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IS 15200 : 2002

Indian Standard
HYDROGEN SULPHIDE—CODE OF SAFETY

ICS 13.300; 71.060.99

© BIS 2002

BUREAU OF INDIAN STANDARDS
MANAK BHAVAN, 9 BAHADUR SHAH ZAFAR MARG
NEW DELHI 110002

September 2002

Price Group 3

i

Industrial Safety and Chemical Hazards Sectional Committee, CHD 8

FOREWORD

This Indian Standard was adopted by the Bureau of Indian Standards, after the draft finalized by the Industrial Safety and Chemical Hazards Sectional Committee had been approved by the Chemical Division Council.

Hydrogen sulphide is found in volcanic gases and in many spring waters. As a product of putrefaction of sulphur containing decaying organic material, it is present in sewer gas and also liberates from waste water of tanneries, glue factories and fertilizer plants. It is also liberated as a by-product of de-hairing and tanning process. The unpleasant smell of putrefied hides and rotten eggs is partly due to this gas. Exposure to hydrogen sulphide may occur in the production of viscose rayon, sulphur dyes, sulphur, oleum and coke from coal containing high sulphur content. The atmosphere usually contains a trace of this gas. It is an important raw material for producing sulphur and thio-organic compounds. Since long, it is extensively used in the qualitative analysis. It is also used in production of heavy water.

There is no ISO standard on this subject. In the preparation of this Code of safety, considerable assistance has been derived from the following publications:

  1. Chemical Safety Data Sheet SD-36, Hydrogen Sulphide—Manufacturing Chemists Association, Washington.
  2. Dangerous Properties of Industrial Materials by Irving Sax VIth Edition.
  3. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, US Department of Health, Education and Welfare: Criteria for a Recommended Standard on Occupational Exposure to Hydrogen Sulphide, HEW Publication No. (NIOSH) 77-158.
  4. Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology—Ulman, 6th Edition.

The composition of the Committee responsible for formulation of this standard is given at Annex A.

ii

Indian Standard

HYDROGEN SULPHIDE—CODE OF SAFETY

1 SCOPE

This standard covers properties of hydrogen sulphide, the nature of hazards associated with it and essential information of personal protective equipment, storage, handling, labelling, transport, spillage/leakage, fire prevention and fire fighting, training and health monitoring and first aid.

2 REFERENCES

The following Indian Standards contain provisions which through reference in this text, constitute provisions of this standard. At the time of publication, the editions indicated were valid. All standards are subject to revision, and parties to agreements based on this standard are encouraged to investigate the possibility of applying the most recent editions of the standards indicated below:

IS No. Title
4155 : 1966 Glossary of terms relating to chemical and radiation hazards and hazardous chemicals
4167 : 1980 Glossary of terms relating to air pollution (first revision)

3 TERMINOLOGY

For the purpose of this standard, the definitions given in IS 4155 and IS 4167 shall apply.

4 PROPERTIES

4.1 General Information

4.1.1 Common Names

Hydrogen sulphide, sulphureted hydrogen and hydrosulphuric acid.

4.1.2 Chemical Name

Hydrogen sulphide.

4.1.3

Chemical Formula—H2S.

4.1.4

Molecular Weight—34.08.

4.1.5

CAS No.—7783-06-4.

4.1.6

UN No.—1053.

4.2 Physical Properties

4.2.1 Description

Colourless flammable gas with a strong offensive odour of rotten eggs. It is heavier than air and settles on the ground.

4.2.2

Boiling Point—–60.4°C.

4.2.3

Melting Point—–85.53°C

4.2.4

Specific Gravity—(18°C/4°C)—1.54.

4.2.5

Vapour Density (Air = 1)—1.189.

4.2.6

Density of Saturated Liquid—774 kg/m3 at 21.1°C.

4.2.7

Density of Saturated Vapour—31.04 kg/m3 at 21.1°C.

4.2.8

Vapour Pressure—20 atm at 25°C.

4.2.9

Critical Temperature—100.4°C.

4.2.10

Critical Pressure—88.9 atm.

4.2.11

Critical Density—349 kg/m3.

4.2.12 Physical Status

Gaseous at ordinary temperature but may exist as liquid at low temperature and high pressure.

4.2.13 Solubility

Slightly soluble in cold water, 0.32 percent maximum at 26.67°C (m/m), more soluble in alcohol.

4.3 Chemical Properties

4.3.1 Reactivity

In aqueous solution it is weakly acidic in nature and reacts vigorously with nitrogen halides, metal oxides, sodium peroxide and oxidants.

