This handbook describes the use and performance of gas detection tubes and sampling pumps manufactured by RAE Systems Inc. RAE Systems began manufacturing gas detection tubes in 1997 and is adding many new tubes to its product line each year. Modern production facilities and techniques allow us to offer high-quality tubes at a highly competitive price. Gas detection tubes were first developed at Harvard University in the early 1900s for measuring carbon monoxide. In this method a gas sample is pulled through a glass tube containing a reagent, and a reaction between the gas and solid reagent forms a color that is related to the concentration of the gas. The concept is similar to other colorimetric methods such as pH paper for measuring acids and bases, and bleaching of dyes to determine ozone or chlorine levels in water or air. Early tubes were designed mainly for confined space entry, such as in the mining industry, where CO and H2S are the main toxic gases. Since then, a large number of tubes have been developed for a broad range of chemicals. With the coming of OSHA regulations in the workplace in the 1970s, these compounds have expanded from mostly inorganic, acutely toxic compounds to include a large number of organic compounds whose health effects tend to be more long term. Along with this change has come an increased need for specificity in the measurements.
RAE (2013) Gas Detection Tubes and Sampling Handbook