Commercial divers decompressing

Commercial divers decompressing

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Credit: ALEXIS ROSENFELD/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: MODEL RELEASED. Decompression chamber. Commercial divers in a decompression chamber. They have been working deep underwater at large pressures. They must be slowly returned to atmospheric pressure to avoid the effects of decompressing too fast. Gases breathed under pressure dissolve in large amounts in body tissues. A rapid pressure change reverses this process, forming bubbles that can kill by blocking the blood supply to the brain or heart. The divers are breathing pure oxygen to help other gases leave the blood. The decompression duration depends upon the duration and depth of the dive. Photographed at the French National Institute for Professional Diving (INPP), Marseilles, France.

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