The Gas Odor Smell? Ask Annie
Dear Annie, I heard that because gas is odorless a scented toxic chemical is put into it to alert people to the danger of a gas leak. Is this true and what is the chemical? –David, TX
Hi David. Yes, this is true, and I know about it because I happen to be one of the population that is very sensitive to it since it is a recognized neurotoxin and I tend to be sensitive to that class of pollutant. The scented chemical used mostly is methl mercaptan, a chemical in the sulfur family, but some more rural areas use what is a more neurotoxic version. Besides being a neurotoxin mercaptan is a recognized respiratory toxicant. Needless to say, when you smell “gas” it is important to report it right away, both so you don’t get exposed to gas and mercaptan.