Tag Archive | "carbon monoxide"

CETCI’s New 3D Printed Calibration Clip Leaves Both Your Hands Free!

At Critical Environment Technologies Canada Inc, (CETCI), we strive to be innovative, cutting edge and creative in our endeavors to fulfill our customers’ needs. Our latest testament to this is our newly designed calibration clip (or ‘Cal Clip’ as it is called for short). It has been an exciting few months as we have gone through different designs, prototypes, various types of plastics and calibration testing.

Remember the last time you calibrated one of our gas detectors that had a splash guard? The blue or orange calibration adapter cup that you had to hold with one hand over the splash guard while trying to open the gas cylinder with the other, flow gas and keep the cup snug up against the device? And depending on the location of the detector, acrobatics may have been involved, right? Well, those days are gone!

Our engineers have designed a device that easily clips around the splash guard and remains in place by itself, freeing up BOTH your hands to do what they need to do. Perhaps even give a high five to a coworker!



The Cal Clip is made of light, durable ABS/polycarbonate plastic and comes in our signature blue company colour. It is specially designed to allow calibration gas into the sensor vent through a small barb hose fitting attached to standard or Teflon tubing. The barb hose fitting can accommodate two sizes of hose: 1/8” (3.175 mm) ID and 3/16” (4.762 mm) ID. While stored, the tubing can be left attached or removed from the Cal Clip as desired.

The Cal Clip fits around the circular, black splash guard that is factory installed at the time of order on any of our black enclosure gas detectors or self-contained controllers. With the hose barb fitting at the bottom, pointing towards you, simply place the inside edge of the Cal Clip next to the outer edge of the splash guard and gently flex open the top of the other side outwards until it slips and clips around the entire splash guard. To remove, gently open the clip at the top while pulling one of the hooked ends towards yourself and it will slip off. If you pull the device apart too aggressively, overstretching it, the circular formation of the Cal Clip may be compromised. Evidence of this results in whitish bars appearing on the blue plastic (like stretchmarks).

NOTE: Because the Cal Clip is designed to prevent entry or exit of air except via the hose barb fitting, it must be removed from the splash guard during normal operation or else the gas readings will not be accurate.

About Critical Environment Technologies Canada Inc.

Critical Environment Technologies designs and manufacturers indoor air quality and fixed gas detection systems including self-contained systems, controllers and analog and digital transmitters. Applications include commercial HVAC, institutional, municipal and light industrial markets worldwide. Many of these applications are for vehicle exhaust, but areas of specialization include refrigeration applications, food processing plants, manufacturing plants, wastewater treatment plants, fisheries, wineries/breweries, pulp and paper mills, recreational facilities, bakeries, greenhouses, and many more.

For more information about our products, check out our website at www.critical-environment.com or to discuss a tailored gas detection solution for your application, contact us at 1-877-940-8741.

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Monitoring of CO, CO2 and Combustible Gases in Indoor Grow Ops

With the recent legalization of marijuana in many North American regions, the cannabis cultivation industry is booming. Greenhouses and other indoor grow rooms provide a structure for growing plants in a controlled environment but can also pose potential hazards to human health. To create favourable growing conditions, reliable heating, cooling and ventilation must be used. Heating may be supplied by sunlight, natural gas, propane gas, fuel oil, wood or electricity. Gas powered equipment may be a source of carbon monoxide if not properly maintained and serviced. Grow lights emit a great deal of heat and can cause combustible gases to ignite. Cooling of the facility is often done by a ventilation system. But there may also be an air conditioning system, which could be a source for refrigerant leaks. Current practices for the commercial cultivation of marijuana and industrial hemp uses Carbon dioxide (CO2) enrichment to increase plant growth and development either using cylinders of liquefied compressed gas or a CO2 generator. CO2 displaces oxygen and can cause an asphyxiation hazard.


Two gas detectors should be mounted inside the furnace room – one for monitoring potential leaks in the pipes supplying the gas to the furnace, and the other monitoring carbon monoxide levels generated by the furnace. A well maintained, efficiently burning furnace produces very small amounts of CO, but a dirty, inefficient burning one can product deadly amounts. To monitor the CO levels, an LPT-M-TCO-R should be mounted inside the furnace room at the “breathing zone” (4 -6 ft from the floor). Connected the the LPT-M-TCO-R would be a remote sensor. If the furnace uses propane, an ESH-A-C3H8-100 remote sensor with an internal propane sensor would be used, mounted 6 inches off the finished floor, close to the pipes suppling the gas to the furnace. If the furnace uses natural gas, an ESH-A-CCH4-100 remote sensor with an internal methane sensor should be used instead, mounted 6 inches from the ceiling above the pipes supplying the gas.


