Nitric Oxide Gas Detectors (NO Detectors)


Nitric oxide (NO) is a nonflammable, extremely toxic, oxidizing gas with a sweet, sharp odor. Nitric oxide may be released by the action of nitric acid on metals, such as in metal etching and pickling, and is a by-product of combustion of substances in fossil fuel plants. It can be produced by the oxidation of nitrogenous materials, used as an intermediate in the synthesis of nitric acid, as a decomposition agent in certain gaseous products, and in semiconductor manufacturing. Nitric oxide is converted spontaneously in air to nitrogen dioxide; therefore some NO2 is likely to be present when nitric oxide is detected in the air. With the ability to accurately detect up to 6 gases, Industrial Scientific’s MX6 iBrid® portable multi-gas detector is the ideal instrument for nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide gas detection.

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Related Gas Detectors - Nitric Oxide

Nitric Oxide - NO



Not explosive, but will accelerate burning



Extremely toxic


Mononitrogen monoxide, Nitrogen monoxide

Exposure limits:


PEL\TWA: 25 ppm






IDLH: 100 ppm / 30 min.


Metal etching, blasting, welding, diesel combustion

Nitric oxide (NO) is colorless, poisonous gas. NO fumes may be encountered whenever nitric acid comes in contact with organic material such as wood, sawdust, or refuse. It can also result from heating nitric acid and when organic nitro compounds are burned, for example, dynamite. The action of nitric acid upon metals, as in metal etching and pickling, also liberates this dangerous compound. In high-temperature welding (oxyacetylene or electric torch), the nitrogen and oxygen in the air combine to form oxides of nitrogen.

Nitric oxide is somewhat soluble in water and when inhaled will react to form nitric acid. This causes slight irritation to mucous membranes of the upper respiratory tract. Continued exposure to high concentrations of nitric oxide can cause pulmonary edema and death.


Effects of Various NO Levels

Nitric Oxide Level in PPM

Resulting Conditions on Humans


Minor irritation of the eyes and respiratory tract.


Low water solubility, therefore, only slight irritation of the mucous membranes is noted even though
the TWA has been exceeded.


Irritation is more intense, coughing and burning of the throat is evident. Symptoms will clear if the victim
is removed relatively quickly to a clean air environment.


May be fatal even after short exposures.

NOTE: Continued exposure to low concentrations of fumes, insufficient to cause pulmonary edema, are said to result in chronic irritation of the respiratory tract, headache, cough, loss of appetite, dyspepsia, corrosion of the teeth and gradual loss of strength.

Source: Dangerous Properties of Industrial Materials (Sixth Edition) by N. Irving Sax


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