Hazards of Chemicals and Gases
Gases are commonly used throughout industry. These gases come in several
forms and are often as dangerous as they are useful. This chapter provides
background knowledge of these gases.
DEFINE the following terms:
STATE the five major families of gases.
STATE the general safety precautions regarding
the use, handling, and storage of gases.
STATE the safety precautions for working with
LIST the physical properties and special
precautions for the following gases:
Gases in compressed form serve countless indispensable roles in modern technology. Oxygen
is used extensively to produce stronger and cheaper steels. Acetylene welding and brazing of
certain metals has been common for many years. Other compressed, flammable gases such as
hydrogen are equally necessary for the welding of certain metals. Some metals and alloys (such
as stainless steel, titanium, and zirconium) can be welded only under an inert gas atmosphere.
Carbon dioxide is used extensively in fire extinguishers for chemical and electrical fires. In the
nuclear industry, uses of compressed gases range from the addition of nuclear grade hydrogen
to reactor plant systems to propane and butane for heating components or spaces.
Gases are compressed for practical reasons of transportation, storage and use. The definition
of compressed gas by the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) reads: "... any material or
mixture having in the container an absolute pressure exceeding 40 psi (pounds per square inch)
at 70 F, or regardless of the pressure at 70 F, having an absolute pressure exceeding 140 psi
at 130 F; or any flammable material having a vapor pressure exceeding 40 psi at 100 F."