10-1 Nitrogen-Oxygen Diving Operation

Nitrogen-Oxygen Diving Operations

Nitrogen-oxygen (NITROX) diving is a unique type of diving using nitrogenoxygen breathing gas mixtures ranging from 75 percent nitrogen/25 percent oxygen to 60 percent nitrogen/40 percent oxygen. Using NITROX significantly increases the amount of time a diver can spend at depth without decompressing. It also decreases the required decompression time compared to a similar dive made to the same depth using air. NITROX may be used in all diving operations suitable for air, but its use is limited to a normal depth of 140 fsw.

NITROX breathing gas mixtures are normally used for shallow dives. The most benefit is gained when NITROX is used shallower than 50 fsw, but it can be advantageous when used to a depth of 140 fsw.

 Advantages and Disadvantages of NITROX Diving.
              The advantages of using NITROX rather than air for diving include:          

  • Extended bottom times for no-decompression diving.

  • Reduced decompression time.

  • Reduced residual nitrogen in the body after a dive.

  • Reduced possibility of decompression sickness.

  • Reduced Nitrogen Narcosis

      The disadvantages of using NITROX include:

  • Increased risk of CNS oxygen toxicity.

  • Producing NITROX mixtures requires special equipment.

  •  NITROX equipment requires special cleaning techniques.

  • Long-duration NITROX dives can result in pulmonary oxygen toxicity.

  • NITROX is expensive to purchase.

  • Working with NITROX systems requires special training.

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