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H2S Awareness

Introduction
Hydrogen Sulfide is an extremely
toxic gas that is colorless,
flammable, heavier than air,
soluble in water, and has the
smell of rotten eggs at lower
concentrations.

At higher concentrations H2S can


deaden your sense of smell.

H2S

H2S Awareness
How Is Hydrogen Sulfide Formed?
H2S is a by-product
organic matter decays.

formed when

Hydrogen Sulfide is generated as a


common by-product of industrial and
manufacturing processes.
Hydrogen Sulfide is formed under low oxygen conditions
when sufficient amounts of sulfur and bacteria are
present. H2S can be formed in many places such as:
Oil and gas reservoirs.
Sewers and sewage processing facilities.
Dark damp places where bacteria is present.

H2S Awareness
Where Is Hydrogen Sulfide Found?
Hydrogen Sulfide can be found
almost anywhere that oil,
water, and gas are produced.
Examples are:
Production Separators

Vapor Recovery Units

Sulfur Removal Systems

Flotation Cells

Water Knock-Outs

Wellheads or Tanks

Heater Treaters

Pits, Cellars or Sewers.

H2S Awareness
What are the Health Hazards of H2S?
Hydrogen Sulfide can have an array of
health effects on the body depending
on exposure concentrations.

H2S will enter through the lungs and is


considered a chemical asphyxiate.
It blocks the transfer of oxygen to the blood
cells and causes paralysis of the respiratory
system.

H2S Awareness
Exposure Limits
Here are the Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S)
exposure limits.

Permissible Exposure Limit: 10 ppm for an 8-hr period avg.


Short Term Exposure Limit: 15 ppm for a 15-minute avg.
Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health: 100 ppm

H2S Awareness
Concentration Levels & Effects
The following table below lists the health effects of
exposure to H2S.
Concentration

Health Effects

10 ppm

Beginning eye irritation

50-100 ppm

Slight respiratory tract irritation after 1 hour exposure.

100 ppm

Coughing, eye irritation, loss of sense of smell after 2-15 minutes. Altered
respiration, pain in the eyes, and drowsiness after 15-30 minutes followed by
throat irritation after 1 hour. Several hours exposure results in gradual
increase in severity of these symptoms and death may occur within the next
48 hours

200-300 ppm
500-700 ppm

Severe respiratory tract irritation after 1 hour of exposure. Possible


pulmonary edema (fluid in the lungs).
Loss of consciousness and possibly death in 30 minutes to 1 hour.

700-1,000 ppm

Rapid unconsciousness, loss of respiration, and death after 1-3 minutes.

1,000-2,000ppm

Unconsciousness at once, loss of respiration and death in a few minutes.


Death may occur even if individual is removed to fresh air at once.

H2S Awareness
Monitoring
As mentioned, one of Hydrogen Sulfide's effects on the
body is it deadens the sense of smell at fairly low
concentrations.
This can cause a false sense of security
and therefore we must use air monitoring
equipment to detect H2S.
A variety of equipment can be used to do this:
Fixed monitors can be located where contamination is
possible.
Alarms to alert personnel when H2S levels exceed
permissible exposure limits.
Portable monitors that can be hand held or attached to
yourself.

H2S Awareness
When Do We Monitor?
Air monitoring should be done anytime there is a potential
for someone to be exposed over the PEL of H2S.
Examples of when air monitoring shall be performed
are:
At all times when working around H2S concentrations
During all confined space entries.
Any time there is a potential to be exposed over the PEL.
When gauging tanks.

H2S Awareness
Escape Guidelines:
Should a release occur here are some escape guidelines
you must follow.
Know the alarm systems.
Know where the potential sources for H2S are located.
Know the wind direction at all times.

Escape by getting upwind to a higher elevation (if


possible) from the source.

When escaping, always go cross wind and around the


source.
Never go directly upwind (you may be running into the
source).

H2S Awareness
Summary:

Hydrogen Sulfide is deadly, especially when you dont


understand or respect its dangers.
Take H2S seriously follow all safe guidelines and
standards. Remember; always ask a supervisor if unsure

Its a matter of life or death.

H2S Awareness
Quiz:

Short exposure to 100ppm hydrogen sulfide will cause


immediate death.
False

H2S Awareness
Quiz:

Hydrogen sulfide is invisible, flammable, explosive and


deadly.
True

H2S Awareness
Quiz:

When a hydrogen sulfide emergency occurs, rescue any


victims first, then protect yourself.
False

H2S Awareness
Quiz:

Hydrogen sulfide is heavier than air, so it collects in lowlying areas.


True

H2S Awareness
Quiz:

You do not need to worry about H2S unless you detect a


rotten-egg odor.
False

H2S Awareness
Quiz:

Emergency escape units can be used to enter and work in


H2S environments.
False

H2S Awareness
Quiz:

To avoid exposure to H2S, you should remain wind


conscious.
True

H2S Awareness
Quiz:

Your breathing apparatus should always be positivepressure, never air-purifying.


True

H2S Awareness
Quiz:

After youve been trained to use respiratory protection,


you wont have to worry about additional training.
False

H2S Awareness
Quiz:

If you suspect H2S is present in your work area, you


should move immediately downwind away from the area.
False