Having high levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) in your laboratory can be potentially life-threatening for your employees if the proper precautions aren’t taken.
Monitoring CO2 levels in your lab is essential in ensuring the quality of your product while maintaining FDA compliance.
Fortunately, CO2 monitors are designed to keep your technicians and products safe. If you aren’t sure what sensor to use in your lab, don’t worry. Here we’ll discuss the uses of CO2 sensors, as well as some of the best products available.
Why Measure CO2 Levels?
More people have started measuring CO2 levels due to CO2’s effects on the human body. CO2 monitors for medical offices, schools, workplaces, and public areas are becoming more popular, as high levels of CO2 can lead to less productivity and foggy thinking.
However, in the enclosed environment of labs, CO2 levels can reach extreme amounts. Labs typically don’t have much ventilation, and they often contain CO2 cylinders which can contribute to high CO2 levels.
Having a carbon dioxide monitoring system in the lab can alert employees of hazardous levels. Some CO2 sensors come equipped with an alarm that alerts workers of any danger.
How Do CO2 Sensors Work?
There are currently two different types of CO2 monitors available. They differ in terms of detection and measurement methods.
Chemical CO2 Sensor
Chemical CO2 sensors measure CO2 using layers of polymer. It doesn’t consume much energy and is small enough to use in microelectronic systems.
Nondispersive Infrared (NDIR) CO2 Sensors
NDIR CO2 sensors are more common than chemical sensors. These sensors contain an infrared (IR) lamp which works to move waves of light to an IR light detector. The detector then determines the amount of IR light that reaches it.
The waves of light move through a tube full of air. Only the gas molecules that have the same wavelength as the IR light are able to actually absorb the IR light. The other wavelengths just flow through.
The leftover light goes through an optical filter that’s designed to absorb all wavelengths, excluding for the one that’s absorbed by CO2. The IR detector measures how much light didn’t get absorbed by the optical filter or CO2.
Finally, the amount of CO2 is determined by the difference between how much IR light was absorbed by the detector and how much light was released by the IR lamp.
Best CO2 Monitors
It’s important to purchase the CO2 monitor that’s best for your lab environment. Below, you’ll find a list of the best sensors on the market that can help you maintain a safe workplace.
1. SensoScientific Laboratory Temperature Monitoring Systems
SensoScientific Monitors are made specifically to be FDA compliant. Not only do these monitors detect CO2, but they’re also built to measure temperature, humidity, pressure, water leaks, and even have remote monitoring abilities.
The sensors store data in a completely secure cloud — the program allows you to create reports and graphs of the measured data. You’ll have access to this data at home, work, and on-the-go. The temperature monitoring system also meets the standards of the FDA Guidelines for 21 CFR Part 11, which outlines the way electronic record-keeping should be implemented.
These high-tech monitors are ideal for users looking to store their lab’s environmental data.
2. AZ Mountable Air Quality Monitor
This monitor can detect CO2 levels between 0-2,000ppm. Its versatility makes it suitable to use in lab environments, schools, offices, and more. It can also measure the humidity and temperature of a room as well.
The AZ Air Quality Monitor can be installed on the wall of your lab. As soon as the device detects a dangerous level of CO2, it triggers the alarm — the sensor will beep and display a flashing light. The alarm will stop when the CO2 level has decreased to a safe amount or if an employee manually shuts it off.
Its NDIR Sensor ensures that the unit will last for a longer period of time and that the CO2 detection is accurate. This monitor even has the ability to maintain a stable CO2 level that you set.
3. Extech CO230 CO2 Monitor
Extech’s CO2 monitor can detect CO2 levels ranging from 0-9,999ppm. Mount this monitor on the wall of your lab or place it on your desk to ensure a safe environment. This monitor also uses NDIR technology for measurements.
You’re able to set the high and low levels of CO2 that you want to avoid. When this nonoptimal level of CO2 is reached, the visual and audible alarm will go off. Along with CO2 measurements, this monitor also measures dew point, temperature, humidity, and wet bulb values.
4. pSense Portable CO2 Meter
If you’re looking for something that can be transported, you can try pSense’s Portable CO2 meter. Simply keep it on your person to detect the CO2 in the potentially hazardous environment around you. An 80dB alarm will sound if you’re close to being exposed to a dangerous amount of CO2.
This device measures CO2 levels from 0-9,999ppm. The battery life is about 24 hours, allowing it to stay powered on throughout the workday. You also have the option of using a data logging kit that will store measured CO2 levels, temperature, and humidity.
5. Personal 5% CO2 Safety Monitor
This is another portable monitor that will alert you with an alarm when you’re in an area with a high amount of CO2. In addition to alerting you of CO2 levels, it can also alert other employees if you happen to fall. You can also determine the temperature and humidity in a room with this simplistic monitor.
Staying Safe in the Workplace
Having a CO2 monitor in your enclosed lab is necessary to keep your employees safe and happy. When CO2 levels exceed the normal amount, lab technicians will be able to evacuate the lab accordingly.
It’s also important to maintain proper CO2 levels for your products, which you can track with SensoScientific’s FDA compliant data storage system.
Would you like to be able to have access to your lab’s temperature remotely? Our remote temperature monitoring system allows you to keep track of temperatures when you’re not at the lab. Learn more about how our remote temperature monitoring system can help keep your mind at ease.