For many applications ensuring and maintaining the quality of your compressed air is vital and, in many cases, is a legal requirement.
Examples of this are:
1) The pharmaceutical, food and beverage industries work with material for human consumption. This means that their air must meet a number of legally mandated standards.
2) Where workers operate in areas of poor air quality they will often use compressed air as their breathing air supply. Again there are a number of legally mandated standard that their breathing air must meet.
3) Many industries use contaminant sensitive machinery. These contaminates can cause corrosion, seizing and damage to sensitive and expensive equipment and so they need to ensure that they maintain the quality of the air that they use.
4) Hospitals, dental surgeries and other healthcare facilities use compressed air. As you would expect the quality requirements for this air are stringent and highly regulated.
Compressed Air Centre can work with you to meet all of these requirements.
In the UK the British Retail Consortium (‘BRC’) and British Compressed Air Society (‘BCAS’) have jointly created the Code of Practice for Food Grade Compressed Air.
The Code of Practice specifies minimum quality standards for compressed air used in the food and beverage industries. It defines allowable levels for dirt, water and oil, in line with purity levels specified in ISO8573-1:2001, the international standard for compressed air quality.
You can download the full Code of Practice here.
Compressed air can come into contact with food and drink in a number of ways during the production process, from the fluidised transport of powdered ingredients in a production facility through to the packaging of the end product.
People who work in environments with poor air quality are often supplied with a hood containing an air supply. The air supply, often referred to as breathing air, is usually supplied by an air compressor via an airline.
Since the compressed air is the worker’s only source of air, it is vital that the air is of very good quality. In compliance with the BS EN 12021:2014 almost no oil is permitted in the air supply. There are also strict limits on carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, oxygen and water vapour levels.
Similarly the COSHH Approved Code of Practice states; “The quality of the air supplied to a breathing apparatus should be tested at least once every three months, and more frequently when the quality of the air supplied cannot be assured.”
Regular testing of your breathing air is essential and a legal requirement. Contaminated air can have very serious health consequences for workers.
It is not only the air compressor that requires consideration. The whole system needs to be reviewed for potential issues. For example, if there are vehicles operating in the vicinity of the compressor’s intake then their exhaust will be used by the compressor.