Methane Gas Monitoring (CH4)

Methane is not toxic; however, it is extremely flammable and may form explosive mixtures with air. Methane is violently reactive with oxidizers, halogens, and some halogen-containing compounds. Methane is also an asphyxiant and may displace oxygen in an enclosed space. Asphyxia may result if the oxygen concentration is reduced to below 19.5% by displacement. The concentration of methane where asphyxiation risk becomes significant is much higher than the 5–15% concentration that forms flammable or explosive mixtures.

When structures are built on or near landfills, methane off-gas can penetrate the buildings' interiors and expose occupants to significant levels of methane. Some buildings have specially engineered recovery systems below their basements to actively capture such fugitive off-gas and vent it away from the building.

For these reasons, monitoring methane gas is incredibly important to insure workplace safety. Many places have taken to using DOAS (Differential Absorption Spectrometry) to monitor pollutants and measure trace gas.


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