Hydrogen Sulfide Gas. Describe H 2 S gas and where it is found:. Hydrogen Sulfide is a highly toxic gas often associated with operations involving decomposing organic material (rotting plant and animal tissues).
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Hydrogen Sulfide Gas
Hydrogen Sulfide is a highly toxic gas often associated with operations involving decomposing organic material (rotting plant and animal tissues).
Hydrogen Sulfide occurs in a variety of natural and industrial settings. It is found in large amounts in natural gas and petroleum.
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Hydrogen sulfide is a gas made up o two atoms of hydrogen and one atom of sulfur; therefore it’s chemical symbol is H2S.
Properties and Characteristics
Sometimes on cool mornings it hovers over the ground and appears to be a fog or a mist.
Always remember that Hydrogen Sulfide
has no color; it is clear.
Hydrogen Sulfide is readily dispersed by the wind. The ambient air will actually dilute the H2S. You should always try to stay in an upwind location during an H2Semergency.
Effects of Exposure
The symptoms experienced by an individual depend
upon several factors including:
H2S will suffocate you by attaching itself to the red blood cells in your bloodstream and prevent them from carrying oxygen to the tissues and organs of the body. As the toxic gas builds up in your bloodstream, you will find yourself breathing faster and faster. The faster you breathe, the more H2Senters your lungs. Soon, the respiratory control center in the brain will become paralyzed and will cease to function. Depending upon the concentration of the gas, this can happen in as fast as 3 minutes or less.
Alcohol consumption within 24 hours can cause this process to be quicker than normal. This is due to the oxidation process the body uses in order to rid itself of alcohol. Unfortunately, this process leaves no excess reserve for the body to fight off the effects of H2S.
Do not consume alcohol within 24 hours of being exposed to Hydrogen Sulfide
In order to protect workers from possible adverse health effects, OSHA has established a Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) of 10 PPM for H2S.
Workers exposed to concentrations of H2Sgreater than 10 PPM must wear respiratory protection.
At facilities where H2Sis potentially present, an emergency response plan must be developed. This emergency response plan is usually called a contingency plan.
Contingency plans describe, in detail, the actions that are necessary to ensure safety in the event of an H2Srelease.
low alarm – 10 PPMflashing amber light
high alarm – 20 PPMintermittent siren
Hydrogen Sulfide cannot be removed from the air. The is only way to protect yourself from the effects of this gas, is to remove yourself from it. This can be accomplished in one of two ways.
A SCBA consists of five (5) components.
These are the
There are several common types of breathing apparatus and it is important for the user to be trained not only in the proper use, but also, the limitations of each type of breathing apparatus. Some of the special problems encountered in respirator use are:
When approaching the jobsite, it is necessary to take the following precautions to provide safe entry:
Minimum of two (2) defined alternate escape routes, preferably roads.
Continuous monitoring or detection equipment is required along with an adequate audiovisual warning system. Portable detectors and combustible gas meters provide additional degrees of safety.
Gas ignition hazards must be eliminated and “No Smoking” regulations strictly enforced.
Strategically placed explosion – proof mechanical ventilators reduce exposure risks.
An H2S Awareness Training Program and regular drills are a must. Practice makes proficient.
Observe wind direction indicators, such as windsocks and streamers.
Avoid low – lying areas since H2S is heavier than air.
Make sure and use the buddy system for mutual safety.
Maintain and observe warning signs.
Post emergency numbers in appropriate places.
Locate emergency safe briefing areas at least 250 feet from the source of the gas as practical.
Know the company H2S emergency procedures.
Put on (don) your full rescue unit (30 minute SCBA) before attempting a rescue, or you too will become a victim.
Remove the victim to fresh air immediately.
If breathing, maintain the victim at rest and administer oxygen if available.
If the victim is not breathing, start artificial respiration immediately.
Call an ambulance and get the victim medical treatment.
Keep the victim lying down with a blanket, coat, etc. under the shoulders to keep airway passage open. Conserve his body heat and do not leave him unattended.
If the eyes affected, wash them thoroughly with clean water. Cold compresses may be helpful.
In case the victim has only minor exposure and does not lose conscious totally, it is best if he does not return to work until the following day.