Ion Science Ltd.

What is a PID?


Courtesy of Ion Science Ltd.

PID is the abbreviation for “Photo-Ionization Detector”. A PID is a hand-held, personal, or fixed wall mounted detector that measures a broad range of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and some inorganic compounds in the parts-per-million (ppm) to parts-per-billion (ppb) range. It gives a continuous read-out and can alarm when concentrations exceed user-defined set points. It can also log data, calculate Time-Weighted Average (TWA) and Short-Term Exposure Limit (STEL), and alarm above these hygiene values. Advanced models use an internal pump to draw the air sample in from distances up to about 30 m. PIDs are most commonly used for industrial hygiene measurements to ensure that workers are not overexposed to toxic compounds, along with numerous secondary uses:

  • fuel vapors
  • solvents
  • paint booths
  • chemical spills
  • confined space entry
  • indoor air quality
  • pesticides
  • environmental clean-ups
  • leak detection
  • fenceline monitoring
  • LEL measurements
  • chemical process control
  • heat transfer fluids
  • clan labs
  • arson investigation
  • and many more

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