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    CO2 Exposure Limits – Is Your Workplace and Draft Beer System Compliant?

    As an owner of a draft beer system, knowing about your CO2 exposure limits could be life or death. In the US, every draft beer system that uses carbon dioxide is at risk: and as a business owner, that risk could affect your future. Especially with large walk-in coolers, CO2 leaks can become a disaster for liability and harm.

    Carbon dioxide leaks are bad news. It may seem that carbon dioxide is harmless—it’s in the atmosphere around us, and you haven’t noticed it, right? But this gas can be just as hazardous as other gases with a critical amount. Handling CO2, especially in commercial environments, means you need to pay attention to your and others' safety. Doing so is your key to protecting yourself from liability and avoiding accidents or worse: death.

    Death is the worst-case scenario, which can be prevented. Knowing the CO2 regulations and guidelines will ensure the safety of your staff and your customers. If you are running a business that uses a draft beer system with carbon dioxide, there is too much at stake.

    Carbon Dioxide is a Health Hazard and a Silent Killer

    Carbon dioxide is tasteless, colorless, and odorless, which is why it is not easily detected. Exposure to carbon dioxide can cause minor to major symptoms:

    • Minor headaches
    • Dizziness
    • Restlessness
    • Tingling feeling
    • Difficulty in breathing (dyspnea)
    • Sweating
    • Tiredness
    • Increased heart rate (tachycardia)
    • Elevated blood pressure
    • Convulsions
    • Comatose
    • Asphyxia
    • Malaise
    • Frostbite

    The potential health hazards of carbon dioxide may not strike you as seriously until someone is battling for their life. Concentrations of CO2 in confined spaces can even cause death if not treated immediately.

    The US CO2 Exposure Limits - Standards, Regulations and Guidelines

    Carbon dioxide is fourth in the list of the most common gas present in the atmosphere. The wine and draft beer industry, particularly bars and restaurants, use CO2 and nitrogen gasses for dispensing draft beer or other beverages on tap. They have utilized smaller 20 lb. cylinders in the past, but now, CO2 bulk tanks have become common, so the issue has also grown more severe.

    Restaurants and bar owners should be aware of the health hazards of carbon dioxide and the CO2 exposure limits to keep their businesses safe when handling such large quantities of the gas. If you own one, it is high time that you educate yourself on the rules and regulations and the steps to take as a precaution.

    The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) CAS No. 124-38-9
    The OSHA recommends the long-term exposure limit of 5000 ppm (8-hour) and short-term exposure limit of 30,000 ppm (15-minute period).

    National Board Inspection Code (NBIC) 2017 Part 1 Sup 3.4:
    Supplement 3.4 of the NBIC liquid CO2 storage vessel guidelines state that continuous gas detection must be provided. CO2 sensors must be provided within 12 inches of the floor in areas where gas is most likely to accumulate or where leaks are most likely to occur. Low-level alarm activation at 5,000 ppm time-weighted average over 8 hours at a normally attended location and a High Level audible and visual alarm activation at 30,000 ppm at a location approved by the jurisdiction having authority.

    National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 55, Compressed Gases and Cryogenic Fluids Code
    Gas detection and alarm systems shall be capable of detecting and notifying at or in excess of permissible exposure limits (PEL) and short-term exposure limits (STEL).

    The International Fire Code Section 5307 (IFC)
    The IFC code requires owners to install a gas detection system or CO2 sensors within 12 inches of the floor area where CO2 is expected to accumulate. The CO2 alarm system should activate an audible and visible supervisory alarm at a concentration of 5,000 ppm and an audible and visible alarm at a concentration of 30,000 ppm.

    CO2 Permissible Limits – How to Comply?

    The fire department is the most adamant at enforcing CO2 regulations and guidelines, being prone to CO2 gas leaks hazards. Firefighters safeguard themselves with Carbon Dioxide detectors. With business, this is hardly the case due to a lack of awareness.

    If you are one of the many who takes this for granted, you are putting your business and the life of the people that work for you in jeopardy. Make sure to comply with the set standards and regulations as soon as possible to avoid harm. You can start by surveying the work area and assessing how many CO2 sensors you will need and where to install them. It is important to check the set exposure limits in your local legislation. Next, install one of our CO2 Safety Monitors. Each monitor is compliant with CO2 exposure limits all over the world.


    Our line of CO2 Safety Monitors and Alarms will keep your bar or restaurant employees protected with audible and visual alarm notifications.

    Train your staff on what to do in case of an alarm sounding due to a gas leak. They are the ones on the frontline when such things occur, so they must be protected.

    Personal CO2 Monitors

    Providing a personal Carbon Dioxide detection device, such as the CO2 Personal Safety Monitor or the CO2 Buddy, does not replace the codes and regulations in place for a sophisticated alarm system but could save a life in the absence of one. The clip-on device is equipped with real-time detection and alarm system (audio and visual), which will alert the wearer when there is a gas leak.

    State-of-the-Art CO2 Alarm Systems Will Protect You and Your Workplace from Carbon Dioxide Health Hazards

    CO2 exposure limits are a serious matter. The benefits of acting to keep the work environment secure for others are priceless and lifesaving. As a business owner, providing a carbon dioxide alarm system can not only save a life but prevent a loss of money and other possible headaches when you become liable for a CO2-related injury.

    Micro Matic can help you make your establishment CO2 standards compliant. We have been helping breweries since 1953, providing state-of-the-art technology for your business. Our products guarantee to make the work area a safe place for your employees. Customers can feel safe to wander around the bar premises, knowing that your establishment has a quality CO2 Safety Monitor/Alarm system set up.

    We will provide you the best Carbon Dioxide Safety Monitor/Alarm solutions depending on your business’ needs. Contact us today for more information about these devices or visit our store.

    Raise a Glass to Draft Beer Sales!

    For over 60 years, Micro Matic has been recognized as one of the world’s leading suppliers of draft beer equipment. Specializing in keg-to-glass technology, we offer a total solution for meeting your draft beer equipment needs. Our dedication to customer service is supported by four regional sales and distribution centers, the Micro Matic Dispense Institute for training and education, and a Certified Installer Network for draft beer installations. Want to speak with a “perfect pour” expert? Contact Micro Matic today.