Those who are in close touch with hydrogen sulfide know that it is a harmful gas and it could lead to various health effects. Workers are at a higher risk because they are obviously in close contact with this gaseous substance. They get affected because they breathe it because of the surroundings in which they work. While normally it is believed that hydrogen sulfide is not dangerous, overdosage or inhaling in large quantities could be harmful and it could lead to injuries and even death. Hence, it is important to find out ways and means by which the risk can be overcome.
The Limits Need To Be Understood
The dangers associated with hydrogen sulfide inhalation or contamination with water and other sources would depend on the contamination limits. Normally when the limits are between 0.01 to 1.5 ppm or parts per million it might start giving out a bad odor that is somewhat like rotten eggs. However, when the ppm levels of concentration go beyond 3.5 then the odor becomes offensive. When it reaches around 30 ppm then you could reach a stage where the order could be considered as sickeningly sweet.
If a person is continuously exposed to this odor, he or she could suffer from common side effects. These could include watering of the eyes, nausea, and loss of sleep or headaches. People with bronchial problems could suffer from severe breathing problems and other such symptoms.
As the levels of concentration measured by parts per million increase, it is quite obvious that side effects will become even more severe. Many people suffer from gas eyes or conjunctivitis. Many also could suffer from severe loss of appetite and digestive tract problems. Other serious side effects include loss of smell, drowsiness after continued exposure for 15 to 30 minutes are also worth mentioning. At levels higher than 500 ppm, the side effects could be very severe and could endanger the lives of the persons and people are known to stagger and collapse and death may occur in around 30 to 60 minutes.
How to Overcome The Problem
There are many ways by which the problem can be overcome and it may not be possible to have a straight-jacketed approach to the problem. We are looking at a few of the options for the benefit of our customers.
Activated Carbon (Granular) – If the level of Hydrogen Sulfide is less than 0.3 ppm it makes sense to use granular activated carbon activated granular filtering systems. These are also referred to as GAC filters and they are considered efficient because they can absorb hydrogen sulfide. However, they have limited absorbing capacity and you may have to have other options in hand.
Catalytic Carbon – As technology moves on there are other options that are also quite efficient for removing hydrogen sulfide. One such option is catalytic carbon because like activated carbon it has all the absorbent properties. At the same time, it also has the capacity of converting hydrogen sulfide into less dangerous elemental sulfur.
The Final Word
Apart from the above, there are also other options like aeration, greensand manganese filter and chemical oxidation that could be thought about. These methods can be effective if it is used in the right way.
Chemical Products Industries, Inc. Address: 7649 SW 34th St, Oklahoma City, OK Phone: (800) 624-4356