Nitrous Oxide

Notrous Oxide Characteristics
Synonyms Dinitrogen monoxide, Laughing gas
CAS No. 10024-97-2
Chemical formula N2O
Vapour density 1.53 (air = 1)
Safe Work Australia ES TWA 25 ppm
STEL ---
Flammable limits LEL ---
UEL ---
Equipment group ---
Temperature classification ---
Chemical/physical properties Nitrous oxide is a colourless, non-flammable, relatively inert gas at room temperature and has a slightly sweet odour.
Hazardous properties Nitrous oxide, when inhaled at high concentrations (70% by volume) has an anaesthetic effect and at lower concentrations, an analgesic effect. Long term exposure has been shown to have neurotoxic effects and has also been attributed to the increased incidence of foetal abnormalities and spontaneous abortion.
It is also a strong absorber of infra-red radiation and is therefore a powerful greenhouse gas.
Occurrence/Uses Nitrous oxide has been used as an anaesthetic since 1844 and is still used clinically for both anaesthesia and analgesia.
It occurs naturally due to the decomposition of organic nitrogen compounds in the soil.
It is also used as an aerosol spray propellant, particularly for foods such as whipped cream and cooking oils.
Detectors available Infra-red (NDIR) at ppm levels
Suggested alarm levels Lo: 25 ppm
Hi: 125 ppm


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