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What is a Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) Gas Detector?

Posted by on Feb 14, 2020 in Gas Detectors, Hydrogen Sulfide | 0 comments

If you work with crude petroleum, natural gas, or bacterial decomposition, chances are you encounter hydrogen sulfide (H2S) on a regular basis. Hydrogen sulfide is a colorless, highly toxic gas that can cause a myriad of dangerous health symptoms. If proper detection systems aren’t in place, the safety of your workers and equipment could be at risk.

A hydrogen sulfide (H2S) gas detector is often part of a monitoring system designed to detect high levels of hydrogen sulfide in ambient air. Hydrogen sulfide detectors can also be used in sample draw monitors to remotely measure H2S gas in confined spaces, and with the proper equipment can be used to monitor the level of H2S in streams of natural gas. Overall, the hydrogen sulfide (H2S) gas monitor is an efficient way to monitor the gas concentrations in your vicinity.

How Does an H2S Detector Work?

Hydrogen sulfide gas detectors primarily use electrochemical sensors to detect and measure parts-per-billion (‘ppb’) and parts-per-million (“ppm”) levels of H2S gas. These sensors depend on a highly reliable electrochemical reaction that occurs when H2S gas combines with specific materials used in the sensor. This reaction creates a tiny electrical current that is amplified and measured by the electronics in the gas detector. These industrial quality H2S detectors can help make sure the  H2S concentration level stays below the limit required by The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). 

What is a Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) Gas Detector, GDS Corp, Houston, TX

Depending on the environment, the Permissible Exposure Limits (PEL) for H2S gas are:

  • General Industry Ceiling Limit: 20 ppm
  • General Industry Peak Limit: 50 ppm (up to 10 minutes if no other exposure during shift)
  • Construction 8-hour Limit: 10 ppm
  • Shipyard 8-hour limit: 10 ppm

Types of Hydrogen Sulfide Detectors

GDS Corp offers a number of gas detectors that can be programmed to monitor hydrogen sulfide exclusively, such as:


  • GASMAX CX Gas Monitor – Single or dual channel gas monitor certified for hazardous areas where gas readings need to be transmitted in real-time
  • GASMAX EC Gas Monitor – Loop-powered gas detector for all toxic gases; certified for Explosion Proof or Intrinsically Safe installations
  • GDS-58NXP – Single or dual channel sample draw gas monitor designed to measure gas samples pulled from remote locations up to 100 feet away
  • GDS-49 Gas Sensor  – Loop-powered stand-alone gas sensor transmitter with replaceable sensors for any toxic gas
  • GDS-68XP or GDS-68SXP Process Monitor – Process gas monitor used to measure hydrogen sulfide or mercaptans in low oxygen streams such as gas pipelines.

Pro Tip: In addition to your health, don’t neglect to protect your equipment from hydrogen sulfide’s flammable nature in very high concentrations. Install a flame detector to ward off any potential fires.

Reliable Gas Detection Systems

Does your waste facility or manufacturing process have a gas detection system installed? While hydrogen sulfide is typically characterized by its rotten egg smell, you can’t rely on your senses alone since high levels of H2S cannot be detected by smell. Don’t ignore the hazardous effects of H2S in your vicinity; install an H2S gas detector you and your team can rely on.

Not sure which gas detector to choose? Connect with our gas detection professionals to find the best solution for your facility.

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Harmful Health Effects of Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S)

Posted by on Feb 7, 2020 in Hydrogen Sulfide | 0 comments

Hydrogen Sulfide is commonly found in crude petroleum and natural gas. It is produced by the bacterial decomposition of organic matter and can also be found in sewerage plants, livestock pens, bogs or swamps. In high concentrations, hydrogen sulfide gas can be extremely dangerous. If you’ve been exposed to a harmful level, the effects of hydrogen sulfide can range in severity from nausea to death.

Do you regularly work in processes that produce hydrogen sulfide gas? While the gas has been found in homes as a result of plumbing leaks, there is a greater chance for overexposure in workplaces and industrial settings. Depending on your industry, high levels of hydrogen sulfide could cause injury or death if not properly detected. Protect the health of your workers by understanding the dangers and signs of H2S poisoning and by installing gas detectors that can provide early warnings.

Dangerous Effects of Hydrogen Sulfide

Exposure to hydrogen sulfide usually occurs through inhalation, but occasionally can cause skin or eye irritation. Due to the invisible nature of gas, the spread of hydrogen sulfide has no bounds. While its foul-smell can warn of a hazardous leak, your sense of smell isn’t reliable. High concentrations of H2S in the air can actually corrupt your senses from working (olfactory desensitization), which could put your health at grave risk.

The dangerous nature of hydrogen sulfide is reflected in its ability to affect every organ in your body. According to the Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry (ASTDR), prolonged exposure could cause eye irritation, fluid in the lungs, and eventual loss of consciousness. Your prognosis is usually determined by the amount of H2S that you were exposed to, especially if you’re wondering about your long term outcome.

