Considered to be one of the leading causes of workplace deaths when it comes to gas inhalation, hydrogen sulfide is a threat not to be taken lightly. Poisonous, colorless, and extremely flammable and corrosive, it can lead to a number of problems for workers who are exposed to it within their work environment. Due to the severity of the threat, facilities employ a number of fixed and portable detectors and sensors to ensure areas are made as safe as possible. But in order to know the best types of detection systems to use, it is crucial to have a good understanding of the dangers associated with H2S.
Hydrogen Sulfide: The Dangers
As stated earlier, hydrogen sulfide is a gas that is colorless, poisonous, and very flammable and corrosive. As a result, even a slight buildup that goes undetected can lead to a fire or explosion, causing significant injuries, deaths, and destruction to a facility and its equipment. To guard against these and other dangers, companies select detection systems that have such features as real-time data transmission, wireless network capability, and multiple alarm systems.
The Dangers of Hydrogen Sulfide
For workers who inhale hydrogen sulfide, the physical effects can vary depending on a number of factors. These often include the gas levels in the area where they were exposed, how long they were exposed to H2S, and where the exposure occurred. If concentrations of H2S were very high, death by asphyxiation is a definite possibility. For serious or life-threatening effects to occur, a person generally has to breathe in H2S where gas concentration levels are at 100 parts per million or higher.
Hydrogen Sulfide Gas Dangers
When concentration levels of hydrogen sulfide reach or exceed 100 parts per million, a variety of serious physical problems can occur in people exposed to these levels. Some of the most common include an inability to breath, convulsions, shock, quick lapse into unconsciousness, coma, and death. Thus, if a smell of rotten eggs is noticed within an area, it is likely high concentrations of H2S are present or will be present in a short period of time. In these instances, evacuations should begin immediately.
Since it can be very common for buildups of hydrogen sulfide to occur in confined spaces, facilities not only install fixed detectors near these areas, but also invest in portable detectors for use by engineers and technicians. Offering handheld versions as well as those that can clip to clothing or belts, portable monitoring can quickly alert personnel to the dangers of H2S and allow for a quick evacuation of the area. Along with this, the detectors can send real-time data to monitoring personnel, allowing emergency personnel to make quick decisions while evaluating data that is constantly changing.
Since the effects of hydrogen sulfide can become deadly very quickly, it is crucial facilities invest in the best possible detection systems. To learn how to select the best detectors for your company, contact an Applications Engineer at GDS by calling 409-927-2980.