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Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) Safety

Not only does hydrogen sulfide smell terrible, but its terribly bad for your health as well.

Hydrogen sulfide.

That’s the rotten-egg-smelling odor that’s produced as organic materials decay.

Hydrogen sulfide is an extremely hazardous byproduct of industrial processes.

And it almost always occurs as a colorless gas, causing health problems and even death when inhaled, consumed, or in contact with skin.

Individuals have to be especially careful when working in spaces such as basements, manholes, sewers and manure pits...

...because hydrogen sulfide is heavier than air, allowing it to travel across the ground and fill low-lying spaces.

There are several ways you can reduce exposure to hydrogen sulfide.

  • Engineering controls, like ventilation systems that remove gas from work spaces. 
    • Since hydrogen sulfide is highly flammable, the ventilation system must be explosive-proof.
  • Administrative controls: company regulations for operating in spaces where hydrogen sulfide gas is present.
    • Safety training and gas-level testing are also effective administration controls.
  • Personal protective equipment
    • For hydrogen sulfide we’re talking about full-face, air purifying respirators, self-contained breathing apparatuses, or supplied air lines.

And if there’s a possibility of direct skin contact with hydrogen sulfide, workers must wear protective gloves and clothing made from material resistant to hydrogen sulfide.

Until next time, stay positive and stay safe.