The Blue Ridge Poison Center at the University of Virginia has issued a warning regarding siphoning gasoline.
This comes after the center received calls about gasoline poisoning from people who said they accidentally swallowed gasoline after trying to siphon it through a tube from one container to another.
The center said that siphoning gasoline can be extremely dangerous and can lead to illness or injury if not done carefully. Authorities said that because gasoline is thinner than water it might move through the tube faster than you expected, causing you to accidentally swallow or inhale it or even get splashed.
Blue Ridge Poison Center Director Dr. Christopher Holstege said one person went to the emergency room after experiencing breathing problems from siphoning gas.
He said inhaling gasoline can lead to lung damage or worse using life support to stay alive.
“It’s a matter of catching that trend quickly to get the warnings out so hopefully people will stop,” Holstege said.
If this happens, it could result in the following:
- If the gasoline gets on your skin, mouth or eyes it could result in chemical burns.
- If you swallow gasoline it could lead to nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain.
- If you breathe in large amounts of gasoline fumes it could lead to unconsciousness, respiratory arrest and death.
- If you inhale liquid gasoline into your lungs, you could experience coughing and shortness of breath. You could even develop chemical pneumonia, or swelling and fluid build-up in the lungs and airways. Permanent damage and death may follow. According to authorities, this is the most dangerous.
He also advises people to fill gas in the appropriate container because there are some cases of gasoline exposure to toddlers.
If you or someone you know has been exposed to gasoline, you can call the Blue Ridge Poison Center and a trained healthcare provider will tell you how you should proceed. The center can be reached at 800-222-1222 or 800-451-1428. All calls are confidential.