Sounding the Alarm on Toxic Gas Measurement: Capabilities, Limitations and Strategies for Using Portable Toxic Gas Instruments

Recently lowered exposure limits for a number of important toxic gases, including H2S, SO2 and NO2, have forced many instrument users to revisit where to set the alarms in their atmospheric monitors.  The electrochemical and PID sensors used to measure toxic gases in portable instruments are accurate, dependable, and can last for years in normal operation; but as good as they are, they have limitations as well as capabilities.  It’s critical to understand what these life safety devices are able to accurately detect, what they can’t detect, and where to set the alarms in order to ensure worker safety and conform with regulatory requirements.

·         What the toxic gas sensors in your gas detectors can (and can’t) actually detect

·         Changes in the TLV® exposure limits for H2S, SO2, NO2; and what to do about it

·         Where to set the alarms

·         The most common mistakes people make when using their toxic gas detectors

·         Choosing the best sensor technologies for specific monitoring applications

·         Using PIDs for measurement of toxic VOC vapors




Robert E. Henderson

Robert is the President of GfG Instrumentation, Inc., a leading supplier of portable and fixed gas detection, and indoor air quality monitoring products.  GfG’s instruments are used in confined space, oil production and refining, industrial hygiene, automotive, hazmat and other atmospheric monitoring applications all over the world. 

Robert has over 30 years of experience in the design, marketing and manufacture of gas detection instruments.  He has been a member of the American Industrial Hygiene Association since 1992.  Robert is a past Chairman of both the AIHA Real Time Detection Systems Technical Committee, and the AIHA Confined Spaces Committee.  He is also past Chairman of the Instrument Products Group of the International Safety Equipment Association.  Robert has a BS in biological science and an MBA from Rensselaer University.