A critical review of the literature on hydrogen sulfide toxicity

Crit Rev Toxicol. 1984;13(1):25-97. doi: 10.3109/10408448409029321.


The information available on the biological activity of hydrogen sulfide has been examined for present status of critical results pertaining to the toxicity of hydrogen sulfide. This review of the literature is intended as an evaluative report rather than an annotated bibliography of all the source material examined on hydrogen sulfide. The information was selected as it might relate to potential toxic effects of hydrogen sulfide to man and summarized, noting information gaps that may require further investigation. Several recommendations are listed for possible consideration for either toxicological research or additional short- and long-term tests. Two bibliographies have been provided to assist in locating references considered in this report: (1) literature examined but not cited and (2) reference citations. The majority of the references in the first bibliography were considered peripheral information and less appropriate for inclusion in this report.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Abnormalities, Drug-Induced
  • Animals
  • Carotid Body / drug effects
  • Eye / drug effects
  • Female
  • Fishes
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen Sulfide / metabolism
  • Hydrogen Sulfide / poisoning
  • Hydrogen Sulfide / toxicity*
  • Male
  • Metalloproteins / metabolism
  • Methemoglobin / biosynthesis
  • Methylation
  • Mutagens
  • Neoplasms, Experimental / chemically induced
  • Nervous System / drug effects
  • Odorants
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Oxygen / pharmacology
  • Plants / drug effects
  • Pregnancy
  • Proteins / metabolism
  • Reproduction / drug effects
  • Respiratory System / drug effects
  • Sulfates / metabolism


  • Metalloproteins
  • Mutagens
  • Proteins
  • Sulfates
  • Methemoglobin
  • Oxygen
  • Hydrogen Sulfide