The nature of production in some industrial sectors such as pharmaceutical and manufacturing industries has made breathing air testing highly important. The reason behind this importance is not far-fetched, because as an employer in these mentioned sectors, one of the proactive measures you can take is to test the quality of breathing air in your work environment and ensure that it is safe and healthy for your employee.

It is important that organisations liaise with breathing air quality testing experts such as

Direct Air. Professional experts in this field can offer quality and effective solutions to make sure an organisation has all the testing services required to ensure that their air compressors and indoor air quality meet specific requirements.

A worldwide recognised standard that presents a comprehensive system for air purity designations, and defines main contaminants in compressed air is ISO 8573. When this standard is executed, it enables precise testing of the main contaminant in the compressed air, such as micro-organism, oil, water, and particles.

For compressed air testing laboratory, compressed air system suppliers, manufacturer, ISO 8573 is a common language that is widely accepted in the compressed air industry.


Why Test Air Breathing Quality?

The importance of compressed breathing air testing can’t be disregarded. According to the stipulated guideline of HSE, air testing should be implemented at least once every three months.

Individuals who inhale untreated breathing air quality are at risk of taking in dangerous particles in their system that could potentially harm their health condition. Employers will be liable for any negative effects, such as financial compensation for victims if an employee should fall victim to ineffective air-breathing testing. Some of the health issues common among employees who have worked in poor health conditions include various forms of cancers, breathing issues, and lungs problems.

As a result of this near-death, or even death experience, employers are therefore legally responsible for the safety of their employees in many sectors. Also, employers are required to follow the Control of Substances Hazards to Health Regulations (2002).

Industries in this category are those with environments where there is dangerous vapours/gas, or where the oxygen in the environment is insufficient. Toxic airs can also be found in environments with harmful airborne particles, such as bacteria, fungal spores, dust, asbestos, as well as any liquid particles like pesticides, or spray paint oil.


Breathing Air Testing Standard

The minimum stipulated breathing requirement is BS EN 12021. This means that all equipment and machinery for compressed breathing cannot have any contaminants with concentration levels that could be harmful or toxic. In any industry, all contaminants must be kept very low, far below the national exposure limit. That is, it has to be below 1/10 of the 8-hours exposure limit.

These days, only a few organisations perform quality breathing air testing to the industry standard, while considering the critical control points (HACCP) activities, and the hazard analysis.



In conclusion, employers should note that they have a legal responsibility to make sure that the air their employees are inhaling is not contaminated. It is, therefore, crucial for air compressors to be regularly serviced and checked, and also carrying out regular breathing tests.


By Lisa Baker, Senior Editor

Senior Editor Lisa Baker is the owner of Need to See it Publishing Group, providing contract news for business and news sites across the UK. Lisa is an experienced HR writer and commentator, editing HR publications for more than 5 years.