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Helium (He) Calibration Gas

Helium (He)

This is Helium gas for calibration meters and testing. It can be used for balloons, but we are not selling it for that purpose. We do not offer adapters to fill balloons.


Helium is the gas that is present and most abundant in the universe after hydrogen. The amount of Helium present in the universe is estimated to about 23%. It is the second lightest element and is the only gas that is not able to solidify by only cooling. It requires a very low temperature of -268.9 degrees Celsius. For solidification, it requires a high pressure that is 25 times the standard atmospheric pressure. This gas is found in the sun while on earth the most common source is extracted from natural gas. In our air its concentration is about 5ppm. However, helium and other light chemicals are found in abundance in the earth's upper atmosphere where that heterosphere exists. 

Helium is colorless, odorless, and non toxic. It is lighter than in which is the reason for its use in balloons to keep them afloat. The purpose of helium is not only limited to balloons. The non toxic nature of helium means it can be inhaled. Inhalation of helium changes the human voice and makes it sound funny like a cartoon or funny like voices. This leads to becoming an integral part of some entertainment shows. 


Workplace Exposure Limits and Control Practices


No exposure limits have been established in the workplace by ACGIH and NIOSH because it is a non toxic gas. 

* Routinely measurement of room Oxygen should be taken to maintain it above 19.5% by volume, otherwise Helium can cause asphyxiation. 


Control Practices


* Appropriate ventilation should be available for a person's safety. 

Emissions should be checked to certify they comply with the environmental requirements. Srcubbers or filters may be used in non-compliance conditions. 

Use gloves when handling and washing hands after use. 


Health Effects and Hazards


Helium being a non toxic gas finds its presence in almost every person's life. Children play with balloons: common street vendors handle canisters for filling gas in balloons and other people inhaling the gas for fun as it changes the voice. However, this does not mean it does have any negative effects. The following are some effects and symptoms caused by exposure and abuse of helium gas: 

 * Exposure to high levels can cause headaches

 * Dizziness

 * Lightheadedness

* Asphyxiation 

* Severe frostbite in case of liquid helium skin contact

* Death- cases  have been reported due to suffocation involving inhalation from party balloons. 


Applications and Uses of Helium


Helium has many uses. Due to its use of extremely low melting and boiling points, low density, solulitlity in addition with high inertness nature. According to a 2014 study32 million kilograms of total world helium production,  a 32% is used in only cryogenic  applications involving cooling of superconducting magnets in MRI scanners. It is present in a great volume gas (7.6%). The following are the uses and applications of Helium gas: 


* Balloons 

* Non-reactive gas in welding of Aluminum 

* Rocket propulsion- to pressure containers 

* Pressurizing Hydrogen containers specifically as Helium is only a gas at liquid Hydrogen temperature and pressure levels

* Scuba diving -sustaining pressure for normal breathing conditions as helium has low solubility in the bloodstream

* Flotation- Because helium lighter than air it can be used in airships

* Refrigerant - due to its  inert nature, it has an ozone friendly chemical properties

*Crycogenic  applications - Helium in crycogenics is able to maintain a temperature of 1 Kelvin (-271.25 celsius) 

* Helium Mass Spectrometer - an instrument used to detect and locate small gas leaks, used as an operational instrument. 


Safety Precautions: Handling and Storage


* Always store in tightly closed containers

* Keep in a well ventilated area

* Keep away from sources of sunlight and heat

*Do not eat, drink or smoke in areas where gas is processed

* Wash hands, face, forearms and remove contaminated clothes after use

* Put on appropriate personal protective equipment such as glasses, gloves, lab coats, etc. 

* Read hazard signs and follow storage instructions that are included with the gas cylinder

* Store cylinders vertically and restrain them with a chain or bracket 

* Always keep filled and empty cylinders in separated

* Never roll cylinders along the ground


Helium Leak Detection


Helium leak detectors are also known as Mass Spectrometer Leak Detectors (MSLD).  Due to non reactive nature of helium, it is used as a tracer because it enters small leaks quickly and the rate of leakage is detected by a mass spectrometer