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## How does argon help with scuba diving?

Argon is a noble gas that is colorless, odorless, and tasteless. It is the third most abundant element in the Earth’s atmosphere, after nitrogen and oxygen. Argon is used in a variety of applications, including welding, lighting, and scuba diving.

In scuba diving, argon is used as a diluent gas. A diluent gas is a gas that is mixed with oxygen to create a breathing gas that is safe for divers to breathe at depth. Nitrogen is the most common diluent gas, but argon has several advantages over nitrogen.

### Advantages of using argon as a diluent gas

* **Argon is less narcotic than nitrogen.** Nitrogen narcosis is a condition that can occur when a diver breathes nitrogen at high pressure. Symptoms of nitrogen narcosis include euphoria, confusion, and loss of coordination. Argon is less narcotic than nitrogen, so it can help to reduce the risk of nitrogen narcosis.
* **Argon is less soluble in blood than nitrogen.** This means that argon is less likely to be absorbed into the bloodstream and cause decompression sickness. Decompression sickness is a condition that can occur when a diver ascends too quickly from depth. The nitrogen that is dissolved in the bloodstream can form bubbles, which can cause pain, tissue damage, and even death.
* **Argon is denser than nitrogen.** This means that argon will stay at the bottom of the tank and will not be as likely to be inhaled by the diver. This can help to reduce the risk of oxygen toxicity. Oxygen toxicity is a condition that can occur when a diver breathes too much oxygen. Symptoms of oxygen toxicity include seizures, blindness, and even death.

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### Disadvantages of using argon as a diluent gas

* **Argon is more expensive than nitrogen.** Argon is a noble gas, and it is more expensive to produce than nitrogen. This can make it more expensive to fill a scuba tank with argon.
* **Argon is not as readily available as nitrogen.** Nitrogen is the most common diluent gas, so it is more readily available than argon. This can make it more difficult to find a dive shop that can fill a scuba tank with argon.

### Conclusion

Argon is a safe and effective diluent gas for scuba diving. It has several advantages over nitrogen, including reduced narcosis, reduced solubility in blood, and increased density. However, argon is more expensive and less readily available than nitrogen.

Divers who are considering using argon as a diluent gas should weigh the advantages and disadvantages before making a decision.

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