Nitrox for beginners

What is Nitrox?

Nitrox is a name for a breathing gas with a different proportion of oxygen (O2) to ordinary air.

The air we breathe (including the air in tanks that divers use) is about 1/5 (21%) Oxygen and 4/5 (79%) Nitrogen.

Nitrox has extra oxygen (most commonly 32% or 36%) and correspondingly less Nitrogen.

Why use Nitrox?

When we dive we absorb Nitrogen into our bodies. Too much Nitrogen and when we finish our dive we may become ill with the 'bends' (Decompression Illness). This limits how long we can stay underwater.

By using Nitrox, we absorb Nitrogen slower so the dive is safer.

As an Ocean Diver you can use Nitrox 32 and Nitrox 36 as 'safe air' to reduce risk of the bends.

As a Sport Diver or above, you can use any mixe of Nitrox (up to 36%) for safety or to get a longer dive.

BSAC is the first (and only) agency to integrate Nitrox with our diver training program, offering all our divers increased flexibility and safety in their diving.

Copyright (C) Iain Crampton, Stingray Divers 2002 - 2007. All images (C) their respective owners. No re-use without permission. If you have any comments, suggestions or wish to use any content, please contact me.