Contaminated air during scuba practice

To understand the contaminated air, it should be first understood the difference between compressed air from the conventional cylinder. It’s basically the same as we breath: a mixture of oxygen and nitrogen (approximately 20% and 80% respectively). While none of these gases may give adverse effects on water, both can cause problems when breathed under higher pressures or when they are contaminated.

In turn, may contain contaminated air carrying suspended particles of vehicle exhaust gases (carbon monoxide), chimneys or combustion of forests, oil vapor, dust roads, volcanic emissions, or even the incorrect percent in the compressed air. When inhaled, these particles cling to the lungs when these filters, causing them to lose lungs functions.


Contaminated air usually has bad taste and smell, may be odorless and tasteless.

A diver who breathes it experiences headaches, nauseas, dizziness and even unconsciousness, and become with cherry-red coloration base of the lips and nails with cherry-red coloration.

The situation is recommended that fresh air and give oxygen (if available) to a person with suspected poisoning. Care is required in all cases.


Just load your roller with filtered compressed air, clean and dry a charging respectable station. And to avoid problems under water, test your breathing your air cylinder before every dive. If the air has the smell or taste bad, do not use it.

Fortunately, contaminated air is rare since it refilled at appropriate locations, and in dive shops. They know the seriousness of the problem and are a frequent check of your air quality.

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