4.4 Explosion Hazard

At elevated temperature, it decomposes to its elements and may cause bursting of container. Thermal decomposition is promoted by contact with metal like platinum.

4.5 Fire Hazard

4.5.1

Hydrogen sulphide is a flammable gas and burns in air with blue flame. It may cause fire and explosion when exposed to heat, flame or oxidizer. It emits highly toxic fumes of oxides of sulphur in case of fire. Hydrogen sulphide gas is heavier than air and may travel considerable distance to a source of ignition and flash back.

4.5.2

Auto Ignition Temperature in Air—260°C.

4.5.3

Flammable Limits in Air (Percent by Volume) at 20°C:

  1. Lower explosion limit (LEL) : 4.31
  2. Upper explosive limit (UEL) : 46

4.6 Corrosivity

Hydrogen sulphide is a corrosive material. It attacks many metals, which results in the formation of sulphide. In presence of moisture and any oxidizing material, it may form sulphuric acid and corrode the containers.

5 HEALTH HAZARD

5.1

Hydrogen sulphide can affect the body if it is inhaled or if comes in contact with the eyes, skin, nose or throat. It can also affect the body if it is swallowed. Inhalation of high concentrations of hydrogen sulphide vapour may cause loss of consciousness and death. Inhalation of lower concentrations may cause headache, dizziness and upset stomach. Exposure to hydrogen sulphide can cause temporary loss of the sense of smell, and irritation of the eyes, nose or throat. The toxic effects of hydrogen sulphide can be categorized as acute effects, sub-acute effects and chronic effects.

The acute toxic effects of hydrogen sulphide in human poisoning are summarized in Table 1.

5.2 Toxicity

5.2.1

Threshold Limit Value (TLV)—10 ppm (15 mg/m3) (ACGIH).

5.2.2

Short-Term Exposure Limit (STEL)—15 ppm for 15 min.

5.2.3

Toxic Dose Level (TDL)—0.004 7.

5.2.4

Odour Threshold—0.13 ppm (0.215 mg/m3).

5.2.5

LC50 (inhal-rat)—444 ppm.

5.2.6

Target Organs—Respiratory organs and eyes.

6 PERSONAL PROTECTION

6.1

Wear impervious clothing to prevent the skin contact from liquid hydrogen sulphide or from contact with vessels containing liquid hydrogen sulphide.

6.2

Wear splash-proof safety goggles to prevent any possibility of eye contact where liquid hydrogen sulphide is handling.

6.3

Employees should wash promptly when skin becomes wet.

6.4

Remove clothing immediately that becomes wet with liquid hydrogen sulphide until the hydrogen sulphide is evaporated.

6.5

Respiratory protection is essential to prevent inhalation of gas. Minimum respiratory protection required for concentration above 10 ppm are given in Table 2.

6.6

Respirators may be used for operations which require entry into tanks or closed vessels and in emergency situation. The respirator used shall be approved by the concerned authority.

6.7

Lead acetate paper should be carried along with portable hydrogen sulphide monitor for use where necessary.

6.8

Amyl nitrite should be given to the victim for inhalation by crushing the ampule in front of nostrils of the victim.

Table 1 Acute Toxic Effects of Hydrogen Sulphide in Human
(Clause 5.1)
SI No. Concentration of H2S, ppm Duration of Exposure Comments
    15 min >15 min-lh >1h-4h >4-8h  
(1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7)
i) 10       Eye irritation Maximum tolerable concentration for prolonged exposure
ii) 50-100 Loss of olfactory perception Eye irritation Eye and bronchial irritation Danger in case of continuous exposure Working condition necessitate protective measures
iii) 150-250 do Eye and bronchial irritation Serious respiratory distress and asthenia Serious respiratory distress and asthenia do
iv) 300-400 Loss of olfactory perception eye and bronchial irritation asthenia Severe respiratory distress acute asthenia Pulmonary edema and risk of death Pulmonary edema and risk of death Risk of death if no appropriate measures taken
v) 500-1 000 Loss of consciousness respiratory distress Risk of pulmonary edema and death - - do
vi) >1 000 Immediate loss of consciousness and respiratory distress
2
Table 2 Respiratory Protection for Hydrogen Sulphide
(Clause 6.5)
SI No. Condition Minimum Respiratory Protection Required Above 10 ppm
(1) (2) (3)
i) Low concentration (up to 300 ppm) Any supplied-air respirator with a full facepiece, helmet or hood
ii) >300 ppm and escap from unknow concentration Self-contained breathing apparatus with a full facepiece operated in pressure demand or other positive pressure mode

7 STORAGE/HANDLING

7.1 Storage

7.1.1

Anhydrous hydrogen sulphide does not react with steel at ambient temperature. However, in aqueous medium, the hydrogen generated by reacting with iron can diffuse in the metal causing blistering and embrittlement. The degree of corrosion depends upon the quality of steel and is very limited with stainless steel. Ferritic steel is much more sensitive to hydrogen embrittlement than austenitic steel. Residual stress of high strength steel for storing hydrogen sulphide is to be relieved after welding otherwise it is likely to crack under stress.

