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HAZMAT situation in Canton Township: Several people taken to hospital after hydrogen sulfide released

OSHA says that hydrogen sulfide is extremely flammable and highly toxic.

STARK COUNTY, Ohio — A HAZMAT situation involving hydrogen sulfide has resulted in a few people being taken to the hospital in Canton Township. 3News has learned it happened at US Ecology, which is located at 2050 Central Ave SE.

Tim Warstler, who is Director of Stark County Emergency Management, tells 3News three or four people were taken to the hospital in an unknown condition. 

But what is hydrogen sulfide and its impact?

“The health effects of hydrogen sulfide depend on how much H2S a worker breathes and for how long,” OSHA explains on their site. “However, many effects are seen even at low concentrations. Effects range from mild, headaches or eye irritation, to very serious, unconsciousness and death.”

OSHA says hydrogen sulfide -- which is also known as sewer gas, swamp gas or stink damp -- is a colorless gas that’s known for its pungent rotten egg odor at low concentrations. OSHA notes it is extremely flammable and highly toxic.

“Hydrogen sulfide also occurs naturally in sewers, manure pits, well water, oil and gas wells, and volcanoes,” according to OSHA. “Because it is heavier than air, hydrogen sulfide can collect in low-lying and enclosed spaces, such as manholes, sewers, and underground telephone vaults. Its presence makes work in confined spaces potentially very dangerous.”


Editor's note: Video in the player above was originally published in an unrelated story on Aug. 22, 2022.

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