Laboratories – Air Quality - Ambient air quality
Gas analysers for the measurement of concentrations in ambient atmospheres shall meet the criteria of the following standards : - NF EN 14211 : Standard method for the measurement of the concentration of nitrogen dioxide and nitrogen monoxide by chemiluminescence (2012) in the EEC ;
- NF EN 14212 : Standard method for the measurement of the concentration of sulphur dioxide by ultraviolet fluorescence (2013) in the EEC ;
- NF EN 14625 : Standard method for the measurement of the concentration of ozone by ultraviolet photometry (2013) in the EEC ;
- NF EN 14626 : Standard method for the measurement of the concentration of carbon monoxide by non-dispersive infrared spectroscopy (2012) in the EEC.
Test Laboratories – Air Quality - Stationary Source Emissions
The AMS (Automated Measuring System) and P-AMS (Portable AMS) as well as similar gas analysers must meet the criteria for fixed source emission standards :
- EN 15267-3: General standard on AMS (2008) in the EEC ;
- EN 15267-4: General standard on P-AMS (2017) in the EEC ;
- EN 12619: FID analysers measuring total organic compounds (2013) in the EEC ;
- EN 14789: Paramagnetic oxymeters measuring dioxygen (2017) in the EEC ;
- EN 14792: Chemiluminescence analysers measuring nitrogen oxides (2017) in the EEC ;
- EN 15058: NDIR analyzers measuring carbon monoxide (2017) in the EEC ;
- XP CEN/TS 17405 : Determination of the volume concentration of carbon dioxide - Reference method : infrared spectrometry (2020) in France ;
- ISO 24140: FID analyzers for international methane measurement (2010).
Test Laboratories – Combustion Facilities
Combustion plants (waste, biomass, fuels) are now classified in a nomenclature of industrial installations classified for environmental protection.
In France, an installation classified according to the ICPE nomenclature is a facility that can present dangers or nuisances for the convenience of residents, health, safety, public health, agriculture, nature and environmental protection, conservation of sites and monuments.
The gases controlled are total hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides, sulphur dioxide and carbon monoxide when the fuel is pulverized coal.
The EEC standard EN 50379 (2012) prescribes the characteristics of devices used during regulatory inspections and assessments.
Test Laboratories - Monitoring of CO₂ in ERP
The monitoring of the rate of CO₂ as a consequence of the confinement in establishments receiving the public (ERP) must follow the modalities of implementation concerning the assessment of aeration means and the measurement of pollutants carried out as part of the indoor air quality monitoring of certain establishments receiving information from the public (day nurseries, maternity hospitals, schools, etc).
ART – Preservation of embryos in CO₂ incubators
The climatic conditions must meet the requirements of the rules of good clinical and biological practice for assisted reproductive technology (ART).
These conditions are close to 5% vol. of CO₂ in air at 37°C and 90% RH.
MAP – Agro-Food Industry
Foods stored under MAP (Modified Atmosphere Packaging) must follow the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) good manufacturing and hygiene practices.
Three gases are mainly used: carbon dioxide, nitrogen and oxygen.
The products are packaged with a single gas or a combination of these three gases, depending on the physical and chemical properties of the food.
Limit Oxygen Index (LOI) Testing Laboratories
The Oxygen Limit Index (ILO) is a laboratory test that characterizes the flammability of a material (plastic or polymer) under specified test conditions.
It is measured by passing a mixture of oxygen and nitrogen on a burning sample and then gradually decreasing the oxygen level to the critical point of combustion.
ISO 4589-2 (2017) defines this test at room temperature.
It does not determine the behaviour of the sample during combustion.
Laboratories for fire/smoke testing
The fire resistance and behaviour tests must meet specific requirements by sector of activity (rail, aviation, automotive, marine, building materials, electrical and electronic equipment, upholstered equipment, R118 EEC-UNO regulations, military).
Some tests may include measurements of the toxicity of the fumes at their maximum density by gas cell infra-red Fourrier transform (IRTF) or other methods.
The gases measured are: HF, HCl, HCN, SO₂, H₂S, NO/NOx and CO.
Prevention of Workplace Accidents – Toxic Gas Detection – Explosimetry – Anoxia.
The threshold limit value − time-weighted average (TLV-TWA) is the average exposure on the basis of a 8h/day, 40h/week work schedule.
In industrial settings, the common toxic gases are CO, CO₂, SO₂, NH₃ and H₂S.
The OSHA regulatory exposure limits permissible expore limits (PELs) are published in document 29CFR 1910.
The threshold limit value − short-term exposure limit (TLV-STEL) is a 15-minute TWA exposure that should not be exceeded at any time during a workday, even if the 8-hour TWA is within the TLV-TWA.
Threshold limit value − ceiling limit (TLV-C) is the absolute exposure limit that should not be exceeded at any time.
The main flammable compound combined with air is methane (natural gas, biogas).
Such a mixture must never exceed the lower explosive limit (LEL).
In confined environments, anoxia (oxygen depletion) causes death by asphyxiation.
Exposure limit values in ambient air
Humans can be adversely affected by exposure to air pollutants in ambient air. In response, the EEC has developed an extensive body of legislation which establishes health based standards and objectives for a number of pollutants present in the air.
The new air quality directive 2008/50/EC goals are :
- To merge most of existing legislation into a single directive with no change to existing air quality objectives ;
- Exposure concentration obligation and exposure reduction target for PM2.5 (fine particles) ;
- The limit value and exposure related objectives including natural sources of pollution ;
- time extensions for complying with limit values based on conditions and the assessment by the EEC.
Nitrogen oxides and nitrogen dioxide (EN 14211 in the EEC), sulphur dioxide (EN 14212 in the EEC), ozone (EN 14625 in the EEC) and carbon monoxide (EN 14626 in the EEC) are the gaseous pollutants monitored in ambient air.
Leak detection of refrigerants
The performance of portable leak detectors and halogenated refrigerant room controllers is defined by EN 14624 (2012) in the EEC – new ongoing project Pr EN 14624 (2018).
R134a hydrogenated nitrogen is used to control these detectors.
The obligations related to the performance of leak checks are defined :
- By Regulation EC 1516/2007 ;
- By the Order of 17 July 2019 amending the Order of 29 February 2016 relating to certain refrigerants and fluorinated greenhouse gases.
|Compounds||Symbol||Oxygen 93%||Oxygen 95%||Medical air|
|Nitrogen oxides||NOx||2 ppm||-||2 ppm|
|Sulfur dioxide||SO₂||1 ppm||-||1 ppm|
|Carbon monoxyde||CO||5 ppm||5 ppm||5 ppm|
|Carbon dioxide||CO₂||300 ppm||300 ppm||500 ppm|
|Oxygen||O₂||90 - 96%||> 99,5%||20,4 - 21,4%|
|Water vapour||H₂O||< 67 ppm||< 67 ppm||< 67 ppm|