Sewer gas is a complex mixture of toxic and non-toxic gases that can be present at varying levels depending upon the source. It is formed during the decay of household and industrial waste. Highly toxic components of sewer gas include hydrogen sulfide and ammonia.
Sewer gas also contains methane, carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrous oxides. In addition, chlorine bleaches, industrial solvents, and gasoline are frequently present in municipal and privately owned-sewage treatment systems.
How are people exposed to sewer gas?
Sewer gas can enter a home through a floor drain, from a leaking or blocked plumbing roof vent, WHY take a chance on an "INDOOR Vent"
What are the effects of exposure to sewer gas?
The principal risks and effects associated with exposure are:
Hydrogen sulfide poisoning. Exposure to low levels of hydrogen sulfide causes irritation of the eyes and respiratory tract. Other symptoms include nervousness, dizziness, nausea, headache, and drowsiness. This gas smells like rotten eggs, even at extremely low concentrations. Exposure to high concentrations can interfere with the sense of smell, making this warning signal unreliable. At extremely high levels, hydrogen sulfide can cause immediate loss of consciousness and death.
Asphyxiation. Methane acts like carbon monoxide, blocking oxygen in the blood, and can similarly cause suffocation and death at high levels. Exposure to lower levels can produce flu-like symptoms such as headache, nausea, and drowsiness. Breathing undiluted sewer gas, even for short periods, as in a municipal sewer line or a manure storage tank, can result in suffocation and death. Sewer gas diffuses and mixes into indoor air, and will be most concentrated where it is entering. It can accumulate in basements.
Explosion and fire. Methane and hydrogen sulfide are flammable and highly explosive