How can you tell if there’s hydrogen sulfide (H2S) nearby? Although it smells like rotten eggs at first, high concentrations quickly paralyze your sense of smell. Hydrogen sulfide is colorless and tends to amass in dark, enclosed places. There’s no way to identify deadly pockets of gas without scientific instruments. So, how do you identify the signs of hydrogen sulfide exposure?
If you work at a facility that produces small amounts of H2S, such as a meat processing plant or a farm, you might not realize you were exposed at all. Consistent exposure to low concentrations of hydrogen sulfide may seem like the flu or a migraine headache.
If your workplace deals with any sulfuric materials or decomposing organics and you experience a persistent pounding headache, nausea, itchy eyes, and a sore throat, you might have been exposed to a constant, yet unnoticeable amount of H2S.
On the other hand, if your workplace has decomposing organics, sour oil, or natural gas, and you suddenly experience burning eyes and throat paired with a headache and nausea, you should leave the area immediately and contact a HAZMAT specialist. When there’s already a high concentration of hydrogen sulfide in the air, you don’t want to take any chances.
Use an H2S Detector
If you suspect there’s hydrogen sulfide nearby, the best thing you can do is pick up an H2S detector. These handheld devices analyze samples from the air and instantly tell you the parts per million (ppm) of hydrogen sulfide in the air. Many detectors include alarms that ring at a certain ppm threshold. Even if you can’t see or smell the gas, a hydrogen sulfide detector can cue you into hidden dangers.
If you received unsafe hydrogen sulfide exposure as a result of negligent workplace safety measures or OSHA violations, you might have a case. If you’d like an experienced attorney from Pringle & Herigstad to evaluate your case, please send us an email or give us a call at (701) 599-4337.