5 Best Portable CO2 Safety Monitors

CO2 Safety Monitors

Portable carbon dioxide (CO2) safety monitors are required tools in breweries, restaurants or any facility that uses tanks or cylinders of stored CO2. While this gas is a necessity, it can also be hazardous to employees or customers if not treated carefully.

After consulting with various partners, customers, and industry professionals in the field, we chose the top 5 portable professional CO2 safety monitors that are deemed the "best" in the industry. We looked at critical features such as safety indicators, ease of use, durability, battery life, customization and cost.

  1. CO2Meter Personal 5% CO2 Safety Monitor and Data Logger
  2. Analox CO2 Buddy Personal Monitor
  3. LogiCO2 Scout Portable CO2 Detector
  4. Draeger Pac 8000 CO2 Personal Gas Monitor
  5. AimSafety CO2 Single Gas Monitor

Why use a Portable CO2 Safety Monitor?

The main reason is safety. CO2 carbon dioxide is colorless, odorless, and tasteless. Unless you have a safety monitor on hand, you may never know the gas is present until it's too late.

Who needs a Handheld CO2 Monitor?

The short answer is anyone who works near, in, and around CO2.

While CO2 tank or cylinder leaks are extremely rare, pipes or manifolds are the most common source of leaks. High levels of CO2 are also possible inside fermentation vessels, kettles, and yeast brinks in breweries. Because CO2 is heavier than air, it can pool in basements or enclosed areas.

In fact, the dangers of CO2 leaks are so well known that your local code inspector may require you have a CO2 monitor to pass safety regulations.

What are the Side Effects of CO2 Exposure?

Hundreds of incidents and case studies have shown the hazards of CO2 exposure including the following:

  • Inhalation - Inhaling high concentrations of CO2 can affect respiratory functions as CO2 displaces oxygen in the air. High levels of CO2 can cause nausea, vomiting, convulsions, fatigue, loss of consciousness and even death. These symptoms can occur almost instantaneously.
  • Skin/Eye Contact - Due to its low temperature in a liquid state, direct contact of liquid CO2 with the human body dangerous. It can cause freezing burns and damage. Wearing proper PPE including eye protection is required when working with tanks of liquid CO2.

While working in and around CO2 gases in breweries, cannabis cultivation and extraction facilities, wineries, and others, industry leaders rely on Personal CO2 Safety Monitors to ensure safety and accurately monitor gas levels on the go.

What is a Safe Level of CO2 in the Workplace?

OSHA has established a Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) for CO2 of 5,000 ppm (parts per million) or 0.5% CO2 by volume in air averaged over an 8-hour work day (time-weighted average or TWA.)

Is a CO2 Monitor the Same as a Carbon Monoxide Monitor?

No. CO2 and CO are different gases. If you need to monitor both carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide levels it's important to use detectors that are specifically designed for each gas.

Carbon monoxide detectors are calibrated to detect carbon monoxide by using specific sensors that are sensitive to CO gas. These detectors are not designed to detect on carbon dioxide levels. Similarly, CO2 detectors are designed to monitor CO2 levels and are not suitable for detecting carbon monoxide.

Read more about the difference between CO2 and CO here.

What are the best portable CO2 safety monitors?

1. CO2Meter Personal 5% CO2 Safety Monitor and Data Logger

Personal CO2 Safety Monitor and Data Logger

The SAN-10 Personal 5% CO2 Safety Monitor and Data Logger is designed for employees who work in enclosed areas that may contain an excessive amount of carbon dioxide gas. Since many individuals work around the hazardous gas daily they have no means of knowing when CO2 levels have exceeded the normal threshold. The SAN-10 indicates and alerts employees to ensure protection.

The SAN-10 is $399.

