Sulphur Dioxide Monitoring & Testing
Air pollutants and harmful gases can affect us when indoors or outdoors and it is prudent to protect our health by minimizing exposure to elements that can be harmful. At Environmental Monitors we are Air Quality Consultants and provide a range of machinery that for rental or to purchase that analyses air quality. These results allow us to make a decision on the way forward to cleaner air and better health. One of the harmful gases in the air is sulphur dioxide. Read on below to find out more about this chemical.
What is Sulphur Dioxide?
Sulphur dioxide (SO²) is composed of sulphur and oxygen and is a gaseous air pollutant. It is translucent and has a pungent smell. When a sulphur-containing fuel is burnt sulphur dioxide forms. In the atmosphere, sulfur dioxide converts to sulphates, which are a major contributor to fine particle pollution. Examples of sulphur-containing fuels are; coal, oil, and diesel. A coal-fired power plant is a big source of sulphur dioxide emissions. Diesel engines are another big culprit of sulphur dioxide immission. Industrial processes like electricity generation, industrial boilers, petroleum refining, and metal processing all create sulphur dioxide emissions.
Sulphur dioxide is also a natural product of volcanic activity.
How does Sulphur Dioxide Affect us if it is in the Air
When SO² gets into the air it goes through a chemical change to become sulphate particles and these small particles can travel hundreds of miles in the air. Sulphur dioxide in the air has a range of harmful effects on the lungs and can result in heart problems as well. If we breathe in sulphur dioxide we may experience these symptoms;
- Tight chest, wheezing, and shortness of breath, particularly during physical exercise.
- Reduced lung functioning after continued exposure at high levels.
- Those with asthma can experience difficulty breathing if they have had short exposure to peak levels of sulfur dioxide or long-term low-level exposure.
- Exposure to sulphur dioxide increases the risk of being admitted to the hospital or the ER with breathing difficulties; particularly for the elderly, young children, or those who suffer from asthma.
What are the Solutions to Identifying Sulphur Dioxide?
Environmental Monitors have machines that take readings of the air and report on levels of sulphur, as well as levels of other gases and pollutants. Click here to find out more about the practical application of these machines for usage. Our recording machines can be rented out or bought depending on your needs. They work for indoor spaces or can be used to measure levels in the outside air.
What are the Solutions to Preventing Sulphur Dioxide Exposure?
Tackling the challenge of reducing sulphur dioxide emissions is a large global problem. It was one of the first pollutant gases to be regulated due to its large scale usage and harmful side effects. Having regulations around acceptable emission levels are key. To completely do away with sulphur dioxide is not possible at this stage, but the move towards the use of clean fuels and electronic engines is a step in the right direction.
When it comes to our own exposure to chemicals and pollutants, knowledge is power. Our company can assist with recording the gas and pollutant levels in an area. We can then equip you with the results, so the issue can be raised with those concerned and you can remove yourself from the situation if unsafe.
In terms of personal exposure, to reduce the risk, stay indoors when levels of SO² outside are particularly high. Avoid living or working near power plants or heavy industrial work sites. Use safety equipment when in high-risk areas.
How can our Company Help You?
Our testing can give an indication of the air quality in question and from here steps can be taken to get the air back to an acceptable level for human exposure. We are happy to discuss your situation and put forward a strategy to start the monitoring process of your environment.