Acidic Taste at high concentrations

 

Health Effects:

·       At 5%, stimulated respiration

·       At 7% to 10%, unconsciousness after few minutes of exposure

 

Limits:

·       Ceiling – 1.5%

·       IDLH – 50,000 PPM

   Carbon Dioxide questions and answers in this PowerPoint Presentation.


Carbon Monoxide (CO)

 

Carbon monoxide results from incomplete combustion of organic carbon-based materials.  It is also an after-product of detonated explosives and diesel engines.  Carbon monoxide is highly toxic to the body.  When inhaled, CO quickly bonds with the body’s hemoglobin, thus reducing the blood’s ability to carry oxygen throughout the body.

 

Specific Gravity: 0.967

 

Properties:

·       Flammable

·       Colorless

·       Tasteless

·       Odorless

·       Lighter than air

 

Health Effects:

CONCENTRATION (PPM)

PHYSIOLOGICAL EFFECT

200

Slight headache, tiredness, dizziness, nausea after 2 to 3 hrs.

400

Frontal headache within 1 to 2 hrs., life threatening after 3 hrs.

800

Dizziness, nausea and convulsions within 45 minutes. Unconsciousness within 2 hours.   Death in 2 to 3 hours.

1,600

Headache, dizziness, nausea within 20 minutes.  Death within 1 hour.

3,200

Headache, dizziness, and nausea within 5 to 10 minutes. Death within 30 minutes.

6,400

Headache, dizziness, and nausea within 1 to 2 minutes. Death within 10 to 15 minutes.


Limits:

·       TLV – 50 PPM

·       Ceiling – 200 PPM

·       IDLH – 1500 PPM

 

Explosive Range:

·       12.5% to 74%

   Carbon Monoxide questions and answers in this PowerPoint Presentation.


Hydrogen (H2)

 

Hydrogen is an extremely explosive gas that is commonly found in battery charging stations.  It can also be created when water is applied to super hot mine fires or from the incomplete combustion in explosions.  Adding strong acids to iron or steel can also release hydrogen into the atmosphere.

 

Specific Gravity: 0.0695

 

Properties:

·       Colorless

·       Odorless

·       Tasteless

·       Flammable

·       Explosive when exposed to heat or flame

·       Lighter than air

·       Needs 5% Oxygen to ignite

 

Health Effects:

·       Asphyxiant at high concentrations

 

Limits:

·       None established

 

Explosive Range:

·       4.1% to 74%

·       Violent explosions when concentrations are over 7% to 8%

   Hydrogen questions and answers in this PowerPoint Presentation.


Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S)

 

Hydrogen sulfide is an extremely toxic gas.  It blocks the use of oxygen by the body’s cells.  It is produced when sulfur compounds decompose.  It is commonly associated with acid mine water.  This gas is released whenever a mine pool is agitated.  Can be produced in mine fires should sulfide ores be present.

 

Specific Gravity: 1.191

 

Properties:

·       Colorless

·       Odor similar to rotten eggs at very low concentrations (0.003 PPM)

·       Extremely flammable

·       Heavier than air

·       Highly soluble

 

Health Effects:

CONCENTRATION (PPM)

PHYSIOLOGICAL EFFECT

10

Obvious and unpleasant odor (rotten eggs)

50

Mild conjunctivitis, respiratory tract irritation in 30 to 60 minutes

100

Kills sense of smell in 3 to 5 minutes, may sting eyes and throat

200

Stings eyes and throat

250

Exposure for 1 hour is the Hazardous Limit concentration which may cause death

300

Immediately dangerous to life

500

Dizziness, coughing, breathing ceases within minutes, artificial respiration required

600

May cause death within 2 minutes

700

Unconscious quickly, death if not rescued immediately

1000

Unconscious instantly, breathing ceased, death within a few breaths.  Death may occur even if rescued immediately.

 

Limits:

·       TLV – 10 PPM

·       Ceiling – 15 PPM

·       IDLH – 300 PPM

 

Explosive Range:

·       4.3% to 46%

 

Ignition Temperature:

·       700° F

   Hydrogen Sulfide questions and answers in this PowerPoint Presentation.


Oxygen (O2)

 

Oxygen is essential to support life.  Although oxygen is not an explosive gas, it does support and accelerate combustion.  Normal air contains 20.94% oxygen by volume.  Atmospheres containing less than this amount are known as oxygen deficient.

