Hydrogen Sulphide & poisons

G’day; There have been a few comments lately about the
toxicity of hydrogen sulphide (used to be called sulphuretted
hydrogen) and it really is poisonous and no mistake. However,
I’d like to suggest that one doesn’t go too much overboard; after
all the words POISONOUS and TOXIC really mean ‘too much’. In
New Zealand we have some volcanic areas of natural underground
thermal activity and these are great tourist attractions. Take
the town of Rotorua, for instance. The thermal activity there is
very intense, to the extent that there are boiling streams,
boiling mud pools, geysers, and similar such phenomena all over
the place. In fact the whole town of Rotorua, (which is fairly
large as NZ towns go,) simply reeks day and night of rotten eggs

  • hydrogen sulphide, despite plenty of ventilation in the form
    of otherwise unpolluted wind. Yet the citizens there seem none
    the worse for it. Indeed, the Arawa Maoris have lived in the
    area since about 14-1500AD and even cook food in the boiling
    springs, yet live to a ripe old age. Cyanides are also very
    poisonous, yet are very useful substances, particularly to the
    plating industry and to some jewellers. But with reasonable care
    very little harm is done to the workers. The only harm I know
    of that has occurred with cyanide has been mostly deliberate:
    suicide by drinking it (a most unpleasantly painful death) and
    judicial execution (in some barbaric places). The odd accident
    has happened when the stuff hasn’t been properly labelled, and
    there aren’t many. So to sum up; where poisons are used, take
    intelligent care, but don’t get paranoid. –

    / /
    / /
    / /__|\ @John_Burgess2
    At sunny early autumnal Nelson NZ where giant truck and trailer
    rigs filled with export fruit are starting to clutter the rural roads.

When I was in College I studied Chemical Engineering for a few
years and took a lot of Chemistry courses. In the lab we did
many experiments that produced Hydrogen Sulfide gas as a by
product. We were always required to do so under heavy
ventilation. The lab instructor always cautioned us about
Hydrogen Sulfide gas by pointing out that is was more toxic than
Hydrogen Cyanide gas and I think we are all aware that Hydrogen
Cyanide gas can be deadly.