Adventure Scuba Diving

Nitrox

There are many misconceptions about nitrox, some people incorrectly believe that it is a deep diving gas or that you need to take a complex and extensive course to use nitrox. A nitrox course is not a maze of complex physics, but is only about 3 hours long, and generally costs about the same price as any specialty course, and no need to purchase any additional equipment. The majority of nitrox divers dive within the 130 ft. recreational depth and time limits and use nitrox with air tables for the added safety factor and some will use the nitrox tables to extend their dive time.

What is nitrox ? Nitrox has the same component gases as air but in different percentages or concentrations. The oxygen content is higher than that of air, but the remaining balance is still nitrogen. Enriched air nitrox refers to a nitrox mixture where the oxygen content is greater than 21%. The two commonly used nitrox mixtures have an oxygen content of 32% and 36%. Nitrox I (32%) is used to a maximum depth of 130 ft. and nitrox II (36%) can be used to a depth of 110 ft.. Since enriched air nitrox has an increased amount of oxygen, there is less nitrogen. Not only does nitrogen limit your bottom time but it is also the gas component that can expand to form bubbles in the blood causing decompression sickness (the bends). Nitrogen also affects our nervous system at depths beyond 100 ft. which is called narcosis. Since enriched air nitrox has less nitrogen than air, it can be used to increase your safety and bottom time. Nitrox can benefit all divers.

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