Does DEH test for H2S at landfill?

| 05/09/2019

Does the Department of Environmental Health (DEH) regularly test for carbons or hydrogen sulphide at the landfill? I read an article that children should not be within 5km of a landfill due to toxic pollutants in the air which is of great concern.  

Ask Auntie, CNS Local Life, Caymanian status

Auntie’s answer: First of all, hydrogen sulphide (H2S) smells like rotten eggs, so if it’s around you, you should know pretty quickly. According to this website in the UK, low concentrations of H2S may cause irritation to the eyes, nose or throat, headaches, poor memory, tiredness, and balance problems. It may also cause difficulty in breathing for some people with asthma.

H2S does not accumulate in the body, though exposures to high concentrations, even brief, can do long-term harm. If you are exposed to hydrogen sulphide by breathing it in, eating or drinking something contaminated with it, or if it touches your skin, it is rapidly metabolised in the liver and excreted in the urine.

Anyway, I put your question to the DEH and received an answer in less than a day, the second question they have responded to this week. So, before I get to their response, I really want to commend the department for their appreciation of public concern.

The answer for this question was supplied by Laboratory Manager Antoinette Johnson: “We do intermittent sampling in the area for Hydrogen Sulphide. However, the landfill is not the only potential source as the gas is also produced by the wastewater treatment process and it occurs naturally in our groundwater and the mangrove swamps. This is why well drilling and dredging have that rotten egg odour.

“More recently, the sargassum influx has resulted in elevated levels along the beaches where the algae accumulated. The DEH is in the process of acquiring equipment to conduct monitoring programmes of a number of ambient air quality parameters of public health significance, not just hydrogen sulphide.”


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Category: Ask Auntie, Environment, Health Questions, Medical and Health

Comments (4)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I would like to comment on the Pirates Week song contest up to now I have not heard or seen anything in the local news who was the winners.
    My understanding hearing from people that where there that there were two little girls that where about the age of eight and did a great job. Their song was about Pirates Week and some of the other singers did not sing about Pirates Week they sang of some other lyrics.
    But what I really want to bring up is that the young girls where third place winners and was to receive a $2,000.00 prize, but at the end the girls had to split the winning monies with someone who did not even sing about Pirates Week who the judges voted for this person to receive half the third place winnings.
    I would just like to know how this could happen and mostly how this man could take away half of the girls winning. It was said that the announcer had the girls on stage for the longest time after they had sang and asked the girls what they will be doing with the monies and they answered him that they where going to save the monies for their college fund.
    Is that what CaymanKind all about???

  2. A G says:

    Why do the cayman people let these condos alongside the cayman beach let them be confined to one section of the beach and won’t let them swim in front of their condos I think that the cayman people need to do something about that, and the government need to look into why do these condos have their lines so close to the beach I really don’t think their Boundary line is that close to the beach if the cayman people is not allowed to get the shade from the trees because their lines is so close to the water, I really think if the cayman people can’t cross those lines that the people in those condos should not be allowed in the cayman beach they shouldn’t be allowed to cross over into the beach these condos is Wrong in what they are doing I am saying this to the cayman people swim any where you want on the beach because it’s your beach not just parts of the beach don’t let these condos remove you , sit anywhere you want don’t let the guard tell you to move , it’s your rights to swim in front of the condo because it’s your beach let them know point blank if you can’t sit or swim in front of their condos they are not allowed on your beach. Stand up for your rights, me when I go to the beach I sit where ever I want and dare the guard to try and move me I won’t be moved, stand up please for your rights.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Basically DEH has brushed it off. Use common sense instead of asking DEH. No one should be living within 3 miles radius around the Dump. There are hundreds if not thousands of other harmful toxins.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Mangroves stink because they are full of life. Not to mention the storm breaking capabilities.

    You’re fighting nature when you clear them to develop. You fart too, you animal!