Influence of methane on the human body and its hazard class

Methane is a simple chemical compound gaseous form. The substance is not dangerous for human health and not pose a threat to life. The hazard class of methane – 4 (low-hazard compounds). If you regularly hit the gas in the body is the Central nervous system.

Properties of methane

Gas connection CH4 – a simple hydrocarbon. Methane is a gas at room temperature, normal humidity and atmospheric pressure has no odor and color. It is poorly soluble in water. The substance is not toxic. In a closed space accumulates and becomes explosive.

Methane is second in importance and quantity of atmospheric greenhouse gas after carbon dioxide. It is produced in the absence of oxygen (in the soil, swamp) will be in the process of vital activity of microorganisms.

The largest reserves of the substances in nature are located in areas of permafrost in the seabed. In industry, methane is made from coal.

In connection with its wide distribution there is a characterization of methane according to his origin:

  • bacterial gas formed as a product of the metabolism of live microorganisms;
  • biogenic methane as a result of chemical reactions between the various organic complexes;
  • abiogenic gas as a product of inorganic compounds chemical elements with water;
  • thermogenic – methane is formed during chemical reactions under high temperatures.

Gas is used in chemical industry for synthesis of organic substances in the space industry as rocket fuel.

Methane in the human body

The presence of methane in the human body are constantly. It is produced by opportunistic pathogenic inhabitants of the small and large intestine – E. coli.

Found that small amounts of gas, emit all eukaryotes – cells containing a nucleus, and this entire body. If the integrity or the permeability of cell walls and membranes are broken by the action of methane increases the risk of hypoxia – oxygen starvation of tissues.

Increase of gas in the human body contribute to nervous tension, stress, emotional instability. Increasing the level of the substance occurs in acute infectious diseases that are associated with high toxicity.

Methane, which is released lactic acid bacteria of the intestine, plays a physiological role. It affects processes such as motility, peristalsis of the hollow organs of the digestive system. Substance brings not only benefits but also harm.

When the excess in humans have these disorders:

  • flatulence, flatulence;
  • nausea and belching;
  • bloating, discomfort, nagging pain;
  • functional constipation.

The gas is not poisonous, so the effect of methane on the human body is not harmful. In contact with high concentrations of gas in the blood stream is life threatening because the methane is not soluble in the blood, does not enter into the relationship with its components, does not form toxic complexes. Fatal cases of poisoning substance are fixed very rarely. The maximum permissible concentration of 7000 mg/m3.

Causes and symptoms of poisoning with methane

There is a risk of gas poisoning. Methane is dangerous to people who are working in a confined space – mine, industrial buildings, where there is a risk of accumulation of large concentrations of the substance in the premises, or people subject to systematic exposure to toxic gas.

Chronic intoxication of organism.

Methane in small concentrations has a narcotic effect. It affects on the principle of anesthetic drugs has reduced sensitivity and blood pressure. There is a slight anxiety. Then the dangers of methane is manifested by disorders of the autonomic nervous system:

  1. Glassesany reflex – pressure on the eyeballs under closed eyelids, the contraction of the heart is sharply reduced to 4 to 8 beats per minute. This is due to the inhibition of impulses of the vagus and trigeminal nerves. Complications of symptom – resistant bradycardia, a violation of the rhythmic heart beat (asystole).
  2. Hypotension – stable reduction of blood pressure, constant drowsiness, physical weakness, lethargy and fatigue, pallor, shortness of breath, aggravated by movement. On the background of the development of hypotension in the victim happen fainting, especially when one is long in a vertical position (in a stuffy transport or room). Because daytime sleepiness is disturbed the quality and duration of sleep. A day does not feel feelings of cheerfulness. Common symptoms – dizziness, nausea.
  3. Atropinovy pronounced test – a diagnostic method which allows to detect the disruption of the heart and other internal organs.

Acute poisoning with methane

Signs of poisoning with methane in high concentrations, are severity. Initially, the person feels suffocation. Shortness of breath due to lack of oxygen, blood circulation. Symptom gradually increasing. This can cause panic attack or fear. The victim takesforced position of the body tilted forward, leaning on his knees. Characteristics of respiration:

  • noisy;
  • frequent;
  • sometimes with a whistle;
  • exhalation occurs heavier than breath.

Then joined cough can be enhanced secretion of the bronchial mucosa. So sometimes there is profuse expectoration. The pulse is frequent, the load on the heart increases. Because of the false sense of shortage of air a person takes deep breaths.

On the background of intoxication and Central nervous system effect of methane on the human body is manifested in violation of coordination of movements. Particularly affected fine motor skills. The signs of poisoning of the brain:

  • euphoria replaced by severe headaches, a violation of the cyclicity of breath;
  • the lack of sleep, the victim falls asleep with difficulty;
  • loss of appetite, constant nausea, sometimes vomiting;
  • disorders of the sense organs;
  • symptoms of dehydration – dry mouth, disturbance of water-salt balance.

In severe cases, which are rare (the elderly, people with poor health or chronic illnesses) there is a strong pain in the temples and the nape of the neck, tongue coated bloom, develops a dry cough. Vomiting occurs after each meal. Disturbed functionality of GIT – epigastric pain, diarrhea, dyspepsia and other intestinal disorders. The skin becomes pale with a blue tint. Increased body temperature by 1-2°, causing aching bones and chills.

In the most severe cases develops edema of the lungs.

First aid at a poisoning with methane

Methane lasts in the body for long, quickly, and easily excreted from the body.

If people received an acute exposure, it should be taken from the lesion (space) in the fresh air. To release from tight clothing – a tie, scarf, unbutton the top buttons of clothes. A specific antidote does not exist. Therefore, the victim need to quickly get to a hospital. Nausea and vomiting man lay on his side to avoid aspiration of the respiratory tract.

If the person is unconscious, you need to constantly monitor his breathing. You can give the pair a sniff of ammonia. In the absence of pulmonary activity is urgent to begin to perform artificial respiration and cardiac massage the victim.

In chronic poisoning it is important to determine the source of constant intoxication of the organism and eliminate it. The patient, symptomatic treatment is prescribed, depending on the degree of destruction of the body:

  1. To maintain cardiac activity shown cardiac glycosides. They compensate for heart failure.
  2. In disorders of the gastrointestinal tract – antiemetic, antidiarrheal, and antacids.
  3. For pain symptom – antispasmodics.
  4. To stabilize the emotional background – sedative, anti-anxiety medications.


Methane poisoning can lead to negative consequences. With chronic intoxication because of the influence on the nervous system in humans are observed in nervous and mental disorders:

  • depressed mood;
  • violation of sleep and wakefulness;
  • lack of energy;
  • lack of motivation, interests, Hobbies;
  • frequent depression and depressed mood;
  • emotional instability;
  • lack of desire to communicate with people.

To physiologically complications include damage internal organs, the violation of their functions:

  • failure of the excretory system (kidneys);
  • the disruption of the bone marrow and the mechanism of hematopoiesis;
  • chronic failure of the respiratory system;
  • in rare cases, death.

Methane has no smell, his presence in the room is not always possible to fix. To avoid poisoning of employees in the manufacturing facilities should conduct regular measurements of parameters of air or install special devices that detect the concentration of methane in the air.