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Differences Between Medical Grade and Aviation Oxygen

When it comes to oxygen, two types are common in different circumstances. Medical grade oxygen is typically used for medical purposes, such as helping people with respiratory issues, while aviation oxygen works well for pilots flying at higher altitudes.

But what exactly are the differences between medical grade and aviation oxygen? Let’s examine the differences and their use in their respective fields.

Medical Grade Oxygen

Medical-grade oxygen is the most common type used in hospitals and other healthcare settings. It is highly regulated and must meet stringent standards set by the American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM). This testing includes having a purity level of at least 99.5 percent, which means it has a low level of impurities that can be hazardous to human health. Medical-grade oxygen also contains specific amounts of nitrogen, carbon dioxide, water vapor, and other gases measured according to ASTM standards.

Aviation Oxygen

Aviation oxygen differs slightly from medical-grade oxygen because it has a lower purity level (99 percent) but still meets all ASTM safety and quality control requirements. In addition, aviation oxygen must also meet additional requirements set forth by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). These requirements include a minimum flow rate and maximum pressure levels, which are necessary to ensure safety during flight. Finally, because pilots often fly at high altitudes with less oxygen available in the air, aviation oxygen must also be able to withstand extreme temperatures without freezing or boiling over.

Which Type of Oxygen To Use?

When deciding which type of oxygen to use, the choice will ultimately depend on the situation. Medical grade oxygen is the preferred choice for medical applications, as its higher purity level ensures no impurities are present that could cause health problems. On the other hand, aviation oxygen is the best choice for pilots who fly at higher altitudes, as its lower purity level and additional safety requirements make it suitable for use in the air.

When comparing medical grade and aviation oxygens, it’s important to note that they meet different sets of standards designed for their respective applications. Medical grade oxygen has a higher purity level than aviation oxygen but does not need to meet any special FAA requirements since it’s primarily used in ground-level medical applications.

On the other hand, aviation oxygen must meet higher flow rate and pressure levels standards since pilots use it when flying at high altitudes where temperature extremes are more likely to occur. Ultimately, both types of oxygen are safe for their intended uses as long as they’re appropriately handled by trained professionals who understand how each works best under certain conditions.

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