7.1.2

The use of copper and its alloys are to be prohibited.

7.1.3

Storage area should be well ventilated, and if possible, equipped with a water cooling system in case of fire.

7.1.4

Hydrogen sulphide should be stored separately from incompatible products (oxidizing agents, inflammable materials, etc).

7.1.5

Area should be declared as ‘NO SMOKING AREA’.

7.2 Handling

Personal protective wears are to be used invariably while handling hydrogen sulphide.

7.3 Labelling

All containers should bear an identifying label as per the provision of prevailing relevant regulations indicating that the contents are highly flammable and toxic. The label should also list the special risks and include cautionary advices.

7.4 Transportation

7.4.1

Hydrogen sulphide is flammable and toxic. Its UN No. is 1053, UN hazard Class 2, 3 and 6.1.

7.4.2

The Rules and Regulations for transportation of hazardous chemicals shall be adhered to.

8 SPILLAGE/LEAKAGE AND DISPOSAL

If hydrogen sulphide is spilled or leaked, the following steps should be taken:

  1. Remove all ignition source;
  2. Ventilate area of spill or leak to disperse gas;
  3. If in the gaseous form, stop flow of gas. If source of leak is a cylinder and the leak cannot be stopped in place, remove the leaking cylinder to a safe place in the open air, and repair the leak or allow the cylinders to empty; and
  4. If in the liquid form, allow to vaporize.

9 FIRE PROTECTION AND FIRE FIGHTING

9.1

Stop flow of hydrogen sulphide gas.

9.2

Carbon dioxide and alcohol foam type of extinguisher should be used for fire fighting.

9.3

Fire fighting personnel should have the required self-contained breathing apparatus with a full facepiece operated in pressure demand or other positive pressure mode.

10 TRAINING AND HEALTH MONITORING

10.1 Training

10.1.1

Safety in handling depends to a great extent upon the effectiveness of employees education and training.

10.1.2

Employees should be familiar with its flammable and toxic properties.

10.1.3

Continuous training and re-training should be done in the safe handling procedures.

10.2 Health Monitoring

10.2.1

During pre-employment medical check up, examination of the eyes and lungs should be stressed. The following procedures should be made available to each employee who is exposed to hydrogen sulphide at potentially hazard levels:

  1. A complete history and physical examination—The purpose is to detect pre-existing conditions that might place the exposed employee at increased risk and to establish a baseline for future health monitoring.
  2. Eye disease—Hydrogen sulphide is a severe eye irritant and may cause tissue damage. Those with pre-existing eye problems may be at increased risk from exposure.3
  3. 14″-17″ chest roentgenogram—Hydrogen sulphide may cause human lungs damage. Surveillance of the lungs is indicated.
  4. FVC and FEV(1 Sec)—Hydrogen sulphide is a respiratory irritant. Persons with impaired pulmonary function may be at increased risk from exposure. Peridic surveillance is indicated.

10.2.2

Periodical medical examination should be done on annual basis for all the above mentioned criteria, except that an X-ray is considered necessary only when indicated by the results of pulmonary function testing, or by signs and symptoms of respiratory diseases.

11 FIRST AID

11.1 Eye Contact

11.1.1

If liquid hydrogen sulphide gets into the eyes immediately wash the eyes with large quantity of water for at least 15 min, occasionally lifting the lower and upper lids.

11.1.2

Get medical attention immediately.

11.1.3

Contact lenses should not be used when working with this chemical.

11.2 Skin Contact

11.2.1

If liquid hydrogen sulphide gets on the skin, immediately flush the contaminated skin with water.

11.2.2

If it soaks through the clothing, immediately remove the clothing and flush the skin with water.

11.2.3

If irritation persists after washing, get medical attention.

11.3 Inhalation

11.3.1

If a person breathes in large amount of hydrogen sulphide move the exposed person to fresh air immediately and administer oxygen if available.

11.3.2

If breathing has stopped, give artificial respiration.

11.3.3

Keep the affected person warm but not hot and at rest.

11.3.4

Get medical attention as soon as possible.

