A rash of gasoline-related poisoning calls has led U.S. poison experts to warn against gas siphoning.
Gasoline hoarding and siphoning in some East Coast states has led to a significant increase in gasoline-related emergencies, the Association of Poison Control Centers said.
Recent concerns about limited gasoline supplies due to the shutdown of a major pipeline led some people to try to stockpile gasoline.
There was a 45% increase in gasoline ingestions from May 10-12, according to the National Poison Data System.
Most of those cases involved people between the ages of 13-59, and more than three-quarters of the cases were managed outside of hospitals.
In response, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission warned that people should not fill plastic bags with gasoline. When gasoline is not stored in proper fuel-approved containers, it can be hazardous if inhaled.
Inhalation resulted in 25% of gasoline exposures in May, according to the poison data system.
Most of the gasoline exposure calls to poison centers resulted in minimal to no symptoms. However, such exposure can lead to coughing, shortness of breath, chemical pneumonia, chemical burns and unconsciousness, the poison experts warned in an association news release.
If you have questions or suspect you have been poisoned by gasoline, contact your local poison center at 1-800-222-1222. Poison experts (nurses, doctors and pharmacists) are available to answer your call at any time.
To protect against poisoning, text POISON to 797979 to save the Poison Help Hotline as a contact in your mobile phone. You can also save the Poison Help Hotline number, 1-800-222-1222, on your mobile phone, and display the Poison Help Hotline contact number throughout your home.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers poisoning prevention tips.
SOURCE: Association of Poison Control Centers, news release, May 18, 2021