Pros:

  • Accurate NDIR CO2 sensor
  • Visual, audible, and vibration alarms
  • User configurable alarm set points
  • "Man-down alarm" uses accelerometer technology if an employee fall occurs
  • Rugged design with protective rubber enclosure, clips on belt
  • Calibrate using nitrogen or ambient air
  • Data logging onboard
  • 72+ hours battery life
  • USB Cable for charging
  • IP54 Rated

Cons:

  • US charging adapter only
  • USB port for charging only
  • CO2 gas monitoring only

 

2. Analox CO2 Buddy Personal Monitor

Analox CO2 Buddy

Many brewers and industry professionals use the CO2 buddy to detect CO2 and warn against dangerous levels in confined spaces. While the cost is higher, the device is easy to use and and convenient. The CO2 Buddy also monitors a time weighted average TWA of exposure to CO2 over an 8-hour period.

The CO2 Buddy is $584.

Pros:

  • Extremely lightweight: 70g
  • Up to 48 hours on rechargeable battery
  • User friendly single button operation
  • Most common alarm set points pre-configured
  • Fresh air calibration
  • Alarm indicators: audible, visible, and vibration
  • IP54 Rated

Cons:

  • Non ruggedized design for durable/aggressive use
  • Small belt/shirt clip
  • No data logging
  • No man-down alarm

 

3. LogiCO2 Scout Portable CO2 Detector

Logi CO2 Scout

Third on our list is the LogiCO2 Scout. This device is well-known throughout the industry due to the ability to insert it into a ball and "roll it" into a room to remotely monitor CO2 levels prior to entering.

Another feature of the LogiCO2 Scout is its ease of use, one-button operation due to the app that can be downloaded to a smartphone.

The LogiCO2 scout retails for $483 on their website.

Pros:

  • Quality NDIR CO2 Sensor
  • Audible Alarms
  • Data Logging (last 25 events)
  • Wireless Connectivity to iPhone, iPad or Android devices
  • Custom choice for alarm limits

 Cons:

  • No visual display, must connect to phone or tablet
  • 8-hour battery Life
  • No man-down alarm
  • No strobe indicator

 

4. Draeger Pac 8000 CO2 Personal Gas Monitor

Drager Pac 8000 Personal Gas Monitor

Fourth on our Portable CO2 Safety list is the Draeger Pac 8000 CO2 Personal Gas Monitor.

This is another ideal choice for individuals looking for a robust carbon dioxide safety monitor that is reliable, rugged, and precise when monitoring hazardous gas concentrations in confined spaces.

As a reputable manufacturer, Draeger products are often recognized as user friendly, long-lasting, and high-quality.

The Draeger Pac 8000 Personal Gas Detector sells for $1,053.

Pros:

  • NDIR sensor
  • Audible alarms for indication
  • Data logging
  • Rechargeable battery 
  • Replaceable sensor dust cover
  • Define extra thresholds for TLV and STEL

Cons:

  • High price point
  • No man down alarm

 

5. AimSafety CO2 Single Gas Monitor

AimSafety CO2 Single Gas Monitor

The AimSafety PM150 CO2 Single Monitor is recognized throughout the restaurant, beverage, and agriculture space for its accuracy, durability, and continuous monitoring of real-time hazardous gas concentrations. It is designed for restaurants, beverage industries, agriculture, laboratory, and manufacturing applications.

The AimSafety CO2 portable monitor provides the ability to measure at high accuracy, however, once activated the devices cannot be shut off and will continue to run for their entire two year life span.

The AimSafety portable monitor is $702.

Pros:

  • Visible, audible, vibration alarm
  • Maintenance-Free
  • Event logging
  • Data logging
  • Easy-to-read LCD display
  • IP66/67 protection rating
  • USB rechargeable - up to 7 day run time

 Cons:

  • Electrochemical sensor must be replaced after 2 years.
  • No "Man-Down" Alarm
  • No rugged enclosure for durability

In providing industries such as restaurants, breweries, beverage dispensing, draft technicians, laboratories, and indoor growers with an easy to understand guide of portable CO2 safety monitors, are goal is to ensure personal and workplace safety.

Regardless of your industry our team is always available to provide further education for your team members and guide you through choosing the right CO2 solution for your application.

For more information on CO2 safety monitoring contact an expert today.


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