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Tue Jan 22, 2013, 01:05 PM

French Lubrizol factory struggles to stop foul gas leak

Source: BBC

Staff at a chemicals factory in north-western France are working to stop a gas leak that has spread a foul smell to Paris and south-east England.

French Ecology Minister Delphine Batho said she was heading for Rouen, where the factory is located, to oversee operations to deal with the leak.

Thousands of people, from as far away as Paris and London, have complained of nausea and headaches.

The gas is mercaptan, an additive to natural gas said to be harmless.

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-21147361

6 replies, 1424 views

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Reply French Lubrizol factory struggles to stop foul gas leak (Original post)
Bosonic Jan 2013 OP
cstanleytech Jan 2013 #1
guyton Jan 2013 #3
Smilo Jan 2013 #2
DollarBillHines Jan 2013 #5
dipsydoodle Jan 2013 #4
bluedigger Jan 2013 #6

Response to Bosonic (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 01:11 PM

1. "said to be harmless." Shouldnt someone tell wiki?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methanethiol

"At very high concentrations it is highly toxic and affects the central nervous system."

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Response to cstanleytech (Reply #1)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 01:23 PM

3. now to be fair ...

the same wiki article goes on to say:

An odor threshold of 1 ppb has been reported. The United States OSHA Ceiling Limit is listed as 10 ppm.


Which is to say you can smell it in concentrations of 1-part-per-billion and our OSHA (for better or worse) claims it's ok up to 10-parts-per-million (a ratio of 10,000 times).

The press doesn't seem to be reporting the actual concentrations, that'd be boring.

Of course, I wouldn't want to be breathing the stuff either. It's obnoxious by design.

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Response to Bosonic (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 01:11 PM

2. The gas is mercaptan, an additive to natural gas said to be harmless.

Will the person who said it is harmless, please step forward into this room full of said gas and we will leave you there for a few hours.

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Response to Smilo (Reply #2)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 01:36 PM

5. That's what they told us about Orange, too.

Little fella came to Dong Ha, wearing a suit. We were all worked up after seeing the results on the ground.

Little shit poured some Orange in a glass and told us he could drink it with no ill effect.

One of the guys jumped up, whipped out his ACP and hollered, "So fucking drink it!"

That was the end of that.

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Response to Bosonic (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 01:31 PM

4. Its the product which is added to otherwise odourless natural gas

so the smell of it indicates a leak. The main issue across three of our southern counties is that the gas board are now inundated with reports of gas leaks which they have to attend just in case.

Atmospheric levels have already been measured and the degree of concentration declared harmless.

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Response to Bosonic (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 01:52 PM

6. I'd be more worried about it masking actual leaks.

People get used to it after a few hours and then don't notice a problem that is an immediate threat to them.

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