Pro Tip:  We have a selection of gas detectors that can be set up as hydrogen sulfide monitors for your facility’s detection system.

Symptoms of Exposure

Depending on the length of time and amount of hydrogen sulfide exposure, your symptoms will range in severity. To enable detection systems to monitor levels of exposure, OSHA has set a permissible exposure limit for H2S gas of 10 ppm over an 8-hour period. Anything higher than that could cause extensive injuries or death.

Low Concentrations (10 ppm or less)

  • Burning eyes
  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Headache
  • Nausea

Moderate Concentrations

  • Eye irritation
  • Fluid in lungs
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Insomnia

High Concentrations (100 ppm or greater)

  • Tremors
  • Convulsions
  • Rapid unconsciousness
  • Coma
  • Death

Hydrogen Sulfide Poisoning: What To Do

If you’ve been exposed to hydrogen sulfide, the most important thing to do is to not panic. While it is a very toxic gas, there might be time before you start experiencing symptoms. For eye or skin exposure, it’s important to wash immediately and remove all of your clothing. If you’ve inhaled hydrogen sulfide, try to get to fresh air and away from the contaminated area.

No matter the situation, it is crucial for you to get to a hospital immediately, even if you’re exposed to low concentrations. While headache or nausea might see like minimal concerns, those symptoms could be your first warning of a nervous system failure.

Protect Your Buildings from H2S Gas

In workplaces where hydrogen sulfide gas is produced, the effects of exposure can cause bodily harm as well as damage to your equipment. Due to the flammable nature of H2S, it’s critical for wastewater facilities and industrial manufacturers to have a reliable gas detector in place at all times.

Does your business have an H2S gas monitor? Connect with our team to choose the best detection system for your area.

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3 Flammable Gas Facts You Didn’t Know

Posted by on Jan 31, 2020 in Offshore Gas Detection | 0 comments

What exactly is flammable gas? If your industry handles combustible or toxic gases on a daily basis, you know the importance of minimizing the risk of fire or explosion. Become an expert in your field by understanding the facts behind flammable gases in your warehouse.

The Truth Behind Flammable Gases

A gas is considered flammable if it has the potential to explode or ignite when mixed with oxygen. In other words, if a certain level of flammable gas were to leak into the air, it could result in a fire. The most popular flammable gases are ammonia, butane, carbon monoxide, hydrogen, methane, and propane. Depending on your background, these flammable gas facts might be surprising.

  1. Chlorine Trifluoride is the most flammable gas
  2. Oxygen doesn’t start fires or explosions
  3. Not every flammability limit is the same

1) Chlorine Trifluoride is the most flammable gas

Of all the dangerous chemical gases, chlorine trifluoride is known to be the most flammable. It is a colorless and extremely reactive gas that can burn through concrete and gravel. The high flammability nature of chlorine trifluoride is due to its ability to burn without any ignition source, giving it the ability to exceed the oxidizing power of oxygen. In the few cases that the chemical has been used, it has caused massive explosions and been the source of multiple casualties.

2) Oxygen doesn’t start fires or explosions

Unlike what is commonly misunderstood, oxygen cannot cause an explosion or flash of fire. In order to start a fire, you need three elements: a source of ignition (heat), a combustible material (fuel), and oxygen (air). Moreover, while the presence of oxygen doesn’t start fires, it is necessary for flammable or combustible materials to burn.

3) Not every flammability limit is the same

In order for a chemical gas to ignite, the concentration limit in the air must be within a certain range. That range is known as the flammability limit. Depending on the flammable and combustible liquids or gases you’re using, that range can vary greatly.

To understand the flammable limit for a specific gas, you must know its’ LEL and UEL values. A concentration value below the lower explosive limit (LEL) is considered too lean to burn. In comparison, a gas or vapor exceeding the upper explosive limit (UEL) would be considered too rich to burn. That being said, the range of flammability is the concentration level that lies between the LEL and UEL values of the chemical gas.

Pro Tip: If a chemical gas exceeds its LEL value, it can quickly become an explosion hazard. Protect your business from combustible gases by installing an accurate gas detection system

Detect Fuel Gases in Houston

Regardless of your industry, it’s crucial for your warehouse or offshore rig to practice routine material safety. Our engineers agree that reliable gas detection is the key to lowering the risk of fire or explosion near you. To guard against flammable gases, install a gas monitor to efficiently check your facility.

What flammable gases do you work with? Share with us on social media!

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What is an LEL Gas Monitor and How Does It Work?

Posted by on Jan 24, 2020 in LEL Detector | 0 comments

If you work around sources of gas that are flammable, you may have noticed the term LEL, a term that is short for Lower Explosive Limit. Monitoring for hazardous levels of LEL is important if you want to maximize safety and minimize the risk of fire or explosions in your facility. The terms “gas monitor” and “gas detector” are sometimes used interchangeably when monitoring for explosive gases. 

If there is a risk that hazardous levels of combustible gas may be present, safety and insurance conditions may require a fixed combustible gas detection system and/or portable gas detectors. Both types of products will help you monitor the combustible gas concentration in your facility and will provide early warning in the unfortunate event a leak were to occur. 

