The Global Harmonization System of Classification and Labelling is developed by the United Nations to standardize the use of hazardous chemicals around the globe. Abbreviated as GHS, this system standardizes the use of chemicals on the basis of their health, physical, and environmental standards. This classification is very broad, however, here we will discuss it in pretext of acetylene gas.
Highlights of GHS Classification for Acetylene Gas
The following are the highlights of GHS classification for acetylene gas:
- Acetylene is a flammable gas, which is considered hazardous as per the OSHA Hazard Communication Standards (29 CFR 1910. 1200). It is included under the category of flammable, as well as compressed gas.
- The gas is an explosive mixture when it reacts with air, and can displace oxygen causing suffocation to people who are working with it. However, the lower explosive limit (LEL) of acetylene is reached well before the lack of oxygen occurs.
- The gas may explode upon heating.
- The gas should be kept away from hot surfaces, heat, open flames, and ignition sources. A user should avoid smoking while handling the acetylene gas.
- The gas should always be discharged at pressures below 15 PSIG (103 KPA), and should be protected from sunlight, if temperature exceeds 125°F (52°C). Therefore, it is recommended to store the gas in a cool and ventilated place.
- First aid measures should be followed in order to avoid any severe consequences while dealing with acetylene gas.
- Accidental releases of acetylene may cause serious fire outbreak or explosion. Hence no action should be taken without suitable training. The surrounding areas should be evacuated. All ignition sources should be shut off to avoid a fire. Adequate ventilation will help gas escape into the atmosphere.
- In case of accidental gas releases, you need to ensure emergency procedures are in place, which will help avoid contamination of the environment.
- Eating, smoking, and drinking shall be prohibited in areas where acetylene compressors or cylinders are kept.
- Acetylene cylinders should be transported in closed and secured containers. This helps avoid accidents.
a. As acetylene cylinders also contain acetone, if exposed, flush eyes with plenty of cold water, if any irritation occurs. The eyes should be flushed continually for 10 minutes. If the problem persists, immediate medical attention is needed.
b. Acetylene can replace oxygen and acts as an anesthetic agent. Prolonged inhalation can lead to suffocation. Hence, a person should move to an open area to inhale fresh air, if they are experiencing the same. If a person faces respiratory problem, then artificial respiration should be provided. It is very dangerous to provide mouth to mouth resuscitation. If the person is unconscious, they should be given immediate medical attention.
c. If the skin comes in contact with acetylene, it should be washed with cold water. Medical attention should be sought if symptoms occur. Any contact with rapidly expanding gas may cause burns, as well as frostbite.
d. Physicians are recommended to treat the patient symptomatically. Also, they should contact a treatment specialist, if large quantities of gas is inhaled or ingested.
e. Qualified first aid service providers should be contacted to treat people. Also, they should not take any risk without suitable training.
The above information is helpful if you are dealing with acetylene gas generators, or other acetylene filled equipment. If you wish to source acetylene gas plants, or acetylene gas generators, you may consider a reputed acetylene gas plant supplier like Rexarc. The company adheres to Global Harmonization System of Classification and Labelling. All acetylene gas plants, as well as gas generators are designed to specific safety standards like ASME codes & NFPA.