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Cloud of mercaptan gas leaks from Lubrizol plant in France

5:45 AM MST | January 24, 2013 | Sotirios Frantzanas

Mercaptan gas started leaking from Lubrizol's plant near Rouen, northwestern France on 21 January. The cloud of gas blew across the Channel and, because of its sulfurous odor, could be smelt in southern England on 22 January. Mercaptan, also known as methanethiol, is a colorless additive used in natural gas and, because its smell, enables gas leaks to be detected, Lubrizol says. Mercaptans are largely harmless, but they can be found in feces and some cheeses, and they can cause headaches and nausea, according to UK centers for disease control and prevention...

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