Inside the room, should be an audible/visual alarm device such as the RSH-24V-R Remote Strobe/Horn. Mounted outside the door of the furnace room would be a QCC Quad Channel Controller. If there are additional entrances to the room, each should have a remote visual/audible alarm device outside the door. Inside the grow room there should be an AST-IS6 carbon dioxide gas detector mounted in the “breathing zone” (4 – 6 ft from the floor) to provide continuous monitoring of CO2 levels. This is especially important if a CO2 enrichment practice is used. The AST-IS6 can be factory set with a range of 0 – 5,000 ppm and one device covers approximately 743 sq m (8,000 sq ft).


The LPT-M and AST-IS6 will communicate with QCC, which in turn will display their gas level readings, and in the event of a leak / high gas concentration, will provide an audible alarm and control equipment such as the ventilation system, shut off the furnace, trigger the other remote horn/strobe devices or other set responses as configured using its 3 internal relays. The QCC can be ordered with an optional data logging package and it can be configured to communicate with a Building Automation System. The aforementioned gas detectors/sensors are housed in water / dust tight enclosures, and are IP54 rated with the factory installed splash guard, providing protection for the equipment in wet areas.


Typical Indoor Grow Op Monitoring System:



About Critical Environment Technologies Canada Inc.

Critical Environment Technologies Canada Inc. is a leading equipment manufacturer for commercial and industrial gas detection applications. We are dedicated to designing, developing and servicing hazardous gas detection systems for a wide range of applications that require monitoring of refrigerants, TVOCs, combustible and toxic gases. CETCI’s products are sold through a worldwide network of authorized distributors. Our knowledgeable Regional Sales Managers are experienced with many application scenarios, including commercial, institutional, municipal and light industrial markets worldwide. Areas of specialization include car parks, refrigeration plants, commercial swimming pools, water purification, including wastewater treatment facilities, ice arenas, wineries and breweries, schools and many more.

For suggestions on gas detection systems, indoor air quality monitors and calibration, please visit


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Four Channel Gas Detector for Wastewater Treatment Plants

Critical Environment Technologies Canada Inc, (CETCI) offers strategic and reliable gas detection solutions for many applications, including wastewater treatment plants. Our QCC Quad Channel Controller, is an ideal fixed gas detection system for this type of application.

A wastewater treatment facility is a wet maze of rooms, pipes, pumps, wells, chambers, concrete tanks and settling basins. Each treatment stage the wastewater goes through involves hazardous gases that may be already present, are produced or are added to complete the process. To ensure the safety of the workers, equipment and the facility, every area presenting a gas hazard should be monitored, including the gas storage rooms, ozone generator room and any room that gas passes through. In the larger, open areas, a fixed gas detection system is suitable; in confined spaces that operators enter and where gas may be present, portable gas detectors are more appropriate.

The most common hazardous gases found in this type of facility are hydrogen sulphide, methane, ammonia, carbon monoxide, chlorine and oxygen deficiency. Some facilities may also use ozone, chlorine dioxide or sodium hypochlorite with the chlorine during the sanitization treatment process. Furthermore, sulphur dioxide is often used to de-chlorinate the water once the treatment process is complete.

CETCI’s QCC Quad Channel Controller offers a fixed, continuous gas monitoring solution with four gas channels, three programmable relays, a door mounted audible alarm and an optional BACnet RS-485 output signal for communicating with a building automation system. The four gas channels can be configured with any combination of analog or digital transmitters with the same or different types of gas sensors. For large applications, multiple QCC controllers can be networked together, each providing another four available gas channels and 3 relays. Other value added, optional features include 2 analog outputs with a data logger, manual equipment ON/OFF switch, top mounted strobe, remote strobe and horn combo and a remote display module that offers the ability to view the gas level readings in a separate location from the controller and transmitters.

The potential for physical damage to the gas detection equipment is high in this type of harsh, wet environment. CETCI’s equipment is constructed to withstand the unpredictable water levels and acidic or caustic conditions from gases like hydrogen sulphide and chlorine when it mixes with water.


About Critical Environment Technologies Canada Inc.

Critical Environment Technologies designs and manufacturers indoor air quality and fixed gas detection systems including self-contained systems, controllers and transmitters (analog, digital and wireless). Applications include commercial HVAC, institutional, municipal and light industrial markets worldwide. Many of these applications are for vehicle exhaust, but areas of specialization include refrigeration, food processing plants, manufacturing plants, wastewater treatment plants, commercial swimming pools and many more.

