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Can Gasoline Fumes Hurt You?

Breathing in anything but fresh, clean air is never a good thing. Your lungs are meant to take in oxygen to support all of the body’s systems. Without clean air, your body will suffer. Gasoline fumes are extremely dangerous to inhale either accidentally or intentionally.

Common Exposure

The most common way that people are exposed to gasoline fumes is while at the gas station. Filling your fuel tank allows fuel vapors to escape into the environment as well as into your lungs. Gasoline fumes can also be released into your home if you store cans of gasoline indoors. This is not only a fire hazard but severely dangerous to your health and well-being.

Resulting Health Problems

The chemicals, especially BTEX that are found in gasoline can cause numerous health problems. Burning of the nose and throat are common complaints from being exposed to fuel fumes. This usually dissipates within a few minutes of breathing fresh air. Headaches and dizziness are often a direct result from inhaling the dangerous vapors even in small amounts. Nausea, vomiting, respiratory distress and mental confusion can occur after being exposed for more than a few minutes. Inhaling the fumes can also lead to incoordination and eventually loss of consciousness. In cases of extremely high vapor levels, death can occur unless the person is brought away from the area and allowed to breathe clean air or given oxygen.

Prolonged exposure to gasoline vapors can cause irreparable damage to your body. Many people that work with fuel on a day to day basis have experienced memory loss as well as impaired muscle functions. At extremely high levels some of the chemicals in gasoline such as benzene are proven to cause cancer and leukemia in human beings. There is no proof that cancer is caused by low level exposure to gasoline fumes to date.

Decreased lung capacity and lung cancer can be caused by regular exposure to gasoline vapors at high levels. It can also affect your brain functions.

Huffing Gasoline Fumes

Huffing gasoline fumes is becoming an increased problem within our society. , Unfortunately, people that huff don’t understand the dangers of huffing. It can cause the heart rate to slow down resulting in unconsciousness and potentially death.

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