Can welding Oxygen be used in place of medical oxygen?

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AZ Nomad wrote:

Are you aware of any impurities that are present in the generation of bulk O2 that are specifically removed when "medical" grade O2 is created?

Even welding supply stores will stock only "medical grade" oxygen?
You people might want to read this:
http://www.avweb.com/news/pelican/182079-1.html
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On 6/18/2010 11:56 PM, Some Guy wrote:

*That* was a great article. The writer has great credibility to my mind, as I am a registered nurse, former scuba instructor, and former commercial pilot. I thought I knew a lot about oxygen. It turns out I wasn't as well informed as I had assumed.
You guys really need to read this if you're interested in compressed oxygen in any form.
Jay
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Jay Hanig wrote:

The purity standard for welding O2 is higher than the purity standard for medical O2. In reality all three normal grades you can get, welding, medical and aviator exceed all of the standards. Only the analytical grade is higher purity.
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Nope. Why don't you look it up, starting with 1) the percentage of oxygen and ending with 2) the levels of impurities.
You can't use welding O2 for medical purposes but you can use medical O2 for welding.
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AZ Nomad wrote:

Like I just said, the presence of impurities does not necessarily equate to medical safety or have a health impact. If those impurities are nitrogen or water vapor, then what exactly are the health implications of those? We freeking breath them all the time - in concentrations several orders of magnitude higher than what could possibly exist in a tank of welding O2.

Says who?
A lawyer? Or a biochemist?
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cylinder I will say if there is contamination it will be in the tubing, not in the gas.
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But if the analysis does not say what the impurities are, you are trading on dangerous ground. That welding tank may have been used along with any other gas used in industrial environments.

Lawyers and other sensible people that do not know what other gas may be in there. Oxygen falls into the same type of situation ad drugs. The active ingredients of a pill are often a small percentage of the tablet, the rest being inert ingredients. There are regulations on what those inert ingredients can be. There are regulations on how they are handled.
If I was dying in an emergency situation from lack of oxygen, I'd grab any tank available. If I was at home with COPD, I'd want to be sure that tank was handled in a proper manner and would not make me worse off.
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Ed Pawlowski wrote:

You're stuck on old paranoia based on information that is decades out of date. All of the O2 purity grades specify no more than 0.05% impurities, and the most lax of the standards is the medical / aviator grade. The reality is that all the grades are filled from the same cryo O2 source and all are better than 99.99% pure O2.
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Again, you ignore impurities and only look at the O2 percentage.
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AZ Nomad wrote:

So provide a cite to your claimed impurity information, and what impurity present at 0.001% concentration in the O2 is such a hazard.
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I know how a medical tank was handled. I don't know anything abut a welding tank. The oxygen may be pure going in, but I don't know what was in the tank beforehand.
I'm not stuck on decades information, my son owns a medical supply company that supplies oxygen. I worked part time for him filling tanks and delivering LOX. We followed the regulations on medical oxygen. You are free to breath whatever you like though.
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Ed Pawlowski wrote:

The gas suppliers are not about to fill 2,000 PSI+ of pure O2 on top of some amount of unknown gas in the welding tank, that would be dangerous for them.

You follow your insurance / liability regulations, which do not in any way relate to the actual safety of using the "welding" O2 vs. "medical" O2, and have not been updated in decades.
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Ed Pawlowski wrote:

So you are speculating that the average compressed-gas retailer or supplier does not perform the same steps to evacuate / clean / what-ever / a welding tank that he (or you) does with a medical tank.

So you have a vested interest to maintain the impression that the average citizen shouldn't or can't use less expensive welding oxygen tanks in place of "medical" certified tanks for breathing or as a respiratory aid.
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I'm not speculalting; you are. I said I did not know but you are trying to twist that. . Please don't lower yourself that way; it is not very becoming. .

I have a vested interest in supplying proper care for patients. I'm not maintaining any impression, I'm dealing with facts. If it does not have that piece of paper, it is not medical oxygen. By supplying anything else, a supplier can be sued, can lose accreditation. I have a vested interest in complying with regulations. Use what you want, but you won't get it from me. Nor will your insurance company pay for it if not in compliance.
I know what is in medical oxygen and can trace the source. Until you can do the same with welding oxygen, it is now allowed for patient use, now matter how much you say it is the same. FWIW, the actual cost of oxygen has little bearing on the cost of supplying it to a patient at home. It has no bearing on how much a supplier is paid by Medicare or insurance,as that is a fixed amount. They give the supplier $XX per month to cover the oxygen and all associated supplies and costs. Some patient se 2X or 3X of others, butt he amount paid is the same. If we could supply welding O2, it would be more profitable, not less.
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Ed Pawlowski wrote:

I've never stated either why what I think is done to returned welding tanks prior to getting refilled.
The worst case situation is to assume that no special treatment is done to them. They are simply connected to a compressor and they are re-charged with O2, and probably using the same equipment, the same valves and lines and the same source of O2 that are used to fill all O2 tanks that are sold or rented at that site, which could be for welding, medical, or aviation use.

