Can people really walk through sewers like in the movies, or would the stench and filth be unbearable in reality?



  1. 0 Votes

    The stench and filth are not necessarily the issue, and any sanitation plant worker will tell you that you can be inured to them after a while. Toxic gases that build up in sewers, however, can be deadly. The decay of sewer waste from household sources (i.e., human and animal waste) can generate toxic gases such as methane, nitrous oxide, CO2, and ammonia, in addition to the already-toxic fumes of many industrial pollutants, fuels and solvents that often find their way into sewers. These gases can cause hydrogen sulfide poisoning, which is potentially fatal, as well as asphyxiation from oxygen deprivation. Sanitation workers, if they don’t properly protect themselves, can be susceptible to a number of chronic conditions as well as the short-term effects from breathing sewer gases. Anyone who ventures into a sewer would do well to not only bring a self-contained breathing apparatus, but some sort of protective suit to avoid skin exposure to the industrial chemicals often present in sewer discharge, to say nothing of the potential dangers of bacteria and other biohazards present in organic waste.

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