Air quality analysis: EN12021 standard, indoor air or MAP

Air quality analysis is a generic term that includes many products for various fields and sectors of activity. It ranges from breathing air quality in compliance with the EN12021 standard and the AREVA device for breathing air distribution networks for air supply systems to compressed air cylinders required for self-contained breathing apparatus. For the quality of indoor air in homes or the control of the protective atmosphere of food packaging, we also speak of air quality analysis.

Air quality analysis: EN12021 standard, indoor air or MAP
  1. In accordance with the EN12021 standard for compressed breathing air quality, the Dräger Aerotest systems allow monitoring the quality of compressed breathing air on low pressure (Aerotest Alpha) or high pressure (Aerotest Simultan HP) networks. They are connected directly and simply to the air network via a G 5/8 connector.

    • Control and detection of various potentially hazardous substances in compressed air according to EN12021
    • Quantitative measurement of CO, CO2, water, and oil vapor by reagent tubes
    • Simple and fast operation (measurement time 5 minutes)
    • Practical, lightweight carrying case for on-site analysis
    • Dräger oil impactor for monitoring oil aerosols
  2. The VAR 18 is an air quality monitor dedicated to breathing air distribution networks. Supplied in a wheeled case or in a 19" metallic box, the VAR 18 allows to permanently check CO, CO2, O2, hygrometry, oil vapors and dust particles in order to be in conformity with the NF EN 12021 & AREVA standard.

    • Breathing air quality analyzer complying with NF EN12021 (standard for compressed air meant to be used in self-contained breathing apparatus)
    • Continuous measurement of CO, CO2, O2, hygrometry, oil vapors and dusts
    • Traceability of data, alarms, calibrations over a period of 10 years 
    • Available in 19'' rack version or reinforced case on wheels
    • 7'' touch screen LCD display, configurable thresholds
  3. The CO2 detection light column is used to measure and quantify the presence of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the ambient air. Faced with the coronavirus and its mode of transmission by aerosols, CO2 detection is a very efficient solution to evaluate the presence of aerosol contaminants in a closed space and to proceed to the ventilation of the premises.

    • Ideal for public areas (meeting room, restaurant, school, etc.)
    • Traffic light-related indications
    • Allows measurement of air exchange quality and potentially contagious aerosols
    • Pre-calibrated non-dispersive infrared (NDIR) CO2 sensor
    • Very easy to install and use
  4. The HTRAM CO2 sensor measures CO2 concentration, humidity and temperature in the ambient air. It continuously analyzes the indoor air quality and the risk of infectious transmission such as COVID-19 by aerosols in shared indoor spaces such as offices, meeting rooms, schools, nurseries, bars, restaurants, waiting rooms, etc.

    • CO2, humidity and temperature measurement to identify potential risk of indoor virus transmission such as COVID-19
    • Non-dispersive infrared (NDIR) CO2 sensor for accurate monitoring of carbon dioxide levels
    • Operating on battery (10 hours autonomy) or continuously (on mains)
    • Colored display of the measures: green, yellow and red easily readable
    • Ergonomic, compact and easy to use
  5. Especially designed to detect up to 7 gases simultaneously, the Dräger X-am 8000 multi gas detector is the most powerful and comprehensive in its category for explosive gases (hydrocarbons, solvents, alcohols), toxic or noble gases, and VOCs (volatile organic compounds) detection. We can use it in diffusion mode or gas sampling pump mode.

    • Detects up to 7 gases simultaneously with a wide choice of infrared, electrochemical, and PID (photoionization lamp for VOC detection) cells
    • Color LCD, simultaneous and continuous display of all gases
    • IP67 protection rating (water and dust proof)
    • Rechargeable lithium battery - inductive charging
    • Approval: ATEX and IECEx, IEC, 2004/108/CE
  6. The OXYBABY is a protective atmosphere analyzer for measuring gases in modified atmosphere packaging (MAP). It marks by simple operation, short measuring times, and a small sample volume. The integrated data logger supports traceability and provides comprehensive documentation (HACCP/IFS/ISO).

    • Oxygen (O2) and carbon dioxide (CO2) measures in modified atmosphere food packaging (MAP)
    • Low gas intake and flow control with alarm if needle clogged
    • Storage of the last measurements made for comparison
    • Large backlit graphic display with a multilingual menu
    • Small cleaning and maintenance costs

Analysis of the quality of the breathing air

In the industry, as soon as workers are equipped with self-contained breathing apparatus (supplied air respirator systems, self-contained breathing apparatus, supplied by a compressed air network or breathing air trolleys), the limit values imposed by this standard NF EN12021 must be respected. 

This standard governs the analysis and control of certain parameters such as carbon monoxide (CO), carbon dioxide (CO2), the oxygen level (O2), hygrometry (water content in the breathing air), oil vapors (volatile organic compounds) and impurities (dust). 


Oxygen 21% (+/- 1%)
Impurities < national exposure limit
Lubricants 0.5 mg/m³
Smell and taste Absent
Carbon dioxide CO2 500 ppm
Carbon monoxide CO 5 ppm
Water content (*) Dew point < 5°C at the lowest expected ambient temperature

* There must be no presence of liquid water and no risk of frost. If the conditions of use are not known, the dew point of the installation must not exceed -11°C.

Analysis of indoor air quality

According to the WHO, air pollution kills nearly 50,000 people in France every year. And contrary to popular belief, the indoor air of a home or an industrial building can be up to 10 times more polluted than the outdoor air! The quality of indoor air is a real problem, which presents significant challenges. 

In addition to pollutants brought in from outside, many substances can be emitted inside premises, notably by building materials (floor and wall coverings, insulation), furnishings (glues, varnishes), combustion appliances, animals and various human activities (smoking, household products, DIY, etc.).  

Devices exist to measure indoor air quality such as colorimetric reagent tubes for benzene or formaldehyde, CO2 sensors to measure carbon dioxide released by human exhalation and the induced risk of viral infectious transmission such as the COVID-19 for example. 

Measuring the concentration of carbon dioxide is the simplest way to know the quality of the air and to evaluate the quality of the ventilation in the room. When the concentration is too high (above 1000 ppm), the indoor air is not considered clean. It is then necessary to proceed to the ventilation of the room (opening of the window, ventilation, etc).

It should be noted that a monitoring of indoor air quality is now mandatory in certain public-access buildings such as nurseries, kindergartens, colleges, high schools and recreational facilities. 

Protective Atmosphere Analysis (PAA)

The packaging under protective atmosphere consists in protecting the food from any contact with the air by replacing it by other gases, of industrial origin. In practice, this technique is often associated with conservation at low temperatures. The different gases authorized for modified atmosphere packaging are listed in the European Directive 2008/84/EC, the main ones being nitrogen (N2), oxygen (O2), carbon dioxide (CO2) and more rarely argon (Ar). 

Nitrogen helps preserve dry products, while oxygen protects fresh fruits and vegetables, meats and fish. As for argon, it is used to condition vulnerable products such as wine. For example, the recommended modified atmosphere for apples is 5% oxygen, 5% carbon dioxide and 90% nitrogen. For red meat, the ideal modified atmosphere for retail sale is 70% oxygen and 30% carbon dioxide.  

Gas analysis in modified atmosphere packaging involves the detection and measurement of oxygen and carbon dioxide with nitrogen as the balanced gas (deduced by difference). Most of the instruments used to perform these measurements (such as the OXYBABY Protective Atmosphere Analyzer) use a pump sampling system to pump the gas sample through a probe inserted in the package.