The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary







Ethanethiol (common name ethyl mercaptan) is a colorless liquid that has a strong odor, resembling that of rotten eggs. The odor is familiar to many people who use natural gas and propane for cooking and heating, as it is used as an additive to give those normally odorless fuels a distinctive smell. The chemical formula for ethyl mercaptan is C2H5SH.

According to the Guinness Book Of World Records, ethanethiol is the smelliest substance in existence.

Ethanethiol is toxic and in large doses will cause headaches, nausea, and a lack of coordination, as well as liver and kidney damage. The doses of ethanethiol from natural gas are not toxic.

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Last updated: 05-18-2005 21:16:32
Last updated: 10-29-2005 02:13:46