Thiols (i.e. mercaptans), sulfides, and tetrahydrothiophene (THT) have been widely used in the odorization of natural and liquefied petroleum gas due to the fact that natural gas does not possess an odor. Mercaptans, for example, have proven to be very effective in odorizing because of their low odor threshold and therefore, immediate impact on the olfactory system (Roberts, 1993).
Although, gas odorants are characterized as having a “low” hazard potential regarding health effects, their unique physical chemical properties such as, high flammability, require that they be handled safely.
The objective of this paper is to provide an overview of the human health and environmental concerns associated with gas odorants, to recommend safe handling and personal monitoring, and to discuss the impact of regulatory changes associated with the chemical management of these chemicals.