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    H2OPower's Avatar
    H2OPower Posts: 1, Reputation: 1
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    #1

    Aug 26, 2009, 05:39 PM
    Is the oderizer in natural gas a health hazard?
    My question is whether there is a health hazard associated with Natural Gas or with 'Mercaptan,' the oderizer used in Natural Gas? Especially when inhailed in very small amounts over an extended period of a year or more. Last October (2008) member 'AKaeTrue' noted she often smelled a faint natural gas oder and asked about the hazard. Most of the answers seemed to relate to the explosion hazard. But I would like to ask 'AKaeTrue' if she had any health issues, particularily: migraine headaches, extreme sensitivity to light, difficulty in concentrating or thinking, nausea, or other neurologic issues? If anyone else has or knows someone else who has experienced prolonged exposure to low levels of natural gas or its odors I would like to know their experience with health issues noted above. Or does anybody know of toxicology studies on prolonged exposure to low levels of natural gas or where to research further?
    KISS's Avatar
    KISS Posts: 12,510, Reputation: 839
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    #2

    Aug 26, 2009, 06:22 PM

    You can do the following searches:

    chemical composition "natural gas"

    msds mercaptan

    msds methane

    Natural gas varies in composition, but it's primary component is Methane. An msds is a Material Safety Data Sheet.
    twinkiedooter's Avatar
    twinkiedooter Posts: 12,172, Reputation: 1054
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    #3

    Aug 26, 2009, 06:26 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by H2OPower View Post
    My question is whether or not there is a health hazard associated with Natural Gas or with 'Mercaptan,' the oderizer used in Natural Gas? Especially when inhailed in very small amounts over an extended period of a year or more. Last October (2008) member 'AKaeTrue' noted she often smelled a faint natural gas oder and asked about the hazard. Most of the answers seemed to relate to the explosion hazard. But I would like to ask 'AKaeTrue' if she had any health issues, particularily: migraine headaches, extreme sensitivity to light, difficulty in concentrating or thinking, nausea, or other neurologic issues? If anyone else has or knows someone else who has experienced prolonged exposure to low levels of natural gas or its odors I would like to know their experience with health issues noted above. Or does anybody know of toxicology studies on prolonged exposure to low levels of natural gas or where to research further?
    I had exposure to a natural gas leak at my job 2 years ago for 7 months. The big tank in the back of the building had a leak in the line to the building. When the wind was just right the vapors of the leaking gas would waft into the second floor where I was working. Yes, I got headaches, sensitivity to light, trouble concentrating, nausea. It wasn't until the tank was being moved and the guy from the gas company needed to know where to put it was it discovered about the line leak. When the gas company guy and I went out to the tank area he could immediately smell the gas. I told him about me working on the second floor and when the wind was just right and the door open it would waft into the building. You could actually smell the gas if you walked up the stairs to the second floor. My son visited me at work and I brought him upstairs to show him where my desk was. When we left the building he told me that he had gotten very light headed and dizzy when he was on the second floor. The door was open and the wind was blowing the right way.

    You are getting ill from the natural gas (or propane in my case) and not the stench that is added. The company I worked for hauled propane and the drivers had to add the stench or odorant to the propane prior to leaving the pick up point. The odorant is not hazardous. It is there due to the law as propane and natural gas are odorless and the customer needs to be able to detect the presence of the gas due to safety reasons.

    I was also poisoned by carbon oxide. This is the manmade form of carbon dioxide. This was in a lab setting where they were testing components for presence of carbon dioxide for cells used in industrial uses such as testing the exhaust of a power plant. The odor hoods were not working properly and I was in the lab room working and was exposed to the carbon oxide. I had my eyesight dim down where everything seemed to be "dark" and would someone please turn the lights on. I had very bad headaches. My memory was very very impaired and very short. I would get very nauseated and have to go outside for some fresh air all the time. These symptoms lasted for weeks as the carbon oxide stays in the room and does not dissipate!! The gas that was released to test the cells was still in the room and quite detectible with proper testing instruments. Until the problem was properly diagnosed I was very ill and had no idea why. I had no idea that the huge tanks of this stuff stored near my workstation was that deadly and just a small leak could be fatal to me. Carbon oxide and carbon dioxide are very, very dangerous and fatal gases that have no odor at all!
    ma0641's Avatar
    ma0641 Posts: 15,681, Reputation: 1012
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    #4

    Apr 17, 2019, 01:14 PM
    lincy96. Please note the post you replied to is 10 years old. BTW Methyl Mercaptan has an odor threshold of 0.002 PPM. OSHA PEL is 10 PPM. Not a health issue in residential gas streams.

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