Light-induced sneezing and Argon effects

William Tivol tivol at
Mon Oct 21 17:41:59 EST 1996

Paul D Boyer PhD (boyer at wrote:
[light-induced sneezing snipped]
: Another question is whether there are any side effects from breathing
: Argon gas.

	Only the lack of oxygen.

:  This is a case of industrial exposure, where the tank warns
: that inhalation should be followed by removal to fresh air, and if not
: breathing, give artificial respiration.

	It can occur that the argon displaces the normal air in a small
volume.  Since it is somewhat heavier than N2 or (more importantly) O2,
a vat with no outlet at the bottom could accumulate argon.  Furthermore,
after breathing any oxygen-free substance to the point of unconsciousness,
one would fall to the bottom of the vat; i.e., away from a source of O2.

:  Sounds a bit threatening, but I
: also know some manufacturers are a bit overzealous in their warnings. 

	There *is* a real danger, and there could be no warning that
anything was wrong until a serious situation developed.
				Bill Tivol

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