 

Specific Gravity: 1.105

 

Properties:

·       Colorless

·       Odorless

·       Tasteless

·       Non-Explosive

·       Supports Combustion

·       Heavier than air

·       Easily displaced by other gases introduced into the atmosphere

 

Health Effects:

CONCENTRATION (%)

PHYSIOLOGICAL EFFECT

21%

Breathing easiest

19.5%

Minimum required by law

17%

Breathing faster and deeper, possible impaired judgement

16%

First signs of anoxia or hypoxia occur

15%

Dizziness, buzzing in ears, headache, blurred vision, rapid breathing

12% to 16%

Rapid breathing and pulse, impaired muscular coordination

10% to 12%

Emotional upset and abnormal fatigue on exertion

6% to 10%

Nausea and vomiting, inability to move, unconsciousness

< 6%

Convulsive movements, gasping respiration, breathing ceases, cardiac arrest occurs

   Oxygen questions and answers in this PowerPoint Presentation.


Methane (CH4)

 

Methane gas is found naturally in most coal seams.  It includes many volatile organic compounds including methane, ethane, butane, propane, and contaminants.  Methane is the most common ingredient (>50%) found in natural gas.  It is the most common dangerous gas found in underground coal mines.

 

Specific Gravity: 0.5545

 

Properties:

·       Colorless

·       Odorless

·       Tasteless

·       Flammable

·       Lighter than air

·       Largest component of Fire Damp (70% to 98%)

 

Health Effects:

·       Asphyxiation in high concentrations due to displacement of oxygen

·       Dizziness, headache, and nausea in high concentrations

 

Explosive Range:

·       5% to 15% with a minimum of 12.5% O2

 

Ignition Temperature:

·       1100° F to 1300° F

   Methane questions and answers in this PowerPoint Presentation.


Nitrogen (N2)

 

Nitrogen composes 78.09% of the atmosphere.  It is a non-flammable gas.

 

Specific Gravity: 0.967

 

Properties:

·       Colorless

·       Odorless

·       Tasteless

·       Non-flammable

·       Lighter than air

 

Health Effects:

·       Unknown

 

Limits:

·       Ceiling – 81,000 PPM

   Nitrogen questions and answers in this PowerPoint Presentation.


Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2)

 

Nitrogen dioxide is an extremely toxic gas to the human body.  It is produced from the detonation of explosives and it is found in diesel exhaust.  It is a non-flammable gas that is heavier than air.  In high concentrations, nitrogen dioxide forms nitric acid in the lungs causing pulmonary edema.

 

Specific Gravity: 1.5894

 

Properties:

·       Reddish-brown color in high concentrations

·       Acrid or “bleach” odor

·       Non-flammable

·       Heavier than air

 

Health Effects:

CONCENTRATION (PPM)

PHYSIOLOGICAL EFFECT

1 to 13

Irritation of nose and throat

10 to 20

Mild irritation of eyes, nose and upper respiratory tract

80

Tightness in chest after 3 to 5 minutes

90

Pulmonary edema after 30 minutes

 

Limits:

·       TLV – 1 PPM

·       Ceiling – 3 PPM

·       IDLH – 50 PPM

   Nitrogen Peroxide questions and answers in this PowerPoint Presentation.


Sulfur Dioxide (SO2)

 

Sulfur dioxide is produced when iron pyrite burns in gob fires or by blasting sulfide ores.  It is also found in diesel exhaust.  Sulfur dioxide has the same effect on the body as nitrogen dioxide, except that sulfuric acid is created in the lungs.  It is a non-flammable gas.

 

Specific Gravity: 2.264

 

Properties:

·       Colorless

·       Heavy sulfur odor

·       Acidic taste

·       Heavier than air

·       Non-flammable

 

Health Effects:

CONCENTRATION (PPM)

PHYSIOLOGICAL EFFECT

0.3 to 1

Detectable by taste rather than odor

3 to 5

Detectable odor

10

Maximum concentration allowable for prolonged exposure

20

Least amount causing coughing and irritation of eyes

50

Irritation to eyes, lungs, throat

50 to 100

Maximum concentration for short exposure (30 to 60 minutes)

150

May be endured for several minutes.  Extremely disagreeable

400 to 500

Life threatening

 

Limits:

·       TLV – 5 PPM

·       Ceiling – 10 PPM

·       IDLH – 100 PPM

   Sulfur Dioxide questions and answers in this PowerPoint Presentation.



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