Argon (E938), helium's lesser known brother

Argon (from the Greek – means “lazy”, “inactive”) is a rare gas, similar to the better-known helium. It is colorless and odorless. It makes up roughly one percent of the air we breathe on our planet. Common It is a very stable, non-volatile gas.

Main important points about E938 – Argon:
It is a natural substance
Use in the Czech Republic is permitted
Not suitable for children
It is not an allergen

Production E938

Argon is industrially produced by fractional distillation of liquefied air. It is commonly present in space.

What is argon used for?

Argon is used in the food industry for various packaging. Replaces air. The product is usually labeled “packaged in a protective atmosphere”. Thanks to its properties, it can extend the shelf life of food. It protects them from oxidation and the formation of various bacteria.

Argon is also used in other industries. It is used for example:

  • For welding metals
  • Melting of alloys
  • For the production of components for computer technology
  • In lighting, where it can create different color effects (red, purple, blue and white) depending on the concentration
  • In medicine (cryosurgery), liquid argon is used to remove tissues (for example, cancerous ones)

Is argon healthy?

Argon is not used in the food industry to benefit consumers and their health. It is rather a suitable means for manufacturers who save money by extending the shelf life of food.

The human body does not need this gas, so it does not have any positive effects on it. On the contrary, some added substances can be harmful to health.

Argon is not recommended for the preservation of baby food.

Inhalation of this highly concentrated gas is dangerous (for example, when welding in a closed space), asphyxiation, i.e. lack of oxygen, can occur.

Use in the EU vs. USA vs. world

In the European Union, the United States and other countries, the use of E938 is permitted.