Devaluing physicians and the consequences
Ecology: Man's last fad

What's wrong with toxic gas detection?

This HND piece traces the history of toxic gas detection back to 1816 and the Miner's Safety Lamp. We cover other major developments, including detector tubes, but then discuss how progress started to derail in the 1960s. You see, that was the time when instrumentation was beginning to hit the market, and a a false analogy would develop between toxic and combustible gas detection.

Among other things, toxics operate in the world of parts-per-million, while combustibles are in the percent range—four orders of magnitude higher. In addition, interfering gases are nowhere near as much of a factor in combustible apps. To put it bluntly, you can be a whole lot sloppier in the combustible field, and still get away with it. Thus, beyond the fact that both applications are...gas detection, there is really very little similarity between the two.

Although this false analogy still haunts the field, new users and exciting new apps in the toxic world, such as hydrogen peroxide and peracetic acid detection, seem to be slowly changing the landscape.

Read the complete article.

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