For more information about our products, check out our website at www.critical-environment.com or to discuss a tailored gas detection solution for your application, contact us at 1-877-940-8741.

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Monitoring Multiple Gas Hazards in Ice Arenas

What is a Canadian winter without ice hockey, figure skating or curling? While outdoor skating opportunities are a delight only Mother Nature can provide, community recreational facilities with ice arenas are plentiful and well attended. But there could be dangers present in this place of cheers, whistles and shots on net.

The equipment used in an arena such as an ice re-surfacer, ice edger, floor sweepers, lift trucks and other special equipment are more often powered by fuel than electricity. The exhaust produced by the gas, propane or diesel fuel powered machines emits, into the air, carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and particulates. Ammonia (NH3) is commonly used in the ice chiller mechanical room and if a leak were to occur, it releases a corrosive, toxic gas. If the ventilation system is inadequately designed to handle the air exchange or it is not functioning properly, these toxic pollutants remain in the air to be recirculated and inhaled by spectators, players and employees. Arena operators can improve the air quality inside the arena and provide a safe, environment by ensuring the ventilation system is working properly and installing a gas detection system to continuously monitor for leaks and unhealthy concentrations of toxic gases.

Because several different types of gas hazards are present in various locations throughout the facility, multiple gas detectors are required to provide adequate monitoring coverage.

A Typical Ice Arena Monitoring System:

  • There should be a detector in the ice chiller room, mounted on or near the ceiling to monitor for ammonia leaks. Ammonia is lighter than air and will typically collect within 12 inches of the ceiling. Outside the chiller room door, should be a controller with a display to allow a visual check of the gas level prior to entering the room. In addition, an audible and visual alarm should be mounted inside and outside the room.
  • An appropriate location to monitor carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide levels is above the penalty box or score keepers box. Dual channel gas detectors are available and offer two sensors (in this case, CO and NO2) inside the same unit. This detector may have an audible alarm and be configured to communicate with a controller located outside the ice chiller room.
  • The ice resurfacer equipment parking area is a prime area for potential propane or methane leaks depending on the type of fuel powering the machine. An explosion proof gas detector is highly recommended for monitoring either of these gases because it is possible for a non-explosion proof transmitter to cause an arc and ignite explosive concentrations of the leaking gas. If propane is the gas being monitored, the explosion proof transmitter should be mounted 6 inches from the floor, preferably near the drain channel, as propane is heavier than air and will accumulate in low lying areas. If methane is being monitored, the detector should be mounted on or near the ceiling.

Strategic placement of the detectors provide continuous monitoring for potential leaks. Each gas detector should be configured to communicate with a multi-channel controller, which will provide a single point of access to view gas level readings, configure each detector’s settings and trigger alarms and ventilation fans. The multi-channel controller should be mounted outside the door to the ice chiller room, allowing for a visual check of the ammonia gas level inside the room prior to entry. The controller should have three levels of alarm and the sequence of operation begins with the low alarm which activates the ventilation fans to start evacuating the polluted air. At high alarm, the panel mounted audible as well as the remote alarm devices that are controlled by the high alarm relay will be activated.

Additional gas detectors may be necessary depending on your facility’s operational procedures or layout. Consult with your CETCI experts to find the best system to ensure your facility is well equipped to detect and deal with any hazardous gas leaks so the fans can continue cheering and the athletes performing.

A  Typical Ice Arena Monitoring System:

View Diagram


For suggestions on gas detection systems, indoor air quality monitors and calibration, please visit www.critical-environment.com

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Carbon Monoxide (CO) Versus Carbon Dioxide (CO2)

Carbon monoxide (CO) and carbon dioxide (CO2) are often mistaken for one another. Both gases are odourless and colorless and target the cardiovascular system. Both gases can enter the body through inhalation, skin and / or eye. Similar symptoms that both gases have in common are headaches, dizziness, seizures, and hallucination.

Most people have a hard time determining the difference and do not realize that vehicle exhaust emits both CO and CO2. In an indoor environment, this build-up of gas can be hazardous to the health and safety of the individual exposed to it.

CO has been referred to as the “Silent Killer” (The Dangers of Carbon Monoxide). Once CO is inhaled, oxygen levels are displaced in the blood causing vital organs to starve. Therefore, causing people to suffocate and lose consciousness.

CO2, on the other hand, is referred to as “hypercarbia or hypercapnia” (Carbon Dioxide Poisoning). Since our blood expels CO2, inhaling more CO2 would cause the inability for the body to expel the gas.

