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Hazards of Nitrogen Asphyxiation
FINAL REPORT: Power Point Presentation on Nitrogen Hazards
FINAL REPORT: Safety Bulletin - Hazards of Nitrogen Asphyxiation
Incident Occurred On: 06/25/2003
Final Report Released On: 06/25/2003
Incident Type: Confined Space / Asphyxiation

investigation information

Incident Description
Every year people are killed by breathing “air” that contains too little oxygen. Because 78 percent of the air we breathe is nitrogen gas, many people assume that nitrogen is not harmful. However, nitrogen is safe to breathe only when mixed with the appropriate amount of oxygen. These two gases cannot be detected by the sense of smell. A nitrogenenriched environment, which depletes oxygen, can be detected only with special instruments. If the concentration of nitrogen is too high (and oxygen too low), the body becomes oxygen deprived and asphyxiation occurs.
Investigation Status
The CSB issued this safety bulletin on June 25, 2003.



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Board Releases Safety Bulletin on Nitrogen Asphyxiation Hazards, Underscores Need for Good Safety Practices
Washington, DC - June 25, 2003) Reporting that nitrogen asphyxiation has caused 80 fatalities in the U.S. over the last decade, the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) today released a new safety bulletin that presents a series of good safety practices to prevent nitrogen-related incidents.
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