What Is Nitrox?
Nitrox is any combination of nitrogen and oxygen.
You have been breathing Nitrox since the day you were born.
The air that we breathe is comprised of approximately 21% oxygen and 79% nitrogen.
Nitrox mixtures with percentages of oxygen greater than 21% are called Enriched Air Nitrox (EANx).
The commonly used EANx mixtures are EAN 32 (32% oxygen / 68% nitrogen) and EAN 36 (36% oxygen / 64% nitrogen).
Special user friendly decompression tables for these EANx mixtures are available in a waterproof format.
Who Uses EANx?
EANx was first used in 1912 and has been used extensively for over thirty years by commercial organizations and the military.
It has also been used in the medical field as a therapy gas.
Advanced level divers have been taking advantage of EANx for cave diving, wreck diving, marine harvest and many other diving applications.
More recently, EANx has been recognized by national scuba diving certification agencies as an alternate breathing gas for recreational diving.
Is Nitrox For Deep Diving?
Many divers mistakenly believe EANx is used only on deep dives.
Actually, the ideal range of EANx is between 12 metres and 39 metres, the standard recreational depths.
What About Oxygen Toxicity?
As a certified air diver, you were taught how to monitor your nitrogen intake by utilizing a set of dive tables.
The deeper the depth, the shorter the amount of allowable no-decompression bottom time available due to nitrogen accumulation.
The same principle applies to oxygen at deeper depth.
The greater the depth, the shorter the bottom time.
Oxygen toxicity (on air or Nitrox) usually comes into play deeper than at the standard recreational depths of 12-39 metres.
EANx dive tables provide a reliable, conservative, and easy way to dive between 12-39 metres, while taking advantage of EANx benefits.
What Are The Benefits Of EANx?
EANx diving has many advantages over air diving.
Some of the benefits are:
1. EANx, when used with standard dive tables or computers, provides a tremendous safety factor.
In fact, when utilized in this fashion, the actual nitrogen accumulation is that for a 3 to 6 metres shallower dive.
This application of EANx is ideal for divers who simply wish to be more conservative individuals who are not "as young as they once were" or those who may not be in the peak of physical fitness.
2. A significant increase in bottom time no-decompression limits.
3. A reduction of the possibility of decompression sickness.
4. A slight reduction in nitrogen narcosis.
5. A reduction of decompression time if the no-decompression limits are exceeded.
6. Reduced fatigue after the dive (declared by many EANx divers).
I keep Reading That Nitrox Is Risky. Is This True?
Some of those who question the use of EANx lack the certification, experience, and complete knowledge
to competently write and report on Nitrox's recreational use.
With proper training, the risks of EANx diving are similar to air diving.
Both have strict depth and time limitations.
The treatment of Decompression Sickness (DCS) in recompression chambers is also similar with both EANx and air.
Aren't There Special Equipment Requirements For EANx?
Your standard scuba gear can be used with EAN 32 and EAN 36.
Tanks for EANx use are color coded and dedicated.
See your International Association of Nitrox and Technical Divers (IANTD) Professional for further information.
Where Can I Get EANx?
EANx is available at many locations throughout Australia, the USA, Europe, Bahamas, Asia, The Caribbean, Central & South America, Canada, etc.
Check our Facility Page for a complete listing of Facilities & Instructors that provide quality EANx training and EANx fills.
Do I Have To Be Certified To Use EANx?
Yes! IANTD instructors and facilities offer a full range of continuing education courses beginning with EANx Diver.
You will want to continue your EANx education with Advanced EANx Diver, EANx Technical Diver,
EANx Cave, EANx Wreck, EANx Overhead Environment, Normoxic Trimix Diver, Trimix Diver, and more.