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Technical dives often mandate special mixes of air in the scuba tanks. The deep diving often involved in technical dives requires that divers use lower levels of oxygen or a helium mixture to avoid dangerous health risks.
The standard air mixture for recreational scuba dives -- which is 21 percent oxygen -- can cause oxygen toxicity in deep-water technical dives. Symptoms include hallucinations, seizures and loss of consciousness.
In deep-water technical dives, divers may breathe such mixtures as trimix, heliox and heilair. The oxygen levels in air mixtures for technical dives may fall below 16 percent, which is not safe to breathe at the surface.
The first step for divers interested in technical diving is to seek special training and education. Contact established certification agencies like PADI, which will direct divers to instructors authorized to teach technical diving.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|