Most gases and vapours with a bipolar molecular structure absorb infrared energy. If such a gas is interposed between an object emitting infrared radiation and a thermocamera the gas will absorb some of the infrared radiation and thus cast a shadow on the thermocamera picture. In this assay it is possible to visualise the gas. This method had been used to study pollution with anaesthetic gases and vapours in operating theatres. The vapours of other chemicals used in hospitals and other places of work also have been studied. The method permits the study of dispersion and flow patterns of polluting gases and vapours during work.
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