H2S Safety

That Dangerous H2S – It’s More than a Rotten Egg Smell

When it comes to H2S, are you taking the correct precautions? Here’s what you should know about this deadly gas.


What is that rotten egg smell? If you’re a wastewater operator, you get that question a lot from visitors or even friends. You then explain the bacteria in wastewater breaks down decaying matter, which produces hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and creates the rotten egg smell. However, the truth is that H2S exposure can be deadly for workers in wastewater, mining, agriculture, textile manufacturing, food processing, and oil and gas extraction.
What is H2S and where is it found?
Hydrogen sulfide is a naturally forming gas byproduct of decaying human and animal waste. It is present in crude petroleum and natural gas; it is colorless, flammable and heavier than air, making it incredibly dangerous for wastewater, collections and maintenance workers.
Sulfides are produced throughout the collections and wastewater system, especially when a tank or piping is down for repair. You will find most sulfides in the following locations:

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About Sheldon 9 Articles
Sheldon Primus is a Certified Occupational Safety Specialist with a Masters of Public Administration with a concentration in Environmental Policy. He has been in the environmental and occupational safety field since 1994. Additionally, he is a trainer for the Certified Occupational Safety Specialist program of the Alliance Safety Council-Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Sheldon is an authorized OSHA General Industry and Construction trainer for the 10 and 30-hour Outreach program.

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