Public Lab Research note

Safety Precautions for H2S Research

by sara | July 18, 2012 18:01 18 Jul 18:01 | #2866 | #2866

SAFETY AND H2S Excellent pdf on toxicity and safety measure for H2S from NOVA safety and environmental:


General Properties: Invisible, Flammable, Explosive, Toxic Odor of Rotten Eggs Corrosive, Water and Oil Soluble, Heavier than Air

When H2S mixes with water it forms a weak acid. There’s water in our eyes, nose, throat and respiratory system which leads to irritation. Examples: burning eyes, sore/scratchy throat, coughing, respiratory irritation.

P.E.L. = Permissible Exposure Limit Defined as the maximum air concentration you can be exposed to in an 8 hour period, 40 Hour Week, without respiratory protection. Established by O.S.H.A., making it a LAW.

P.E.L. for H2S is 10 ppm

I.D.L.H. = Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health. I.D.L.H. H2S = 100 ppm

S.T.E.L. = Short Term Exposure Limit, based on a 15 Minute Time Period S.T.E.L. H2S = 15 ppm

Symptoms of Exposure: Burning Eyes, Sore Throat, Respiratory Irritation. Coughing, Headache, Dizziness Nausea, Fatigue, Confusion, Loss of Sense of Smell

H2S is a highly flammable and explosive gas. H2S fires produce a toxic gas. Ignition Temp is 500 F

The main byproduct of an H2S fire is Sulfur Dioxide or SO2. P.E.L. SO2 = 2 ppm I.D.L.H. SO2 = 20 ppm

What to do in event of Alarm:

Stay Wind Smart Always pay attention to the flags or wind socks. When alarms sound, retreat cross wind to the safe briefing area. Well Head Wind Direction

OSHA fact sheet on H2S:

NIOSH Guide to H2S:

Methods used by NIOSH to measure h2s:

Methods used by OSHA for sampling

Article on Electrochemical versus metal oxide sensors: argues electrochemical sensors are superior.

Possible H2S monitors we could get for field research safety:


wait, PEL for SOx is lower? so i shouldn't stick my head in a marsh for a whole week? there go my wetland zazen plans...

what we are doing is basically a metal oxide sensor, yes?

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Monitor to wear on the day:

Josh had rented a Gas Badge Plus for $20 a day from Safety Alliance in Farmington, (505)-325-7233

I have included this link to information on the Gas Badge Plus

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That GasBadge Plus looks great:

Continuous event-logging is a standard feature... Optional Cal Plus™ calibration station and Datalink accessories enable easy instrument maintenance, configuration and data downloading.

Measuring range - 0 to 500 ppm in 0.1 ppm increments

At only $118.75, it's a great deal!


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If used while carrying a GPS tracker, seems like it would be a very effective way to map H2S.

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