Extremely hazardous Rotten Egg smell (small concentration), colorless, and flammable gas are characteristics of Hydrogen Sulfide. Hydrogen Sulfide can be smelled at low levels, but with continuous low level exposure or at higher concentrations you lose your ability to smell the gas (even though it is still present). If we are exposed by high concentration hydrogen sulfide directly, constantly we will lose our ability to smell the gas.
Hydrogen Sulfide naturally may pressent in crude petroleum, natural gas, geothermal, and sewage (It is produced by breakdown organic matter from human or animal waste). Hydrogen Sulfide’s density is heavier than air, thus if the gas present in one system it will goes down to bottom of the system (related to volume, temperature, pressure, other gas content).
Health effects vary with how long, and at what level, you are exposed. Asthmatics may be at greater risk.
- Low concentrations – irritation of eyes, nose, throat, or respiratory system; effects can be delayed.
- Moderate concentrations – more severe eye and respiratory effects, headache, dizziness, nausea, coughing, vomiting and difficulty breathing.
- High concentrations – shock, convulsions, unable to breathe, coma, death; effects can be extremely rapid (within a few breaths).
Before working where Hydrogen Sulfide may exist, you have to use several Personal Protective Equipment as last Safety Hierarchy. Recomended PPE should wear, they are: Gas Detector for H2S, Respirator with H2S catridge or SCBA (Existence of H2S is proved). Ensure use the PPE properly!