Methane Information



Other Names

Methyl hydride, Marsh gas

Chemical Formula


CAS Number

74 – 82 – 8

Industry Uses

Natural Gas; Fuels

Health Risks

Dizziness, Asphyxiation

Vapor Pressure

258,574 mmHg

Water Solubility



Extremely Flammable



Methane MSDS

What is Methane?

Methane is a nontoxic, colorless, odorless gas. Methane is a gas produced by a group of colonic anaerobes. All methane produced by human beings is a metabolic product of intestinal bacteria, and about 50% of it is excreted. Methane is also found below ground and under the sea floor. It is emitted during production and transport of coal, natural gas, and oil, as well as from lifestock. Methane makes up roughly 10% of U.S. Greenhouse Gas emissions. It is easily ignited, and it may explode when heated under pressure. It may form explosive mixtures with air. Methane is harmful to aquatic life and can cause lasting damage.

Methane Exposure and Health Risks

Methane can be harmful if inhaled. Vapors can cause dizziness or asphyxiation. Methane inhalation is suspected to damage fertility or fetuses in utero. Contact with gas or liquid methane may cause burns or frostbite. Fire can cause irritating and/or toxic gases.


The table below summarizes the most-recent exposure limits.




1,000 ppm

TWA (8 hrs)


Sources: NIOSH

Measuring Methane

Methane concentration in the air can be measured in units of parts per million (ppm). Many of our products have digital communication capabilities for easy monitoring and control. We carry portable and fixed methane monitors and kits. All of our methane products can be viewed HERE.

Contact us for help choosing the right monitor for your application