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O2 being dangerous


#1

I find it very strange that many folks see O2 as being dangerous.

Granted it does come in 2250 PSI tanks but so does my scuba air.

It will accelerate the combustion of things.

Last time I tried to quit using the stuff I passed out after 3
minutes:-)

jeffD

Demand Designs
Analog/Digital Modelling & Goldsmithing
http://www.gmavt.net/~jdemand


#2
I find it very strange that many folks see O2 as being dangerous. 
Granted it does come in 2250 PSI tanks but so does my scuba air. 
It will accelerate the combustion of things. 

Well, Jeff, you’ve nicely described exactly why it’s dangerous. Just
like your scuba tank, if you knock over the full tank and the
unlikely event of the neck cracking or valve breaking off, etc, then
either type of tank then becomes a heavy, extremely powerful rocket
engine capable of causing a whole LOT of damage. Properly stored,
handled, moved, etc, to keep this danger controlled, it’s not a
problem. But people who think it’s just a big chunk of steel are
wrong.

I recall once seeing a scuba shop in Ft. Lauderdale where they used
a concrete “well” filled with water to hold the tanks while filling
them. Safe, until someone slipped and dropped a newly filled tank
while lifting it from that “well”. The result was that the tank took
out most of the cinder blodk rear wall of the building, flew about
200 yards, knocked a five foot wide gap in the seawall, and finally
came to rest another fifty yards out in the ocean. It’s just dumb
luck nobody was killed.

And in the event of a fire in your shop, should the tank fail and
release all that oxygen, a manageable fire could quickly become
explosively unmanageable. Again, an unlikely situation. But it’s real
enough on those rare occasions when it happens.

Oxygen tanks are not highly dangerous. In fact, they’re quite safe
to use, handle, store, etc, so long as doing so is done properly, and
with respect for the very high pressures inside. If, on the other
hand, some idiot who feels they’re completely safe then forgets to
treat them right, and the unlikely event then occurs, well, suddenly
they’re not so safe. Then, in fact, they can become very dangerous
indeed. It’s rare, and it’s up to the person using the tank to
determine whether it’s safe or not, depending almost entirely on the
way that person treats and uses the tank.

Peter Rowe


#3

I am a nurse. I work in Home Health and will be at the door of a home
that will have a O2 safety sign on it. I realized that this had to be
overkill. When I had a patient with gas spaceheaters and an O2
concentrator needing to be taught O2 safety I called the supply co.
There is overkill on O2 safety. The patient should not get the
tubing in the fire. In over 30 years I have not had a tank explode. I
would hate to see what happens if I dropped a tank valve end down
onto concrete from 6 feet up, but so far no one has purposely done
that, and it could only be done on purpose… I recently found an
O2 concentrator in the trash and it works marvelously with natural
gas for bench work. I haven’t tried it with acetylene for casting.

Regards, Jay


#4

JeffD–I agree. It is a bit strange that people fear the oxygen
while the innocuous (not) acetylene, hydrogen or propane tanks sit
nearby. All primates seem to be good at risk perception but have a
difficult time with accurate risk assesment and analysis. Another
example of the same disjunct which has arisen in these postings is
the fear of metallic lead (Pb).

Although lead salts and fumes can cause serious illness, elemental,
metallic lead can be handled with relative impunity. Ask most any
fisherman.

GLV


#5
indeed. It's rare, and it's up to the person using the tank to
determine whether it's safe or not, depending almost entirely on
the way that person treats and uses the tank. 

In other words, fear can be a healthy response if it causes you to
understand what could happen and practice safety when using ANY
highly pressurized and/or combustible item. Even a can a butane can
be dangerous if not handled properly.

Michele


#6

Oh yeah, highly addictive substance, ought to be outlawed, because
any basement drug lab, with the aid of a little electricity, can use
the stuff as a precursor chemical for creating hydroxylic acid!

Grins,

Andrew Jonathan Fine


#7
I would hate to see what happens if I dropped a tank valve end
down onto concrete from 6 feet up, but so far no one has purposely
done that, and it could only be done on purpose....... 

Jay even though it is uncommon it has happened more than enough
times by accident or carelessness. It doesn’t need to be from 6 feet
up. Just knocking over a high pressure tank and having the valve hit
something just right will shear off the valve and then it becomes an
instant rocket.

James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


#8
Another example of the same disjunct which has arisen in these
postings is the fear of metallic lead (Pb). Although lead salts and
fumes can cause serious illness, elemental, metallic lead can be
handled with relative impunity. Ask most any fisherman. 

Yes metallic lead is relatively safe to handle, but the oxide with
which it is coated is not and metallic lead is always coated with a
layer of oxide. Lead oxide is the same toxic material that is in
lead based paints. Handling lead and then eating or smoking or any
other behavior that transfer the oxide to your mouth means you are
ingesting lead oxide. The good news is that it takes a lot of this
behavior to get enough lead oxide in your system to cause any damage.
The bad news is it never goes away so it is cumulative. As an adult
you would have to handle it daily without proper hygiene for quite a
while to build up enough to cause trouble so it is not really that a
big deal as long as you wash up after immediately handling it.

James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


#9
In other words, fear can be a healthy response if it causes you to
understand what could happen and practice safety when using ANY
highly pressurized and/or combustible item. Even a can a butane
can be dangerous if not handled properly. 

