Cinnaminson, NJ, May 9th, 2016
In April, the U.S. Department of Labor reported that a 31-year-old worker who had been found unresponsive the previous year at an Ohio farm was overcome by exposure to hydrogen sulfide gas. The gas came from the pig manure he was loading into trailers for use as fertilizer. Tragically, the worker did not survive and federal investigators have determined his death was caused by inhalation of the gas which is rapidly absorbed by the lungs.
Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is a colorless, flammable and potentially extremely hazardous gas. Aside from its flammable and explosive properties, hydrogen sulfide is both an irritant and a chemical asphyxiant with effects on both oxygen utilization and the central nervous system.
It occurs naturally in crude petroleum, natural gas and hot springs. It is also produced by the microbial breakdown of organic materials, including human and animal wastes. Industrial activities that can produce hydrogen sulfide include petroleum and natural gas drilling, refining, wastewater treatment, coke ovens, tanneries and some types of paper mill processing.
“Since hydrogen sulfide is heavier than air, it often travels along the ground and can collect in low-lying, enclosed and poorly-ventilated areas, as appears to have occurred in this tragic event,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President of Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “Common areas where the gas may collect and pose a risk to workers in addition to manure operations include manholes, sewer lines and underground telephone vaults. Companies with workers in occupations where they could be exposed to hydrogen sulfide need to take the appropriate procedures to identify hazards, provide monitoring and the appropriate personal protective equipment.”
EMSL helps to protect workers and keep companies in regulatory compliance with hydrogen sulfide testing services, field monitoring equipment and personal protective equipment. They have also sponsored an online video that discusses hydrogen sulfide and exposure risks that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/oiVAOrvDKvQ.
To learn more about gas testing, monitoring or personal protective equipment, 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.