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What are the consequences of improper use of sulfur hexafluoride gas?

Author:Winfoss Seeker Technology (Shanghai) Co., Ltd.Release time: 2018-05-17 Browsing

Sulfur hexafluoride is itself a non-toxic and harmless gas, but under the effect of high temperature and high pressure arc, it tends to decompose and release a variety of products. Some of these decomposition products are toxic substances that cause harm to the human body. At the same time, if a large amount of sulfur hexafluoride gas is inhaled, adverse reactions such as asphyxiation can also occur. However, high-purity sulfur hexafluoride is an “oxygen” that is not available to the power industry. What happens if there is gas poisoning? How can we prevent it? How do we know if it is gas poisoning?

Why sulfur hexafluoride gas poisoning? Due to technical issues and other reasons, some SF6 gas products do not meet the standard purity, and some harmful impurities may be present at the factory. Another situation is that when handling gas equipment, improper operation of personnel leads to leakage of SF6 power equipment, leakage of toxic and hazardous substances, and gas poisoning. Of course, some companies cut corners during regular inspections and leak detections, leading to equipment failures and gas poisoning.

The presence of toxic gases in sulfur hexafluoride and the dust generated in the equipment pose a certain hazard to the human respiratory system and mucous membranes. Generally, sulfur hexafluoride gas poisoning will cause varying degrees of tearing, sneezing, and runny nose. Throat has a hot feeling, hoarseness, cough, dizziness, nausea, chest tightness, neck discomfort and other symptoms. When the above poisoning occurs, the person poisoning the gas should be quickly moved to a fresh air and treated promptly.

Once sulfur hexafluoride gas encounters high heat and high temperatures (eg, arcs), by-products—sulfur oxide and hydrogen fluoride gas—are produced that coexist with undecomposed gases. At this point there are three types of poisonous gas. Sulfur oxide is a kind of sulfuric anhydride, which is easily absorbed by human wet mucous membrane surface to generate sulfuric acid and sulfurous acid, which has a strong stimulatory effect on eye and respiratory mucosa. Specific manifestations include tearing, coughing, burning in the throat, conjunctiva and tingling in the respiratory tract.

If high-purity sulfur hexafluoride meets the body's sweat, it will make people's skin red and swollen. Hydrogen fluoride, soluble in water. Hydrofluoric acid is also produced on the surface of the mucous membrane, which is easily absorbed by the human body. It has the same harm to the human body as sulfur oxide—eyes and respiratory tract, but it is more harmful. Hydrofluoric acid is often used to etch glass, which shows that it is highly corrosive. If human sweat is encountered, hydrofluoric acid forms on the surface of human skin. It penetrates deep into the skin and forms ulcers and necrosis, and should not be cured. If bone damage causes fluorosis, it will not be restored. Hydrogen fluoride is more toxic than sulphur oxide and sulphur hexafluoride.

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