Working around Carbon Dioxide (CO2) gas as a brewer is a necessity in making beer.
But the gas, given certain situations, can be hazardous to your health. And while the "situations" are well known some of the facts are often confusing.
Whether you are a brewer, employee, or friend of the industry understanding a few key important details about carbon dioxide in brewing is critical.
The first important note is that CO2 is colorless, odorless, and tasteless. Unless you have CO2 safety monitors you may never know the gas is present and at extremely hazardous levels until its too late.
Many incident reviews, case studies, and research have repeatedly shown that the potential effects of carbon dioxide (CO2) on a brewer can include the following:
- Inhalation - Inhaling high concentrations of CO2 can affect respiratory functions as CO2 displaces oxygen in the air. One may encounter nausea, vomiting, convulsions, and fatigue. These symptoms occur almost instantaneously upon contact with elevated levels of CO2.
- Skin/Eye Contact - Direct contact with the human body is not recommended as CO2's temperature may cause irritation and damage. Wearing proper safety apparel including eye protection can dramatically reduce exposure.
Proper Steps to becoming "CO2 Safe"
It is always important to be aware of what effects Carbon Dioxide (CO2) can have on an individual's health. How can an employee ensure they are safe?
As a brewer or industry worker, you occasionally can spend time cleaning, servicing, or performing maintenance inside fermenters, grain silos, mash tuns, kettles, draft coolers, and more.
When working in and around these areas it is important to always wear appropriate protective equipment, ensure CO2 safety monitors are in place, and to educate those around you on the proper safety steps,
In working in and around hazardous Carbon Dioxide (CO2) gases in the brewery, many industry leaders rely on Personal CO2 Safety Monitors to ensure safety and accurately monitor gas levels on the go.
The Personal 5% CO2 Safety Monitor and Data Logger is designed for employees who work in enclosed areas that can contain an excessive amount of carbon dioxide gas. The device features a unique "man-down" alarm which leverages accelerometer technology should an employee fall occur. In addition, the personal CO2 safety monitor also includes unique data logging capabilities for those industry leaders to better understand their co2 levels over time.
For over a decade, CO2Meter has been providing global industries such as breweries, beverage dispensing, and restaurants with unique, high-quality gas detection devices to ensure their safety.
The team at CO2Meter takes pride in educating and understanding our customer's applications. We encourage or brewing partners to call us with any questions they may have, or to speak to an expert about which device may be the perfect solution for your need.