FITR vs Stain Tubes

Disadvantages of Stain Tubes to Test Breathing Air Quality

  • Subjectivity. Results have to be interpreted by the tester– some much more than others.
  • Cannot be calibrated to National Standards.
  • Cross-sensitivity. While testing for one contaminant, results may be affected by other contaminants.
  • Inaccurate - published standard deviations of up to +/-30%.
  • Affected by environmental conditions. Ambient temperature and pressure affect results.
  • Require accurate measurement of gas volume passing through the tube with concomitant calibration costs.
  • Not practical for testing for more than a few analytes.
  • Provides no permanent evidence. Any permanent records are subject to the interpretation of the tester at that time only, and would not support litigation.
  • Shelf Life. Tubes have a shelf life that is affected by storage conditions.
  • High initial cost and consumables cost.
  • Cannot be said to unequivocally meet the requirements of BSEN12021:2014 in full.
  • Problems of disposal of used tubes.
Advantages of FTIR Spectroscopy for Breathing Air Analysis

  • Accuracy. Uncertainty of measurement circa +/-2%.
  • Calibration to National Standards checked daily.
  • Objective. Known and calibrated analytes have concentrations determined by computer software. Unknown contaminants are analysed by highly qualified staff in laboratory conditions. Carried out by an independent laboratory.
  • Full spectrum analysis. Over 300 contaminants can be monitored in a single pass.
  • Fully compliant with BS-EN12021:2014.
  • Meets COSHH obligations with ease.
  • No initial cost.
  • Permanent record. As the scan is computer generated it can be stored indefinitely, to be available for scrutiny. Therefore provides genuine evidence to support litigation.
  • Value for money. Very low cost for such a sophisticated method.
  • No disposal requirements.
  • No consumable costs.