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Manure Storage

Question: When someone is overcome by manure gases, it is important for you to get that person out of the area as quickly as possible. True or False?

Answer: False. As animal wastes break down, several gases are produced. These gases are often trapped in manure storage structures that do not have proper ventilation. Of these gases, hydrogen sulfide is the most dangerous and is responsible for the most manure-related deaths of both animals and people. In low concentrations, this gas smells like rotten eggs. But at higher concentrations, it paralyzes the sense of smell. Within seconds of exposure, hydrogen sulfide can cause unconsciousness and then death.

NEVER try to rescue someone who is unconscious in a manure storage structure unless you have proper equipment and knowledge of the situation. Instead, call 911 or your local emergency medical service.  Multiple deaths from manure gases are common because rescuers succumb to the same gases as the victim. It is important that children stay away from manure storage areas. Fencing/child-proofing the area is highly recommended.

This farm safety tip is provided by the Progressive Agriculture Safety Day® program.  For information on how you can keep your child safe and healthy on the farm, ranch and at home, go to www.progressiveag.org. To view a complete list of Progressive Agriculture Safety Days taking place in 2011, visit http://coordinator.progressiveag.org/cgi-bin/MySQLdb?VIEW=/safetydays/view.txt.

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