SO2F2 sensors from smartGAS for detecting sulphuryl fluoride

Sulphuryl fluoride (SO2F2) is a colourless and odourless, non-flammable gas, which was originally developed as a fumigation agent for the treatment of packaging wood and wooden pallets, as well as for general treatment of deciduous and coniferous trees to protect them against animal pests. Sulphuryl fluoride can be used to treat single objects, empty rooms or entire buildings. It is therefore also frequently used for fumigation of oversea containers, where it not only protects the transported goods, but also restrains the spreading of invasive species. Sulphuryl fluoride is not used for preventive wood protection, but rather for active destruction of animal pests and fungi in wood. As opposed to methyl bromide, sulphuryl fluoride has no ozone-harming effects. SO2F2 does however act as a greenhouse gas.
Sulphuryl fluoride is also used successfully as an insecticide for pest control in certain foods. Fumigation with SO2F2 is possible for example in the case of grains, nuts and edible seeds, and dried fruits. That is why storage areas, silos and mills are treated with sulphuryl fluoride for the purpose of pest control.

Sulphuryl fluoride helps to avoid health hazards

Sulphuryl fluoride cannot be perceived by man and is absorbed unnoticed via the airways. Inhalation of SO2F2 in high concentrations can result in acute and, in the event of regular exposure, chronic disturbance of well-being, effects on the central nervous system and lung damage. The IDLH value (immediately dangerous for life and health) for sulphuryl fluoride in breathable air for humans has been defined as 200 ppm.

Especially persons who come into contact with sulphuryl fluoride during the workday – such as pest control workers, dock and warehouse labourers, customs officials and packaging personnel – are at a risk from excessive intake of sulphuryl fluoride. Moreover, the odourless sulphuryl fluoride is heavier than air, so that is can accumulate on the floor, in shafts and in low-lying rooms. Without a reliable SO2F2 measurement with SO2F2 gas sensors, pest control personnel, warehouse and dock labourers could be in danger. Since sulphuryl fluorides is odourless, personnel are not alerted in the event of accidents or excessive room air concentrations. That is why a precise measurement of the SO2F2 concentration in the air is necessary for a realistic assessment of the contamination.

SO2F2 sensors from smartGAS provide protection against sulphuryl fluoride

The high-precision SO2F2 sensors of the FLOWEVO series from smartGAS have measuring ranges of 100 ppm, 4 Vol.-% and 6 Vol.-%. The measuring ranges between 100 ppm up to 6 Vol.-% enables reliable measurement of the concentration in freshly fumigated containers as well as arriving containers in order to determine whether it is safe to enter them. In addition to the warning of increased sulphuryl fluoride concentrations in the room air and the proof of toxic gases in import containers, SO2F2 sensors from smartGAS also help to determine the correct dose of sulphuryl fluorides for specific fumigation.

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