Aromatic chemical compounds produced in these environments form the building blocks for numerous important materials including dyes, detergents, solvents, adhesives, plastics, synthetic rubbers and pharmaceuticals. But aromatics such as benzene, toluene and xylene isomers are also highly toxic.
Benzene, for instance is extremely hazardous and a recognised human carcinogen. To protect individuals, legislation has been put in place across the globe to ensure exposure is kept to a minimum, typically a TWA of 1 ppm (OSHA).
As this exposure limit is so low, its concentration alone usually defines the toxicity of vapours in the petrochemical industry as a whole. It is therefore important that sub ppm benzene concentrations can be measured rapidly in the presence of hundreds of aromatic and aliphatic compounds encountered throughout the industry.
Tiger Select PID instruments
Typically, benzene has been monitored using handheld photoionisation detection (PID) instruments fitted with a benzene pre-filter. Tiger Select by Ion Science is a handheld detector with two-mode operation for the rapid and accurate detection of benzene and total aromatic compounds (TACs).
Should the benzene reading exceed the regulatory limit, a short-term exposure limit (STEL) can be immediately initiated, which provides instantaneous TAC readings and minimises tube usage when benzene levels are low.
Tiger Select features a unique IonPID VOC sensor that incorporates both anti-contamination and Fence Electrode technology for extended operation in difficult working environments. The PID is capable of providing 15-minute STELs and eight-hour TWAs for TACs.
CubTAC personal PID monitors
Personal photoionisation detectors are ideal for monitoring the breathing space of individual employees to measure the levels of potentially harmful compounds that they are exposed to over the course of the day.
The new CubTAC personal PID monitors from Ion Science feature a proprietary, high output 10.0 eV lamp to provide continuous monitoring and alarms for TACs, with market leading ppb sensitivity. Providing accurate monitoring of the full range of aromatic compounds, CubTAC protects plant personnel by giving early warning of any harmful levels of exposure to hazardous aromatic compounds, including benzene.
Calibrated on benzene, CubTAC provides real time readings which, when below the threshold for benzene, ensure compliance with local regulations, making the instrument the perfect complement to the Tiger Select.
Key features of CubTAC personal PID monitors:
- Compact and lightweight design, comfortable and unobtrusive to wear
- Sensitive to over 480 gaseous compounds with a range of 1 ppb - 5,000ppm
- Fast response time of less than 13 seconds
- Provides readings in ppb and mg/m³ on a bright, backlit LCD display with selectable data logging time
- Multiple alarm options when exposure exceeds preset limits
- Alarm options include flashing red LEDs, audio alarm and vibration, or a combination of all three
- Variant available with 10.6 eV lamp for monitoring VOCs
- Incorporates the same PID technology employed on fixed and handheld detectors