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Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S)

Last updated: October 16, 2016

What Does Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) Mean?

Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is a colorless gas known for its "rotten egg" smell. It is extremely flammable and highly toxic.

Hydrogen sulfide may be a safety issue for workers in a number of industries, including oil and gas refining, mining, tanning, pulp and paper processing, and rayon manufacturing. It also occurs in sewers, manure pits, water wells, oil and gas wells and volcanoes.

Hydrogen sulfide is also known as sewer gas, swamp gas, stink gas and sour damp.

Safeopedia Explains Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S)

Hydrogen sulfide is produced by the reaction of hydrogen and sulfur. This gas is heavier than air, so it tends to collect in low-lying places, making work in enclosed spaces where hydrogen sulfide may be present very dangerous. Depending on the concentration of exposure, the health effects of exposure to hydrogen sulfide can range from headaches and eye irritation to unconsciousness and death.

Testing and monitoring air quality is a key component in hydrogen sulfide safety. The gas has a smell, but it isn't always detectable when the gas is found at higher concentrations.

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Synonyms

H2S Gas, Hydrogen Sulfide Gas, Sewer Gas, Swamp Gas, Sour Damp, Stink Gas

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Industrial HygieneRemediation

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