Cinnaminson, NJ, April 13th, 2016
Exposure to sewer gas is a concern due to its unpleasant odor, health effects associated with breathing toxic gases and potential asphyxiation concerns. In high concentrations, it can create explosion hazards and even in low concentrations could lower property values.
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services reports that sewer gas is a complex mixture of toxic and nontoxic gases that can be present at varying levels depending upon the source. It is formed during the decay of household and industrial waste. Highly toxic components of sewer gas include hydrogen sulfide and ammonia. Sewer gas also contains methane, carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrous oxides. The agency also reports that chlorine bleaches, industrial solvents and gasoline are frequently present in municipal and privately owned sewage treatment systems.
There are steps people can take to help prevent exposure to sewer gas. They include flushing floor and sink drains and other plumbing fixtures with water to prevent the traps in the pipes from drying out. Inspecting plumbing vents for any signs of blockage or cracks is also recommended. These exhaust vents should not be located too closely to air intakes or windows used for ventilation.
“Sewer gas can enter a home or building in a number of ways, including through floor drains, from a leaking, cracked or blocked plumbing vent, or through cracks in the foundation if the gas is present in the soil adjacent to the property,” said Joseph Frasca, Senior Vice President of Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “People who suspect they may be exposed to sewer gas in their home, school or business can turn to EMSL for testing services, sampling supplies and real-time air monitoring equipment. If sewer gas is found through testing, corrective actions can then be implemented to eliminate the problem.”
EMSL also recently sponsored an educational video about exposure concerns to sewer gas that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/3mRydjd6uQQ.
To learn more about testing for sewer gas or other indoor air quality, environmental or occupational issues, please visit www.EMSL.com, call (800) 220-3675 or email info@EMSL.com.
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental, indoor air quality, consumer product and materials testing services and products for professionals and the general public. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.