Nothing under presure (or not ) is safe. Local paper had a storey
about a spray can bomb in a van. Nasty blue mess and some sort of
hole in the floor.

jeffD
Demand Designs
Analog/Digital Modelling & Goldsmithing
http://www.gmavt.net/~jdemand


#10

I would hate to see what happens if I dropped a tank valve end down
onto concrete from 6 feet up, but so far no one has purposely done
that, and it could only be done on purpose…

Jay even though it is uncommon it has happened more than enough
times by accident or carelessness. It doesn't need to be from 6
feet up. Just knocking over a high pressure tank and having the
valve hit something just right will shear off the valve and then it
becomes an instant rocket. 

Accidents happen all the time! G-TEC participates on Orchid because
our products are sold for jewelry manufacturing but we also sell
Torch Boosters to people cutting plate steel.

One of our reps was calling on a metal fab business as cylinders of
acetylene were being delivered when the power liftgate on the back
of the delivery truck failed, dumping the acetylene cylinders about 4
feet to the ground.

Fortunately the acetylene did not rupture or explode but the
customer understood what had just happened, that he dodged a bullet,
and bought a G-TEC system on the spot.

Most people are not deliberately careless with gas cylinders but
everyone has a bad day now and then or gets butterfingers and working
safely requires minimizing the circumstances where accidents can
occur.

Ed Howard
G-TEC Natural Gas Systems
www.safe-t-gas.com


#11
If, on the other hand, some idiot who feels they're completely safe
then forgets to treat them right, and the unlikely event then
occurs, well, suddenly they're not so safe. Then, in fact, they can
become very dangerous indeed. 

This has been done, but I guess it needs to be said that what Peter
and everybody else means, for the tanks we use with torches, is to
strap them or chain them up against something when in use - we’re in
earthquake country, so it’s doubly important. And they all come with
screw-on caps, which should be used when not in use, because that’s
why they COME with caps.


#12

We once had a spray can of deodorant explode in the car. It was a
very hot summer day, it was sitting on the dashboard and the car was
sitting in the sun. It tore a hole in the dashboard mat it was
sitting on and cracked the windscreen. It took weeks to clear the
smell from the car. I still can’t stand that particular deodorant.

I Still keep an oxygen and propane cylinder next to my bench but
they are in a caddy that holds them upright.

All the best
Jenny


#13
Although lead salts and fumes can cause serious illness,
elemental, metallic lead can be handled with relative impunity. Ask
most any fisherman. 

Seriously, how would being a fisherman give you any insight into
whether lead is harmful or not?

Just because a substance doesn’t kill you or obviously make you
sick, doesn’t mean that it may not still be measurably harmful.
Research shows that lead can reduce children’s IQs even in
startlingly low concentrations, well within the levels that might be
reached by handling metallic lead regularly.

Nasty stuff, best avoided when practicable,

Kit


#14
This has been done, but I guess it needs to be said that what
Peter and everybody else means, for the tanks we use with torches,
is to strap them or chain them up against something when in use 

It also relates to how full tanks can be transported if, for example,
you’re bringing a new tank home from the supplier. Local regulations
will vary on what’s legally allowed or not. Your gas supplier can
tell you. But in general, as with securing a tank properly in your
shop, it also means transporting it so that if you’re in an accident
the tank won’t be compromised.

Peter


#15
we're in earthquake country, so it's doubly important. And they all
come with screw-on caps, which should be used when not in use,
because that's why they COME with caps. 

My small tanks do NOT have screw on caps…


#16
Although lead salts and fumes can cause serious illness, elemental,
metallic lead can be handled with relative impunity. Ask most any
fisherman. 
Seriously, how would being a fisherman give you any insight into
whether lead is harmful or not? 

I often wonder whether the fact that most of the people making the
current ‘safety regulations’ grew up immersed in the lead loaded
fumes of city traffic is a graphic illustration of the adverse
effects of lead on the mind and intellect…

Ian
Ian W. Wright
Sheffield UK


#17
Seriously, how would being a fisherman give you any insight into
whether lead is harmful or not?" 

Lead is used to add weight to fishing lines, and the fisherman
handles these lead weights every day when he is fishing. When he is
not fishing, the fisherman repairs and prepares his fishing equipment
which includes hand contact with lead weights.


#18

Jay,

My small tanks do NOT have screw on caps....... 

Two choices, well maybe three. Close your eyes when the shot hits the
fan, run fast, or get bigger tanks which have the screw on covers
although you will quickly get bored replacing the regulator for any
simple solder job. Covers or regulators but not both at the same
time. Probably more risky mounting and un mounting the regulator.
Just chain the suckers up and sleep well at night.

jeffD
Demand Designs
Analog/Digital Modelling & Goldsmithing
http://www.gmavt.net/~jdemand


#19

For those that may still be skeptical about the power of a gas
bottle unleashed, please take a look at this video:

Mike DeBurgh, GJG
Alliance, OH


#20

I was born and rasied in a small town in northern Idaho where we had
a lead smelter and a zinc refinery. The smoke caused us to cough all
the way as we walked to school and turned the tips of the blades of
grass to brown.

Years later the whole town became a Superfund cleanup site. The dirt
in the yard of my childhood home was dug away three feet deep and
take away somewhere, and was replaced with “good” dirt. Or so they
tell me, I was not living there then.

I have so far lived 77.5 years in spite of 18 years of pretty
significant lead exposure.

(Oh, and as a kid I also melted lead and made little lead soldiers.
Also my father would bring me home from work what I called “soft
wire” to play with, which was nothing more than lead wire.)

I don’t recommend unnecessary lead exposure and it is possible to
measure the lead level in your blood if you are worried about being
contaminated (ask your doctor to order the test.) But for the kind
of stuff we do, I suggest that common sense precautions are probably
all that is necessary.

John Moe
Pentaluna Jewels