A hydrogen sulfide (H2S) monitor is an instrument used to detect the concentration of H2S gas in the air. It is generally used for personal protection in hazardous gas environments, such as tanks, ships, silos, pits, manholes and tunnels. H2S monitor can warn users of unsafe air quality through sound, visual, and vibration alarms. Hydrogen sulfide gas monitors are commonly used in the Marine, oil and gas, construction, mining, and water and wastewater industries.
What is a H2S Monitor?
A H2S monitor detects hydrogen sulfide gas concentrations. H2S meters typically have a long-life battery, large screen that displays the parts per million H2S concentration. Some H2S detectors also have LED, vibration, and buzzer alarms.
It should be noted that H2S gas monitors are also called hydrogen sulfide meters, hydrogen sulfide detectors, H2S meter, and H2S gas detectors. These names all refer to the same device, an H2S gas monitor.
What Does an H2S Monitor Detect?
An H2S monitor detects hydrogen sulfide gas in the air and displays levels in parts per million (ppm).
What Is Hydrogen Sulfide Gas?
As a toxic gas, hydrogen sulfide is one of the leading causes of workplace gas inhalation deaths in the United States. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that H2S caused 60 worker deaths between 2001 and 2010.
Hydrogen sulfide gas may be present in well water, sewers, manure pits, oil and gas wells, and volcanoes.
H2S is heavier than air, so it tends to collect in enclosed areas. These confined spaces include utility holes, sewers, and underground telephone vaults. Its presence makes work in these tight areas potentially dangerous. Therefore, it is imperative to detect H2S gas in such precarious situations.
Is Hydrogen Sulfide Gas Dangerous?
H2S is a dangerous gas and can affect human health even at low concentrations. Health effects range from headaches and eye irritation to unconsciousness and even death.
What Does an H2S Monitor Do?
The primary purpose of an H2S monitor is to protect the user from hazardous air quality environments. The H2S detector warns the user to unsafe air quality via audible, visual, and vibration alarms.
H2S Monitor for Personal Protection
The majority of H2S gas monitors are portable. These are small battery-powered units with an H2S sensor that can be clipped to you and provide continuous personal protection with LED, buzzer, and vibration alarms.
H2S Monitor for Stationary Fixed Wall
How Does an H2S Gas Sensor Work?
An H2S gas monitor is composed of electronics and an H2S sensor. The gas sensor converts the gas concentration to an electronic signal for analysis by the onboard microprocessor. From there, the processor outputs the reading to the display. If the readings exceed the pre-set values, the alarms will be triggered to warn the user.
What Is an H2S detector Used For?
Hydrogen sulfide is produced from organic matter that decays and releases the gas into the atmosphere. Unsurprisingly, it is found in sewage, liquid manure, and other natural places such as sulfur hot springs.
It is also used in manufacturing and industrial processes such as:
Oil and gas industry
Sewer and wastewater
Agricultural silos and pits
Pulp & paper processing
Water and Sewer Industries
Workers can be exposed when sterilizing and cleaning. Maintenance of confined spaces in sewers can pose a threat, especially when in manholes, sewer pipes, and septic tanks. Testing tanks before entering using an H2S monitor with pump and probe is essential. When entering confined areas, workers should also wear a personal protection H2S detector.
Farmers and Agriculture
H2S exposure can also be a problem for farmers when cleaning manure storage tanks or around pit locations. Most often, these are open pits, so personal protection is essential. In fact, manure pits include other toxic gases such as methane, ammonia, and carbon dioxide. Often overlooked, H2S is one of the leading causes of workplace gas inhalation deaths in the USA, killing about 6 people per year.
Oil and Gas Industry
Workers in the oil and gas industry may be exposed to H2S gas. It is a by-product of the desulfurization process. See OSHA Oil and Gas Well Drilling and Servicing.
H2S gas is often used or created as a by-product of many industrial process. In this case, a fixed wall gas monitor should be placed in the indoor area to protect workers. These units can also be connected to ventilation fans and turn them ON to reduce the H2S exposure level.