Defining LEL (Lower Explosive Limit)

What is LEL? LEL stands for “Lower Explosive Limit” and is the lowest percentage concentration of a particular gas that has the potential to be flammable. Most gases have a lower explosive limit (LEL) and an upper explosive limit (UEL). Below the lower limit, there is insufficient gas for the mixture to ignite. Above the upper limit, there is insufficient oxygen to support combustion.

For example, methane or natural gas has a 5% by volume LEL and 17% by volume UEL. The upper limit is not important when considering the risk of explosion, but if the percent volume of methane present was 5% gas (95% AIR) then the gas monitor would display 100% LEL. 

LEL Gas Detection Options

When trying to measure the LEL level inside a building or confined space, there are two different types of detectors: portable gas detectors and fixed gas detectors. 

Portable gas detectors are often issued to maintenance personnel and will emit a loud warning tone if combustible gas is present. This can give the wearer time to evacuate the area, but unless someone is present in an area, the presence of combustible gas will not be identified. 

Fixed LEL gas detectors are permanently installed in a facility and monitor the atmosphere for combustible gases 24 hours per day, seven days per week. This is very important, as dangerous leaks or spills may go unnoticed during nights or weekends.

Fixed LEL detectors are typically installed close to sources of leaks, adjacent to air handler return vents or in the ceiling of an enclosed building or room. In most cases, fixed LEL monitors are connected to a central controller that can sound warning tones or activate strobe lights in the monitored area as well as in a centrally-located control room. The GASMAX II or GASMAX CX are examples of a fixed gas monitor or detector. 

Another type of LEL monitor is called a Sample Draw Monitor or Sample Draw Detector. This device uses a pump to pull a sample from a remote location and push it across the sensor. A sample draw monitor allows the gas detector to be mounted in an area that provides easy access and maintenance while sampling air inside confined spaces like paint cabinets or combustible gas storage rooms. The GDS-58NXP is an example of a sample draw monitor. 

Pro Tip: Protect your facility from the risk of explosion by installing a fixed combustible gas detection system to reliably detect the flammable levels of your gas materials.

Install Gas Detection in Your Facility  

To abide by the local and federal regulations of storing combustible materials, it’s crucial to have a reliable gas detection system in your warehouse. With industry-grade accuracy and nationally recognized hazardous area certifications, our LEL gas monitors/detectors will keep your facility safe.

Does your industry store or work with combustible gases? Connect with our engineers to help you design and install a system to monitor for the presence combustible gases.

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Essential Features in a Gas Detection System

Posted by on Jan 17, 2020 in Gas Detection Equipments | 0 comments

To keep your workers and facilities safe from harmful gases, it’s important to have a detection system installed to monitor leakage and air quality. Like most businesses, you might be overwhelmed by the wide range of natural gas and toxic chemical detectors available. In a market where every manufacturer promises safety and reliability, it’s important to know what to look for in a gas detection system for your business.

Unfortunately, natural gas leaks can occur without any warning. As you’re developing your safety plan, it’s important to invest in a gas detection system that will accurately monitor your working conditions. From portability to wireless integration, there are important safety features to consider as you choose a gas detector.

Essential Features in a Gas Detection System, GDS Corp, Spring, TX



How accurately does it read?

In an emergency situation, the accuracy of your gas monitor cannot falter. A good gas monitor will promptly notify your employees of toxic gas exposure, but the best gas monitor will be sensitive enough to detect gases at the onset. To make sure you’re receiving the best possible reading, compare the measuring range of your devices and ensure that the sensors have been tested to detect the true gas concentration.

Pro Tip: With remote access, you can use your smartphone to easily access important information in your gas monitor from any location.

Is it reliable for your industry? 

Even after meticulous testing, gas detection systems can break down from toxic gases. Be sure to research which gases your industry is exposed to and compare the durability of the sensors in question. Having a reliable gas monitor will keep your employees safe for the long-term, and with proper functioning, could also save money.

In addition, don’t forget to verify that your detection system will detect the specific gases it is designed for. Unfortunately, many sensors can cross-detect different gases and could cause confusion in your facility. Minimize any unnecessary headaches by ensuring your gas monitor is calibrated to properly detect the gases in your vicinity.

How user-friendly will it be?

Don’t disregard the usability of your gas detection system. If your gas monitor is too complicated or disrupts a workers’ productivity, your team will see it as a hindrance and will fail to keep it maintained. Choose a device that can be easily handled and/or installed in your industrial or semiconductor equipment. With proper training and an effective gas monitor, your employees will be given the tools necessary to minimize hazards.

Safety is Key

At the end of the day, the most essential feature of a gas detection system is to keep you and your workers safe. If your safety equipment can’t be trusted to effectively guard against toxic gases, there’s a problem. Choose a gas detection system that will accurately and reliably perform in your industry.

Are you searching for the right gas monitor for your business? Connect with our engineers to learn more!

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