Additional differences in CO and CO2 are addressed in the table below:

Carbon Monoxide Carbon Dioxide
Doesn’t occur naturally in the atmosphere Occurs naturally in the atmosphere
Result of oxygen starved combustion in improperly ventilated fuel-burned equipment Natural by product of human and animal respiration, fermentation, chemical reactions, and combustion fossil fuels/woods
Generated by any gasoline engine WITHOUT a catalytic converter Generated by any gasoline engine WITH a catalytic converter
Common type of fatal poisoning Poisoning is rare
Flammable gas Non-flammable gas
Symptoms: confusion, nausea, lassitude, syncope, cyanosis, chest pain, abdominal pain Symptoms: dyspnea, sweating, increased heart rate, frostbite, convulsion, panic, memory problems
Target organ: lungs, blood, central nervous system Target organ: respiratory system
Based on the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) standards, the permissible exposure limit (PEL) is 50 parts per million (ppm). Based on the OSHA standards, the PEL is 5,000 ppm
Based on the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) standards, the recommended exposure limit (REL) is 35 ppm. Based on the NIOSH standards, the REL is 5,000 ppm

NOTE: Sources for the table above are referenced from Buzzle.com, CO2Meter.com and NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards.

Since it is extremely difficult to detect CO and CO2 gases based on the symptoms alone, installing a gas detector is suggested. There are a large range of detectors available on the market; therefore, choosing the right one that suites your need is ideal. Choose a gas detector from a manufacturer that is reputable and has their products tested by certain standards such as the Canadian Standards Association (CSA), Underwriters Laboratories (UL), etc.

For suggestions on a fixed gas detection system, please visit www.critical-environment.com.

Written by: Ambur Vilac & Teresa Kouch



Bose, Debopriya. “Carbon Dioxide Poisoning.” Buzzle.com. 26 December 2011. Web. 31 May 2012. <http://www.buzzle.com/articles/carbon-dioxide-poisoning.html>.

Bose, Debopriya. “Carbon Monoxide Poisoning: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment.” Buzzle.com. 2011. Web. 31 May 2012. <http://www.buzzle.com/articles/carbon-monoxide-poisoning-causes-symptoms-and-treatment.html>.

“CO and CO2 – What’s the difference?” CO2Meter.com. 27 August 2009. Web. 31 May 2012. <http://www.co2meter.com/blogs/news/1209952-co-and-co2-what-s-the-difference>.

“Dangers of CO2: What You Need to Know.” CO2Meter.com. 25 October 2011. Web. 31 May 2012. <http://www.co2meter.com/blogs/news/4418142-dangers-of-co2-what-you-need-to-know>.

“The Danger of Carbon Monoxide.” Silent Shadow: Silent Killer. 2004. Web. 31 May 2012. <http://www.silentshadow.org/>.

“Exposure to CO2 Leads to Fear of Suffocation.” CO2Meter.com. 12 January 2010. Web. 31 May 2012. <http://www.co2meter.com/blogs/news/1417162-exposure-to-co2-leads-to-fear-of-suffocation>.

“NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 04 April 2011. Web. 01 June 2012. <http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/npg/default.html>.

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Poisoned at the Ice Arena

Canadians love their hockey. With that in mind, a reasonably sized community will have an ice rink. Global Maritimes states in a news article that “there are 10 times as many rinks in Canada as there are in the United States.” That means more ice resurfacers and ice edgers can be found in Canada than the USA.

An ice resurfacer is a machine that is used to clean and smooth the ice. An ice edger is a machine that is used at the edge of the ice rink where the ice resurfacer cannot reach. Both machineries are either powered by fuel or electricity. The exhaust produced by the fueled powered machines emits, in the air, carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and particulates, regardless if they are powered by gasoline, propane or diesel. These pollutants linger in the air and with inadequate ventilation; outdoor air is not brought inside to dilute the emissions from the machine(s) nor is indoor air being pushed out. So the only way for these toxic pollutants to migrate is to be inhaled.

CO is “odorless, colorless and poisonous gas” (Indoor Air Quality…). Early symptoms include shortness of breath, mild nausea and mild headaches. Long term exposures could cause loss of consciousness and even death. NO2 is a reddish-brown toxic gas that gives off a sharp odor. Early symptoms could “cause irritation to the eyes, nose and throat as well as shortness of breath” (Toxic Fumes…). See table 1 below. Particulate is a “complex mixture of…acids, organic chemicals, metals, and soil or dust particles” (Indoor Air Quality…) and affects the heart and lungs.


