Hydrogen Sulfide


💊 Chemical information

Hydrogen Sulphide; Siarkowodór; Sulfuro de hidrógeno; Sulphuretted Hydrogen.
Chemical formula: H2S = 34.08.
CAS — 7783-06-4.


Hydrogen sulfide is a colourless flammable gas with a characteristic odour.

💊 Adverse Effects

Hydrogen sulfide is a common industrial hazard and is encountered in such places as chemical works, mines, sewage works, and stores of decomposing protein. Concentrations of 0.1 to 0.2% in the atmosphere may be fatal in a few minutes. At concentrations of about 0.005% and above hydrogen sulfide causes anosmia and its unpleasant odour is no longer detectable. Pulmonary irritation, oedema, and respiratory failure usually occur after acute poisoning; prolonged exposure to low concentrations may cause severe conjunctivitis with photophobia and corneal opacity, irritation of the respiratory tract, cough, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea, pharyngitis, headache, dizziness, and lassitude. There are some similarities to poisoning with cyanides.
1. WHO. Hydrogen Sulfide. Environmental Health Criteri
19. Geneva: WHO, 1981. Available at: http://www.inchem.org/ documents/ehc/ehc/ehc019.htm (accessed 05/07/04)

💊 Treatment of Adverse Effects

In poisoning with hydrogen sulfide the patient should be removed from the contaminated atmosphere and an effective airway established. Inhalation of amyl nitrite or parenteral therapy with sodium nitrite have been suggested; this produces methaemoglobin, which may bind sulfide. Oxygen should be given; hyperbaric oxygen therapy has also been suggested. The conjunctival sacs should be carefully washed out if eye irritation is severe. Management is then usually symptomatic and supportive.
1. Gorman DF. Problems and pitfalls in the use of hyperbaric oxygen for the treatment of poisoned patients. Med Toxicol Adverse Drug Exp 1989; 4: 393–9.

💊 Uses

Hydrogen sulfide is widely used in many industrial processes.
Published October 26, 2018.