Gasoline fume detection

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I have a concern about gasoline's effect on my health.
I spend a fair amount of time in my Man Garage (detached garage that's insulated and heated) surrounded by several motorcycles with tanks full of gasoline, and in the winter everything's buttoned up pretty tight to keep the cold out and the warm in. I try to keep gasoline leaks to a minimum, but some still happen because some of the motorcycles are old and prone to leaking.
I have a CO detector to keep from getting poisoned by the furnace, but I don't know for sure the dangers of exposure to gasoline fumes, nor do I have a way of monitoring its level, other than having my wife come out once in a while and give it the old sniff test (she's pleasant company, certainly, but hardly an accurate gauge of gasoline fumes).
Does anyone know . . .
1) What level of gasoline exposure is hazardous
and
2) Are there any gasoline fume monitors (like a CO alarm or smoke detector) for home use (relatively inexpensive) available?
Thanx,
-Don
"We have enough youth; let's start looking for the Fountain of Sense." --Anon
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I have no clue.

There are flammable gas detectors. Check with anyone selling safety equipment. I see these in magazines at work, but I don't have any info in front of me. I'd bet a Google search will find what you need. Ed snipped-for-privacy@snet.net http://pages.cthome.net/edhome
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Oregon Scientific sells a VOC meter " Air Quality monitor " for 100$
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Don, Visit your local boating supply store. They should sell devices that will detect gasoline fumes. These are usually installed in the engine compartment of recreational boats to detect fumes prior to starting the engine.
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Don Fearn writes:

I wouldn't worry about it unless you have the enviro MTBE additives. The hydrocarbons are pretty harmless, you can drink them.
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Total bullshit. Dangerous bullshit, at that.
-- Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
How come we choose from just two people to run for president and 50 for Miss America?
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Doug Miller wrote:

Right. Wonder how he explains kids dying from huffing gasoline?
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George E. Cawthon writes:

I said *drink* it, not inhale it in significant concentrations.
In fact, petroleum hydrocarbons are sold as medicines to be swallowed.
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Technically you are right since you said "petroleum hydrocarbons" which includes mineral oil, a non toxic fraction. But the non-toxic fractions are rather limited. However, the subject was gasoline and gasoline spills which obviously result in vapor. You can't breath gasoline and you can drink it without severe results. I suggest you drink a glass full and see what happens.
Richard J Kinch wrote:

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Doug Miller writes:

Knowledgeable people disagree.
Hydrocarbon "poisoning" is actually due to aspiration pneumonia from accidental ingestion, not swallowing per se.
See "HYDROCARBON POISONING" in the _Merck Manual_ at:
<http://www.merck.com/mrkshared/mmanual/section19/chapter263/263b.jsp
"... the light aliphatics are very not toxic, as humans would encounter them."
<http://www.faculty.uaf.edu/ffrap/ENVE_652/Module14/Petroleum/Petroleum.htm
You probably have ingestible petroleum products in your medicine cabinet.
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I don't think so. And you certainly don't fit that category. Try looking up the MSDS on some of the more common gasoline hydrocarbons, n-heptane for example, or isooctane. The authors of those documents seem to feel that the substances are harmful if swallowed.

I didn't find that phrase in that document, but I did find this one:
"Every year the ingestion of petroleum distillates (eg, gasoline, kerosene, paint thinners) and halogenated hydrocarbons (eg, carbon tetrachloride, ethylene dichloride) is responsible for > 25,000 poisonings in children < 5 yr."

And therefore it is safe to drink the hydrocarbons in gasoline? What an astonishing leap of illogic.
-- Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
How come we choose from just two people to run for president and 50 for Miss America?
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Doug Miller writes:

An MSDS as an indicator of toxicity? The CYA documents that make water a toxic substance?

If you can't comprehend what it clearly says, then maybe you shouldn't be attempting an analysis.

No, I never said anything about "safe". There is a substantial risk of aspiration to the lungs. The hazard down the esophagus is small. That is why accidental ingestion should not be treated by inducing vomiting. People drink the heavier hydrocarbons all the time.
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Please supply a reference for that utterly ridiculous claim.

*You* are the one with a comprehension problem here. I didn't say I didn't understand it. I said I couldn't find the statement that you claimed was there.
I notice you snipped out the part that I quoted, that shows clearly that you have no idea what you're talking about. That's OK, I'll restore it:
"Every year, the ingestion of petroleum distillates (eg, gasoline, kerosene, paint thinners) and halogenated hydrocarbons (eg, carbon tetrachloride, ethylene dichloride) is responsible for > 25,000 poisonings in children < 5 yr."
Maybe that meets your definition of "pretty harmless", but I think that most of the rest of the world would disagree.

Liar. You said "The hydrocarbons are pretty harmless, you can drink them."

OK, which is it? They're "pretty harmless", or "there is a substantial risk of aspiration"? Make up your mind.

