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Dangers of Compressed Air

ACI's JetBlack Cleaning Station has been designed to minimise the use of compressed air for personnel clean-down and de-dusting operations.


Although many employers are aware that using compressed air guns/nozzles to clean debris or clothes can be extremely hazardous, it is still used for this activity in many manufacturing and industrial environments. The JetBlack offers companies who have recognised the dangers posed by compressed air guns a unique solution to minimise this risk.

A common misconception is that it is always safe to ‘blow off ‘ with compressed air. It isn't, and to back this up here are some facts about compressed air that might make you think twice:

  • Compressed air accidentally blown into the mouth can rupture the lungs, stomach or intestines
  • Compressed air can enter the navel, even through a layer of clothing, and inflate and rupture the intestines
  • Compressed air can enter the bloodstream, and death is possible if it makes its way to blood vessels in the brain
  • Direct contact with compressed air can lead to serious medical conditions and even death
  • Even safety nozzles which regulate compressed air pressure below 30 psi should not be used to clean the human body
  • As little as 12 pounds of compressed air pressure can blow an eye out of its socket. If an air pocket reaches the heart, it causes symptoms similar to a heart attack. Upon reaching the brain, pockets of air may lead to a stroke

The inappropriate use of compressed air is also worth considering - compressed air is frequently used for applications in facilities that may be more economically served by another power source. Whilst air is likely to be the most expensive form of energy in a typical facility it may be too readlily regarded as the easy and clean solution for all potential applications.

As a result, there are many typical uses of compressed air that are considered "inappropriate", ince other energy sources could serve equally as well with more favourable operating costs.