Whether it is a natural gas pipeline located in an isolated area of wilderness, a manufacturing plant located in an industrial park, or other related setting, having a system to detect methane gas leaks is imperative to ensuring the safety of not only those at a facility, but also residents who may live nearby. In many cases where even a small methane gas leak goes undetected, the result can be a fire or explosion that can cause extensive damage, injuries, and deaths. To ensure this does not happen, a variety of detection systems have been developed for applications in various industries. If you are concerned about the dangers of methane gas leaks, here is some important information to keep in mind.
Is Methane Gas Harmful to Humans?
While methane gas is highly explosive, it is non-toxic to humans and is not considered extremely dangerous. However, for those exposed to methane gas in areas where oxygen levels are low, problems such as headaches, fatigue, and dizziness can occur. If oxygen levels continue to drop and methane levels continue to rise, it is possible for humans to be asphyxiated.
How Dangerous is Methane Gas to Breathe?
As stated previously, methane gas generally does not pose any significant danger to humans who inhale the gas. However, this is assuming the person is inhaling the gas in an environment with normal oxygen levels. In situations where methane gas levels are significantly higher than corresponding oxygen levels, the risk of suffocation increases dramatically. Thus, it is important for those who may be working in confined spaces within industrial plants or other areas to have portable methane gas detectors with them at all times.
What are the Dangers of Methane Gas?
While basically non-toxic to breathe, the biggest danger associated with methane gas is its capability to be highly explosive. Since buildups of this gas can occur quickly, especially in confined spaces, a dangerous situation can develop in a matter of minutes. Also, since it is a gas that has no odor or other way to alert one’s senses to a buildup, it is crucial to have fixed as well as portable monitoring systems in place at all facilities where methane gas is present.
Why Methane Matters
While methane gas may be known for being highly explosive, it is extremely important to many industries due to its ability to be used for a variety of applications and products. For example, it is a common ingredient in such products as fertilizer, antifreeze, and many types of plastic. Along with this, since natural gas is a much cheaper source of energy than electricity, it is used as a source of heat and energy for businesses. Also, many food processors, petroleum refineries, and other companies in the oil and gas industry that work with glass, stone, and clay use methane gas to dry, dehumidify, and melt products.
To learn about how your facility can be protected against a methane gas leak, contact GDS at www.gdscorp.com or by calling 409-927-2980.