Not true. Vomiting should not be induced because the vomitus may be aspirated, and the hazard in the lungs is even greater than the hazard in the GI tract. That does *not* mean that the hazard in the GI tract is insignificant, only that the hazard in the respiratory system is far greater.
And it does not mean that, once swallowed, it's OK to leave it there, either.
Try an experiment: call the poison control hotline and tell them your kid just swallowed a pint of gasoline. See what they tell you to do.

Absolute nonsense.
Well, maybe *you* do... that would explain some of your goofy ideas...
-- Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
How come we choose from just two people to run for president and 50 for Miss America?
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Doug,
I believe that I've seen some pretty humorous MSDS' for water in the past. My first google hit yielded this for DI water:
Health Hazards Acute and Chronic NO SPECIFIC INFORMATION IN MFR DATABASE REGARDING TOXIC EFFECTS OF WATER FOR HUMANS. HOWEVER, IN LIGHT OF GOOD INDUSTRIAL HYGIENE, EXPOSURE TO ANY CHEMICAL SHOULD BE KEPT TO A MINIMUM. First Aid INHALED-ALLOW VICTIM TO REST IN A WELL-VENTILATED AREA. EYES-FLUSH WITH WATER FOR AT LEAST 15 MINUTES, KEEP KIDS OPEN. INGESTION-REMOVE DENTURES IF ANY. IF CONSCIOUS, GIVE 1-2 GLASSES WATER OR MILK THEN INDUCE VOMITING. SEEK MEDICCAL ATTENTI ON Stability Indicator/Materials to Avoid: YES NO SPECIFIC INFORMATION FOUND BY MANUFACTURER IN THEIR DATABASE REGARDING REACTIVITY OF WATER.
http://www.msdss.com/pdf/222324.htm
This makes me recall an experience several years ago when a colleague was asked to help in shutting down a cold fusion project. One of the materials he had to dispose of was a few ounces of heavy water. The safety czar was about to make a production out of it when my colleague proposed just dumping it in the sink. Consequently my colleague (a physician) quickly put the bottle to his lips, drank and then told him he'd deposit it himself in the drain in a couple of hours. We didn't see the safety czar for quite a while.
MSDS' need to be interpreted by thinking beings, not functionaries.
RB
Doug Miller wrote:

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Doug Miller writes:

The government MSDS for water is pretty famous, look it up yourself.

Your errors are unworthy of further response.
<http://www.vaseline.com/vpjpure.shtml
<http://www.walgreens.com/store/product.jhtml?id=prod606&CATID 0104&skuid=sku300606&navAction=jump&navCount=0>
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Just as I thought... you can't back up your nonsense.

*MY* errors?? That's pretty rich, coming from the guy who started out saying that gasoline hydrocarbons were "pretty harmless", then claimed that he never said they were safe. Which is it, Richard?
-- Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
How come we choose from just two people to run for president and 50 for Miss America?
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Doug Miller writes:

Stop twisting my statements. Your breeding will tell.
"Pretty harmless" refers to the toxicity of low-concentration vapor.
"Not safe" refers to the hazard of aspiration pneumonia from ingestion.
Not too bad down the esophagus, but can kill you down the trachea. Like water.
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I'm not twisting your statements at all. You said that the hydrocarbons in gasoline were "pretty harmless" and that it was ok to drink them. Then you claimed you never said they were safe.

Now who's twisting your statements? This argument started when you falsely claimed that gasoline hydrocarbons were safe to drink. Your "pretty harmless" statement said _nothing_ about vapor.

They're not safe to drink either. Despite what you may think.

No, not like water. Water down the trachea kills by suffocation. Gasoline down the trachea is *poisonous* -- which means that a much smaller amount is deadly. Gasolone down the esophagus is poisonous also, but less dangerous there than down the trachea because it is not absorbed into the body as rapidly, thus providing more time for appropriate medical treatment. Untreated, it can kill you down the esophagus too.
-- Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
How come we choose from just two people to run for president and 50 for Miss America?
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Doug Miller writes:

The hazard is aspiration pneumonia. This is not poisoning in the sense of a toxin that must accumulate in some dose. It is essentially a mechanical interference, not biochemical toxicity. Thus the similarity to water drowning: you can suffocate in hydrocarbon vapor, or liquid water, neither of which need be interfering on a chemical level with oxygen transport, just presenting a mechanical barrier the prevents air from reaching the alveoli.
Hydrocarbons are worse than water in effects like interfering with surfactant behavior in the lung tissue. Again, this works as an immediate physical problem from a sudden large aspiration, not a "poisoning" in the sense of small doses via vapor that can accumulate over long periods into a biochemical lethality.
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All of which is absolutely irrelevant to the point under discussion, which is that you made the false and dangerous claim that gasoline hydrocarbons are "harmless" and safe to drink.
-- Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
How come we choose from just two people to run for president and 50 for Miss America?
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