Detecting Super Toxics: Arsine

What is arsine?  

Detecting Super Toxics: Arsine - Otis Instruments, Inc.

Arsine, also known as arsenic hydride or AsH3, is a colorless, flammable, super toxic gas with a mild garlic odor at higher doses; and is odorless at lower levels. This super toxic gas is formed when arsenic comes in contact with an acid. 

Where is it found? 

Arsine vapor is heavier than air, making it more likely to settle in low-laying areas. It is one of the most dangerous gases and is commonly found during hydrocarbon extraction and treatment operations. This super toxic gas is also present in industrial gases, hydrocarbon feed stocks, fuels and natural gas.

Other industries and environments that may be involved with the production and emission of arsine, include chemical waste facilities, battery production facilities, the semiconductor and metals refining industries, and various manufacturing facilities, such as battery and firearm manufacturing. 

What are the dangers? 

The most common route of exposure to arsine is the inhalation of the toxic gas after it is released into the air. After it enters the bloodstream, it damages the red blood cells and can lead to signs and symptoms of hemolytic anemia as a direct result of this damage. However, the extent of risk depends on exposure levels and lengths. 

Those exposed to low levels of arsine may experience mild symptoms, including confusion, drowsiness, fatigue, headache, nausea, shortness of breath, weakness, yellow skin and eyes, and muscle cramps. Exposure to large doses may result in more serious health effects, such as convulsions, loss of consciousness, paralysis, and respiratory compromise. 

Otis Instruments’ solution

The presence of arsine in refineries and gasification processes represents a critical control point for the health and safety of personnel and the environment. Therefore, the monitoring of this substance at hazardous locations is essential. 

Otis Instruments offers an array of wired and WireFree robust and configurable gas detection instruments capable of detecting super toxic gases. Utilizing an electrochemical sensor, our 6000, 6900 and 6940 series products can quickly and accurately detect arsine within diverse industries and applications. 

For more information on detecting super toxic gases, like arsine, with our products, contact our team today.