Standard Active Last Updated: Jul 20, 2017
ASTM D4913-00(2016)

Standard Practice for Determining Concentration of Hydrogen Sulfide by Direct Reading, Length of Stain, Visual Chemical Detectors

Significance and Use

5.1 General—Hydrogen sulfide is nearly ubiquitous. It occurs naturally in volcanic gases, in sulfur springs and fumaroles, in decaying of plant and animal protein, and in intestines as a result of bacterial action. Hydrogen sulfide is a serious hazard to the health of workers employed in energy production from hydrocarbon or geothermal sources, in the production of fibers and sheets from viscose syrup, in the production of deuterium oxide (heavy water), in tanneries, sewers, sewage treatment and animal waste disposal, in work below ground, on fishing boats, and in chemical operations, including the gas and oil industry.

5.2 In 29 CFR 1910.1000, the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration designates that worker exposure to certain gases and vapors must not be exceeded in workplace atmospheres at concentrations above specific values, averaged over a certain time span. Hydrogen sulfide is included in this list. Refer also to NIOSH Criteria for a Recommended Standard, Occupational Exposure to Hydrogen Sulfide.

5.3 This practice will provide means for the determination of airborne concentrations of hydrogen sulfide.

5.4 This practice provides means for either personal or area sampling and for short-term or time-weighted average (TWA) measurements. Refer to Threshold Limit Values for Chemical Substances in the Work Environment.


1.1 This practice covers the detection of hydrogen sulfide gas by visual chemical detectors. Included under visual chemical detectors are: short-term detector tubes (1),2 long-term detector tubes (2), and length-of-stain dosimeters (3). Diffusion tubes are not included under this practice because they are not direct reading, and spot tests are not included because of their poor accuracy. The sample results are immediately available by visual observation, thus no analytical equipment is needed.

1.2 This practice reflects the current state-of-the-art for commercially available visual length-of-stain detectors for hydrogen sulfide. Any mention of a specific manufacturer in the text or references does not constitute an endorsement by ASTM.

1.3 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. No other units of measurement are included in this standard.

1.4 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

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Book of Standards Volume: 11.07
Developed by Subcommittee: D22.04
Pages: 4
DOI: 10.1520/D4913-00R16
ICS Code: 71.060.99