Hydrocarbons fuel our economy. Furthermore, intermediate goods and consumer products are often hydrocarbon-based. Beside all the progress they made possible, hydrogen-containing substances can have severe detrimental effects on materials exposed to them. Hydrogen-assisted failure of iron alloys has been recognised more than a century ago. The present study aims to providing further insight into the degradation of the austenitic stainless steel AISI 304L (EN 1.4307) exposed to hydrogen. To this end, samples were electrochemically charged with the hydrogen isotope deuterium (2H, D) and analysed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), electron back-scatter diffraction (EBSD) and time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS). It was found that deuterium caused a phase transformation from the original γ austenite into ε- and α’-martensite. Despite their low solubility for hydrogen, viz. deuterium, the newly formed phases showed high deuterium concentration which was attributed to the increased density of traps. Information about the behaviour of deuterium in the material subjected to external mechanical load was gathered. A four-point-bending device was developed for this purpose. This allowed to analyse in-situ pre-charged samples in the ToF-SIMS during the application of external mechanical load. The results indicate a movement of deuterium towards the regions of highest stress.