Nitrous oxide - N2O
Main information on nitrous oxide N2O or laughing gas: physical characteristics, health effects, dedicated detection equipment (N2O gas detector) and respiratory protection.
Nitrous oxide (N2O) properties
Nitrous oxide is also known as laughing gas. It is a strong greenhouse gas (global warming potential of 298), notably through agro-industrial activities (nitrogen fertilization), wastewater treatment and the combustion of organic and fossil materials. Nitrous oxide is an oxidizer used in combustion engines. N2O is also used as a numbing agent by doctors and veterinarians.
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Nitrous oxide effects on health
N2O is a colorless gas, spreading a slightly sweet odor. It is an anesthetic and neurotoxic gas that can have many harmful effects on health. It can trigger hallucinations, disorientation, muscle spasms, intoxication, and death from asphyxiation.
Nitrous oxide is also an oxidizing gas which promotes combustion and increases the danger of fire in some configurations.