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Question 32

Why is helium used in diving apparatus?

Answer

Air contains a large amount of nitrogen and the solubility of gases in liquids increases with increase in pressure. When sea divers dive deep into the sea, large amount of nitrogen dissolves in their blood. When they come back to the surface, solubility of nitrogen decreases and it separates from the blood and forms small air bubbles. This leads to a dangerous medical condition called bends. Therefore, air in oxygen cylinders used for diving is diluted with helium gas. This is done as He is sparingly less soluble in blood.

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