Methane is not considered toxic, but being a primary component of natural gas, it can lead to explosions. Methane is colourless and constitutes about 50 per cent of landfill gas. Methane has an atmospheric lifespan of about 12 years and, as a greenhouse gas, is 23 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Potency concentrations are determined by the input and removal rate of a gas.
Methane from gas wells can seep into water supplies and contaminate wells. Deaths have been caused by exploding wells and by contaminated drinking water systems poisoned by this odourless, tasteless gas.
Methane emissions can seep up through the ground and cause problems for the environment and humans in particular. Many businesses place fans beneath buildings where methane emissions have been discovered. The emissions don't just propose a danger for flammability; the methane emissions can cause headaches and dizziness in humans as it replaces the oxygen. The result could be suffocation.
Methane contributes to climate change. It is a potent contributor to global warming due to its ability to trap warm air. Methane thrives via man-made sources and natural conditions, such as wastewater, landfills, wetlands, rice cultivation, marine sediment, ruminant livestock and more.
When methane is involved in the process that moves carbon into and out of the ocean, it forces a change and directly affects that climate and the life within that system.
When methane is involved in the process that moves carbon into and out of vegetation zones that are climate and/or weather dependent, it forces a change and directly affects the vegetation growth and the life that requires that vegetation to exist within that system.
- Landfill-Gas: Methane Gas Facts
- Methane Gas Detectors: Common Symptoms of Methane Gas Poisoning
- Citizens Waste Info: Environmental Problems from Municipal Solid Waste:
- EPA Gov: Methane
- Global Change: Global Change Research Program
- Climate Science Gov: Scenarios of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Atmospheric Concentrations