4

ANNEX A
COMMITTEE COMPOSITION

(Foreword)

Industrial Safety and Chemical Hazards Sectional Committee, CHD 8

Organization Representative(s)
National Safety Council, Mumbai Shri K. C. Gupta (Chairman)
Airports Authority of India, New Delhi Representative
Atomic Energy Regulatory Board, Mumbai Shri P. K. Ghosh
Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai Dr B. N. Rathi
Central Boiler Board, New Delhi Representative
Century Rayon, Thane Shri H. G. Uttamchandani
       Shri S. K. Mishra (Alternate)
Central Leather Research Institute, Chennai Representative
Central Mining Research Institute, Dhanbad Shri J.K. Pandey
Central Warehousing Corporation, New Delhi Representative
Confederation of Indian Industries, New Delhi Representative
Department of Explosives, Nagpur Representative
Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion, New Delhi Dr D. R. Chawla
Development Commissioner (SSI), New Delhi Representative
Directorate General of Health Services, New Delhi Representative
Directorate General Factory Advice Services and Labour Institutes, Mumbai Dr A. K. Majumdar
       Shri S. P. Rana (Alternate)
Directorate of Industrial Safety and Health (Factory Inspectorate), Mumbai Representative
Directorate General of Mines Safety, Dhanbad Director of Mines Safety (MSE)
       Deputy Director of Mines Safety (HQ) (Alternate)
Employees State Insurance Corporation, New Delhi Representative
Excel Industries Limited, Mumbai Shri Vipin B. Doshi
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, Bangalore Representative
Hindustan Lever Limited, Mumbai Shri B. B. Dave
       Shri Aditya Jhavar (Alternate)
Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, Hyderabad Shri S. Venkateswara Rao
Indian Chemical Manufacturers Association, Mumbai Shri V. N. Das
       Shri A. A. Panjwani (Alternate)
Indian Drugs and Pharmaceuticals Limited, Rishikesh Representative
Indian Petrochemical Corporation Limited, Vadodara Shri P. Viiayraghavan
       Shri M. R. Patel (Alternate I)
       Shri A. V. Sarathy (Alternate II)
Indian Space Research Organization, Sriharikota Shri P. N. Sankaran
       Shri V. K. Srivastava (Alternate)
Industrial Toxicology Research Centre, Lucknow Dr Virendra Misra
       Dr V. P. Sharma (Alternate)
Ministry of Defence (DGQA), New Delhi Shri M. S. Sultania
       Shri Sujii Ghosh (Alternate)
Ministry of Defence, Directorate of Standardization, New Delhi Shri P. S. Ahuja
       Lt-Col Tejinder Singh (Alternate)
Ministry of Defence (OFB), Kolkata Dr D. S. S. Ganguly
       Shri R. Srinivasan (Alternate)5
Ministry of Defence (R&D), Kanpur Dr A. K. Saxena
       Dr Rajindra Singh (Alternate)
Ministry of Environment & Forest, New Delhi Representative
National Institute of Occupational Health, Ahmedabad Representative
National Organic Chemical Industries Limited, Thane Dr B. V. Bapat
       Shri V. R. Narla (Alternate)
National Safety Council, Mumbai Shri P. M. Rao
       Shri D. Biswas (Alternate)
Oil Industry Safety Directorate, New Delhi Shri S. K. Chakrabarti
       Shri V. K. Srivastava (Alternate)
Safety Appliances Manufacturers’ Association, Mumbai Representative
Standing Fire Advisory Council, New Delhi Representative
Steel Authority of India Limited, Ranchi Representative
SIEL Chemical Complex, New Delhi Representative
Southern Petrochemical Industries Corporation Limited, Tuticorin Shri V. Jayaraman
       Shri S. Muruganandam (Alternate)
Tata AIG Risk Management Services Limited, Mumbai Shri Urmish D. Shah
BIS Directorate General Shri S. K. Chaudhuri, Director & Head (CHD)
[Representing Director General (Ex-officio)]

Member Secretary
Shri N. K. Pal
Director (CHD), BIS

6

Bureau of Indian Standards

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Review of Indian Standards

Amendments are issued to standards as the need arises on the basis of comments. Standards are also reviewed periodically; a standard along with amendments is reaffirmed when such review indicates that no changes are needed; if the review indicates that changes are needed, it is taken up for revision. Users of Indian Standards should ascertain that they are in possession of the latest amendments or edition by referring to the latest issue of ‘BIS Catalogue’ and ‘Standards: Monthly Additions’.

This Indian Standard has been developed from Doc: No. CHD 8 (896).

Amendments Issued Since Publication
Amend No. Date of Issue Text Affected
     
     
     
     

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