Table 1: Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide (CO) and Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) Poisoning at Various Exposure Levels

Gas Low Moderate Long Term
Carbon Monoxide (CO) – Shortness of breath- Mild nausea- Mild headaches

– Dizziness

– Itchy or watery eyes

– Severe headaches- Dizziness- Mental confusion

– Nausea

– Fainting

– Dulled senses

– unconsciousness- Death
Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) – Bronchial problems (e.g. asthma)- Lung problems- Respiratory infections

– Irritations to eyes, nose and throat

– Shortness of breath

– Acute or chronic bronchitis – Pulmonary edema

Table is based on “Indoor Air Quality and Ice Arenas”

So with every breath a person in an ice arena takes, they are slowly poisoning themselves without even knowing it. Arenas usually have very little ventilation; therefore, toxic fumes that are emitted in the arena will linger.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides guidelines to recreational facilities for ventilation practices and air quality standards. For instance, the EPA recommends facility operators to use electric powered ice resurfacers and edgers as it “reduces hydrocarbon emissions by about 71 percent, nitrous oxide emissions by about 80 percent, and carbon monoxide emissions by about 57 percent” (Indoor Air Quality…). Based on the Today’s Show, see video, most arenas do not use electric powered models as it costs “twice as much as the older fuel models” and is not a mandatory requirement from the USA federal government. Gas detectors, such as carbon monoxide, are also not legal requirements for ice rinks in the USA as mentioned in the Today’s Show video. Only three states, Minnesota, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, regulate their indoor air quality (Is the ice rink…).

What to do if you see warning signs or symptoms as a result of high pollutants:

  • Limit or cease exposure immediately
  • Leave the building & get fresh air immediately
  • Seek medical attention
  • Speak to arena management
  • Work with your doctor to come up with a plan to control or reduce potential exposure

As a customer of the ice arena, find out from arena management if:

  • The ice resurfacers and edgers are fuel-fired or electric?
  • The ventilation system is adequate?
  • Fresh air is supplied to occupied area of the arena?
  • Are there gas detectors installed for CO, NO2 and particulates?

What should the ice arena employees and managers do?

  • Procedures:
    • Educate yourself and your staff
    • Create procedures to respond to complaints and emergencies
    • Develop an evacuation plan
  • Ventilation:
    • Get the ventilation system regularly maintenance
    • Ensure fresh air intake is not located near vehicle exhaust or loading areas and is not blocked
    • Open gates to allow better air circulation during and after resurfacing
    • Follow EPA guidelines & ASHRAE standards to regulate IAQ
    • Install automatic ventilation when certain levels of gases are reached
  • Machinery:
    • Replace or upgrade older equipments that do not meet EPA emissions standards
    • Reduce edging time
    • Decrease resurfacing frequency
    • Installing catalytic converter to all fuel machineries
    • Regular servicing on machines used at the arena
    • Warm up ice resurfacers and edgers in a well-ventilated room or outside
  • Detectors:
    • Install a gas detection system to monitor toxic gases at breathing level
    • Monitor air quality for CO, NO2 and particulate gases during and shortly after use of machines
    • Install an alarm notification
    • Have notification alarms connected to local fire department or emergency medical services

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Written by: Teresa Kouch, Marketing



Barthelmes, John, and Degnan, J. “Toxic Fumes at Indoor Ice Rinks.” Informational Bulletin 2011-02. Feb 2011. Web. 09 May 2011.

“Cape Breton doctor examines link between hockey rink cleaners and cancer.” Global Maritimes, 6 May 2011. Web. 09 May 2011

Coffman, Keith. “Authorities probe ice rink fumes that sicken 61 people.” Reuters, 07 Feb 2011. Web. 09 May 2011.

Dillard, Mechele. “Carbon monoxide poisoning potential threat in ice rinks.” HULIQ, 10 Feb 2011. Web. 10 May 2011.

Holt, L., Moss, M., and Pelham, T. “Exposure to carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide in enclosed ice arenas.” Occup Environ Med 2002; 59:224-233.

“Indoor Air Quality and Ice Arenas.” United States Environmental Protection Agency. Web. 11 May 2011.

“Is the ice rink making your child sick?” MSN BC. TodayShow.com. 2011. Web. 16 Feb 2011.

Posted in Environment, HealthComments (4)


Gas Detectors

CETCI gas detectors are used to detect many different gases. Some of the most common are Carbon Monoxide, Carbon Dioxide, Nitrogen Dioxide, Nitric Oxide, Ammonia, Chlorine, Ozone, Combustible Gases like Methane and Propane, Oxygen, Refrigerants and more.

IAQ Monitors

The YES Series of IAQ Monitors are essential for those responsible for conducting Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Investigations. These instruments are specifically designed to measure and record the quality of indoor air in offices, buildings, homes, schools, parking garages, ice rinks, etc.