Air Quality in Compressed Air Supply Systems (1.0 hour)

Francois Burman, Pr. Eng. / January 2017


In most hyperbaric facilities, compressed air is used as a breathing gas (for air breaks or in case the chamber environment is contaminated). Air may also be used to compress the hyperbaric chamber (in multiplace or monoplace chamber facilities). Whenever compressed air is used, the hyperbaric facility must ensure the quality/purity of the air is appropriate for its intended use. This typically involves periodic sampling and/or continuous monitoring. Internationally, hyperbaric facilities have very diverse air quality standards. In most cases, these standards were developed for other applications or industries – not specifically for clinical hyperbaric medicine. Consequently, the air quality standard applied to your hyperbaric facility may not be perfectly suited to your operational requirements. It is important to understand air quality standards and what effect certain contaminants will have in the hyperbaric environment.


On completion of this activity, the reader should be able to:

  • Understand how air quality standards are derived
  • Identify the inherent risks with contaminants
  • Identify additional contaminants that should be considered in hyperbaric facilities

Approved Continuing Education

[Nurse] 1.0 contact hours. Provider approved by the California Board of Nursing. Provider number CEP17094.

[CHT] This program has been reviewed and is acceptable for 1.0 Category A credit hour by the National Board of Diving and Hyperbaric Medical Technology.

CHT re-certification requires a minimum of nine of the minimum 12 Category A credits relate directly to any combination of hyperbaric operations, related technical aspects and chamber safety.

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