More employers are renting high-end, expensive atmospheric monitoring equipment to reduce capital spending costs, according to instrument vendors exhibiting here at the American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Expo in Salt Lake City.

What’s behind the rise in rentals? After all, renting instruments is nothing new. It’s a service that’s been available for decades. But in today’s sluggish economy, companies are scrutinizing capital spending and cost-containment has come to the industrial hygiene department (actually it’s been present in the IH world for years now). Renting high-end IH instrumentation reduces costs – instruments are rented only when needed and returned after use. So there is a convenience and ease of use factor for customers. Also, OSHA’s new confined space standard for the construction industry is driving demand for rentals, as small construction contractors are often likely to use rental instrumentation.

The rise in rentals is not as evident in the lower-end market of IH instruments, such as single gas monitors and disposable monitors, according to one vendor.

To be sure, several rental services are prominent exhibitors this week here at the AIHce.