I said several times that you are proceeding from a point of view that the handling and processing of returned welding tanks IS different from that of medical tanks.
Let me ask you this:
If, hypothetically speaking, a compressed-gas supplier handled and processed ALL returned O2 cylinders the same way (both welding and medical cylinders) - which is to say that they are always cleaned, evaculated, etc, according to medical-grade specifications, then what would be your argument that an end-user shouldn't purchase a tank of "welding grade" O2 for their own medical or veterinary purposes from that supplier?

I agree that selling a tank of welding O2 to someone as a medical-grade tank of O2 (and charging medical-grade prices) is wrong and probably violates all sorts of laws and insurance policies.
But we are not talking specifically about that situation (product fraud).
If I buy welding O2 specifically for medical purposes, I agree that I am taking some sort of risk that I have no recourse or remedy for should the tank contain some harmful impurity. But I'm not convinced that a medical tank has a lower probability of containing a harmful impurity compared to a welding tank. The difference is that when I pay more for a medical tank, I am in effect buying an insurance policy that allows me to seek financial compensation. Perhaps I see no value in that additional cost if the odds of any tank (welding or medical) containing a harmful impurity are extremely low.
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and how much is real... well it IS a federal regulation.

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I said I don't know if there is a difference. You seem to have a difficult time comprehending that. Once you do, you will realize there is no reason to discus this any further. Feel free to assume I mean things I've never said though, as long as you have fun.

I already replied to that. See the line above. I'm working with facts, you are working with speculation and hypothetical speaking.

You are welcome to your opinion. It may or may not be correct. Find out for sure and be at ease with your speculation.
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Ed Pawlowski wrote:

You are not working with facts. You are working with pieces of paper.
It's ridiculous to say that two tanks that are handled identically behind the scenes are nonetheless different because of a piece of paper.

Since you claim to have actually filled commercial medical O2 tanks, tell me what analytical testing you did to insure that their purity was 99.95%. What lab equipment did you use to determine the purity of the O2 in those tanks?
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That piece of paper makes a big difference in the end use. It is not medical oxygen without it, no matter your opinion. I suggest you take it up with the FDA and have them change their ways. They make the rules, not me.

I read the piece of paper that came from the O2 supplier. He does the analysis and certifies it, then we fill patient tanks from the bulk tanks. That complies with regulations. If we did that with welding grade and distributed it for patient use, we'd be subject to all sorts of fines and liability.
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I bought two tanks last year or two, and one was manufactured by a company now out of business for twenty years. The tank had 800# pressure in it. It was out of hydro.
I took it to one place, and they told me to unload it on to their dock, that they were confiscating it, thank you very much. I said, not as long as it was in back of my truck they weren't. I asked the man what they would do. He said they would take the tank and give me nothing. He said they would not trade it for another tank, or make one dollar worth of adjustment in the price.
I went it to place two. The guy said, yeah, they still see them every once in a while, and they are considered a find that is worth $150 that can be had for free if they can get it from you. They told me to take it home, and grind all the rust and grunge and letters off around the collar, and bring it back, and for $12 for hydro and the price of the fill, they would swap it for another.
I told him that I had used it for cutting, and that I did believe that it was oxygen. He gave me an OXYGEN sticker he said to slap on the bottle. He said he was only doing it because it had 800# pressure in it. He said if it came into the loading dock without a sticker, and with no pressure, it would be treated as an unknown quantity, and would have to be tested, purged, and possibly the tank would have to be rolled.
I asked him why he would do this, and the other company wouldn't. He said, "I can't answer that, you will have to." Well, for me, it is a decent enough solution. I was not grinding off the letters on a company that was currently in business and that I knew owned the bottle. When the lease goes out on one bottle I currently have with that company, I am going to return it with a letter to corporate explaining why I will not be doing ANY business with them. I had done nearly $5,000 worth of business with them the year of this incident.
I think those little stickers (pieces of paper with glue on one side) are also available in MEDICAL OXYGEN and would not be hard to locate and reliable cylinders.
Look! It's official. It has a piece of paper on it. It HAS to be MEDICAL OXYGEN.
Unless one has the really spendy test equipment, you don't know what you have. Oxygen to me would tend to be more likely to be pure, as mixing contaminants would produce an explosive situation, and I really don't think that most people would take the chance.
I'm still interested in seeing the answer to Ed's question on what test equipment that guy uses to make sure they have medical oxygen. Maybe they just look at that paper sticker for quality control.
Steve
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