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Gaseous pollutants in Indian EKM and SSK class submarines

1 Officer-In-Charge, School of Naval Medicine (SNM), INHS Asvini, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
2 Classified Spl (Medicine) and Gastroenterology, Department of Gastroenterology, INHS Asvini, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
3 Resident (DMM), School of Naval Medicine (SNM), INHS Asvini, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Vivek Verma,
INM, INHS Asvini, Colaba, Mumbai - 400 005, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jmms.jmms_61_19

Introduction: Once a submarine dives, the captive atmosphere inside keeps changing due to release of various pollutant gases. The gases are produced by machinery, cooking, human, paints, batteries, cooking etc. The study was envisaged to measure these gaseous pollutants on surface and in prolonged dive onboard EKM and SSK class submarines. Methods and Material: Detector tubes and pumps were used to measure the concentration of twenty gaseous pollutants in harbour on surface & during sailing in dived condition. In harbour, readings were taken early morning and before secure in the evening. During sailing readings were taken on surface, just after diving and thereafter every four hrs. The readings were recorded in excel sheet and correlated with activities on board at time of taking reading. Results: Only Ammonia and Hydrogen Sulphide were detected at the beginning of the day in harbour, however by the end of the day all other gases were detected except Mercury, Oil mist, Nitrogen Dioxide, Ozone & Arsine. At Sea none of the gases were detected at the beginning of sailing. At 12h post dive all gases were detected except Mercury, Oil mist, Nitrogen Dioxide, Ozone, Halogenated Hydrocarbons & Arsine. Recommendations and Conclusion: The gas concentration values obtained by using detector tubes and pumps were found to be within recommended Permitted Exposure Levels (PEL) for human for continuous exposure. No gas was found to be above the recommended PEL. There was no significant difference in the gas concentration levels in the submarineWs of Russian origin and German origin. Pump and detector tube is a convenient, reasonably accurate and efficient method to measure gaseous pollutants on board Submarines.

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