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April 8, 2022


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Hydrogen Sulphide (H2S) is a highly toxic and flammable gas. Each year in Canada, workers are injured and killed by exposure to H2S. H2S Awareness explains the properties of H2S, identifies control measures and provides a practical description of what to do in the event of exposure.

Definition - 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. 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. What level of h2S is dangerous?
H2S levels of 100 ppm and higher are considered immediately dangerous to life and health (IDLH). Besides its poor warning properties, H2S is so dangerous because the level that can kill is much lower than that of many other toxic gases.

What is h2S used for?

Farmers use H2S as an agricultural disinfectant and you'll find it in some cutting oils, which are coolants and lubricants designed specifically for metalworking and machining processes, and other lubricants. Hydrogen sulfide is also used in chemical warfare.
Who Should Take the Course? The risk of H2S exposure exists in many industries, including, but not limited to oil and gas, pulp and paper, construction, and mining. In workplaces where the possibility of H2S exposure exists, All workers should have H2S Awareness training. Workers who are at risk of exposure to H2S and/or workers with rescue responsibilities also require H2S Alive and workplace-specific training.

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