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Carbon Dioxide

General Description

Synonyms: Carbonic acid gas; Dry ice; CO2; Diesel exhaust component

OSHA IMIS code: 0530

CAS number: 124-38-9

Monitoring Methods used by OSHA

Primary Laboratory Sampling/Analytical Method:
  • five layer aluminized gas sampling bag
  • recommended maximum volume: No more than 80% of nominal bag capacity
  • recommended maximum flow rate: 0.05 L/min (TWA)
  • recommended maximum flow rate: 0.3 L/min (STEL)
  • recommended minimum volume: 2 L
  • current analytical method: gas chromatography; GC/TCD
  • method reference: OSHA ID-172 (fully validated)
  • note: Use detector tubes for screening. If greater than PEL, order gas sampling bags.
Secondary Laboratory Sampling/Analytical Method (SAM2):
  • part #: 2L
  • range: 0.13-6.0 %v
  • class: SEI certified
  • part #: CH 23501
  • range: 0.5-6 %v
  • class: SEI certified
  • part #: 8014-126SA
  • range: 0.1-2.6 %
  • class: SEI certified
  • part #: MIRAN 1A & 1B
  • range: 0.4 ppm @ 4.3 µm
  • class: Mfg
  • part #: MIRAN 103
  • range: 2% @ 4.45 µm
  • class: Mfg

Exposure Limits and Health Effects (Updated September 6, 2012)

Standard Set By Exposure Limit Health Effect Codes -- Health Effects and Target Organs
OSHA PEL - General Industry
See 29 CFR 1910.1000 Table Z-1
5000 ppm (9000 mg/m3) TWA HE8 -- narcosis
HE11 -- respiratory stimulation
HE17 -- asphyxiation
OSHA PEL - Construction Industry
See 29 CFR 1926.55 Appendix A
5000 ppm (9000 mg/m3) TWA HE8 -- narcosis
HE11 -- respiratory stimulation
HE17 -- asphyxiation
OSHA PEL - Shipyard Employment
See 29 CFR 1915.1000 Table Z-Shipyards
5000 ppm (9000 mg/m3) TWA HE8 -- narcosis
HE11 -- respiratory stimulation
HE17 -- asphyxiation
NIOSH REL 5000 ppm (9000 mg/m3) TWA
30000 ppm (54000 mg/m3) STEL
HE7 -- non-narcotic central nervous system effects (eye flickering, psychomotor excitation, myoclonic twitching, headache, dizziness, dyspnea, sweating, restlessness)
HE8 -- central nervous system effects (loss of consciousness)
HE11 -- respiratory stimulation
ACGIH TLV® (1983) 5000 ppm (9000 mg/m3) TWA
30000 ppm (54000 mg/m3) STEL
HE4 -- metabolic stress
HE11 -- increased pulmonary ventilation rates
HE17 -- asphyxiation
CAL/OSHA PELs 5000 ppm (9000 mg/m3) TWA
30000 ppm (54000 mg/m3) STEL
HE4 -- metabolic stress
HE11 -- increased pulmonary ventilation rates
HE17 -- asphyxiation

Carcinogenic classification:

  • NTP: Not listed
  • IARC: Not listed
  • EPA: Not listed

EPA Inhalation Reference Concentration (RfC): Not established

ATSDR Inhalation Minimal Risk Levels (MRLs): Not established

NIOSH IDLH concentration: 40,000 ppm

Notes on other potential health effects and hazards:

  1. Although carbon dioxide itself is not combustible, containers of carbon dioxide may burst in the heat of a fire (NIOSH/IPCS 2006).
  2. At high concentrations, carbon dioxide may irritate the eyes, nose, and throat. It may affect vision by inducing proptosis, mydriasis, yellowed vision, and transient blindness. Retinal ganglion cells have been noted to be damaged (Grant 1986).
  3. Exposure to high levels of carbon dioxide may induce cardiopulmonary effects that can be reversed when removed from the environment (Halpern et al. 2004).

Partial reference list:

  • ACGIH: Documentation of the Threshold Limit Values (TLVs) and Biological Exposure Indices (BEIs) - Carbon Dioxide. 2016.
  • Grant, W.M.: Toxicology of the Eye. 3rd ed. Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas Publisher, p. 179, 1986.
  • Halpern, P., Raskin, Y., Sorkine, P., Oganezov, A.: Exposure to extremely high concentrations of carbon dioxide - a clinical description of a mass casualty incident. Ann Emerg Med. 43(2):196-9, Feb 2004.
  • NIOSH: Criteria for a Recommended Standard - Occupational Exposure to Carbon Dioxide. 1976.
  • NIOSH: Occupational Health Guideline for Carbon Dioxide. 1978.
  • NIOSH/CEC/IPCS: International Chemical Safety CardsCarbon Dioxide. 2006.

Chemical Sampling Information

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