What Are The Most Common Toxic Fumes?


Toxic gases are utilized by all manufacturing industries from oil and gas extraction to chemical manufacturing, making their presence ubiquitous across these fields. Ensuring safe levels for toxic gases in warehouse workers and employees is of utmost importance for protecting warehouse workers and employees based on their levels and atmospheres; their exposure can be explosive, acidic or potentially hazardous depending on its level and surroundings. Be wary of what level toxic gas exposure there is in your neighborhood as the exposure could cause serious health complications requiring immediate consultation with an attorney.

Common types of harmful gases

According to gas detection experts, toxic gases may cause damage to living tissues and central nervous systems, severe illness and in extreme cases even death when inhaled through breathing, swallowing or skin contact. A gas is considered harmful when its average lethal concentration exceeds 200 parts-per-million (ppm).

As part of your work environment, you may be exposed to potentially hazardous gasses that pose potential health hazards. Discover their harmful health impacts.

Hydrogen Sulfide

Hydrogen sulfide (H2S), commonly referred to by its signature “rotten egg” smell, can be found in many manufacturing processes and chemical compounds, including insecticides, pharmaceuticals, plastics landfills and even breweries. When improperly disposed of it can produce extremely dangerous levels of hydrogen sulfide emissions – with emissions especially noticeable at landfill sites and breweries.

OSHA currently recommends an upper exposure limit of 10 minutes at 10ppm H2S for employees, although exposure to 100ppm has been proven fatally toxic even at very low concentration levels.

Install a H2S gas detector to monitor specific levels of H2S in your location regardless of any other gases present.

Nitrogen Oxides

Nitrogen oxides encompass seven distinct gasses, of which the most prominent are nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide. Both gasses contribute significantly to air pollution. Nitrogen dioxide, used extensively for rocket fuels, explosives, automobiles and agricultural processes as well as being generated through fossil fuel combustion can produce it too. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), health impacts range from irritation of eyelids, skin, respiratory tract and even life threatening situations.

Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an inert, tasteless and colorless gas commonly employed by industrial processes to provide energy and act as an reducer agent. Emissions of CO are particularly hazardous when materials are burned incorrectly – especially where human exposure cannot be managed properly – potentially leading to nausea, irritability and exhilaration – symptoms which could even lead to death over time.

OSHA currently recommends an CO concentration limit of 50ppm for employees working 8 hours or longer at one time, and marine workers could require extra precaution when CO levels exceed 100ppm; anything exceeding 200ppm is regarded as extremely hazardous.