PROPANE GAS EXPOSURE EFFECTS - CONTENTS: Effects of exposure to various gases that may occur in buildings, including Ammonia, Arsine, Arsenic, Bromine, Carbon Dioxide, Carbon Monoxide, Hydride, Hydrogen Sulfide, Nitrogen Oxide Gas, Propylene, Propane, LP gas Sewer Gas, Refrigerant gases, Sulphur dioxide, & others
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Propane Gas - LP Gas Exposure Hazards & Dangers:
What are the effects on humans of exposure to LP or propane gases?
This article series gives basic information about exposure to and potential
health hazards from a number of common toxic gases that may be found indoors or in or around buildings. We describe symptoms of exposure to these gases, industry recommendations for gas exposure limits, how gases may be measured, and how to track down and cure the sources of gas leaks in buildings.
The greatest LP gas or propane gas exposure risk other than fire or explosion, would be not the exposure to LP gas or propane gas itself but the prolonged absence of sufficient oxygen if someone is enclosed in a space with high concentration of propane. No long term exposure health risks associated with LP gas or propane have been reported at low concentrations.
At air concentrations below 1000 ppm propane is virtually non-toxic. Brief exposures to 10,000 ppm cause no symptoms; 100,000 ppm can produce slight dizziness after a few minutes of exposure, but is not noticeably irritating to the nose and throat.
Propane is a simple asphyxiant. High concentrations of propane can displace oxygen and cause asphyxiation. Oxygen content in the atmosphere must not be allowed to fall below 18%.
Effects of oxygen deficiency are: 12-16% breathing and pulse rate increased, muscular co-ordination slightly disturbed; 10-14% emotional upset, abnormal fatigue, disturbed respiration; 6-10%: nausea and vomiting, collapse or loss of consciousness; below 6%: convulsive movements, possible respiratory collapse and death.
The gas does not affect the skin. Contact with liquified gas escaping from its high pressure cylinder may cause frostbite. Symptoms of mild frostbite include numbness, prickling and itching in the affected area. Symptoms of more severe frostbite include a burning sensation and stiffness of the affected area. The skin may become waxy white or yellow. Blistering, tissue death and gangrene may also develop in severe cases.
Close range contact with liquefied propane gas may cause injury characteristic of a thermal burn with swelling, fluid accumulation and extreme redness. Tissue death and gangrene may also develop.
[Click to enlarge any image] Shown here, an Atwood brand propane-fueled cooktop for RVs.
Reply: NO, don't do it. Risk of fatal carbon monoxide poisoning
Watch out: No, definitely not. Never use an LP cooking appliance as a space heater in an RV nor in a mobile home. There are risks of both oxygen depletion and fatal carbon monoxide poisoning. If you fall asleep inside of your RV with your propane stove heating away you may never wake up. And in any event your RV should have properly-located and installed carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors. "Almost 15 percent of [non-fire carbon monoxide poisoning deaths in the U.S. between 1993 and 1997 occurred ] in temporary shelters, such as cabins, recreational vehicles
or campers, tents, or trailers. (Mah 2000 for the US CPSC)
Also see CARBON MONOXIDE - CO
General safety warning: improper installation and even improper inspection and testing methods involving natural or "LP" gas can involve
dangerous conditions and risk fire or explosion.
If you smell gas you should leave the building immediately and should do so without doing anything that could create a spark such as operating a light switch or telephone.
From a safe location, call your gas company's
emergency line and/or your fire department.
Atwood, a manufacturer of LP fueled ranges and cooktops for RVs includes these warnings in its cooktop manual:
WARNING: CARBON MONOXIDE POISONING
DO NOT use cooking appliance for space heating. It is a potential
danger to occupants of vehicle and damage to operating components
of the range/cooktop.
A window or air vent should be open slightly while using any
cooking appliance. Gas flames consume oxygen which must be
replaced to assure proper combustion. (Atwood, 2016 cited below)
See the last sentence of the abstract from Liu (2000) for an example. Similar safety concerns in mobile homes were discussed by Frey as early as 1973
Research on Propane & LP Gas Hazards in RVs & Mobile Homes
"Atwood LP Gas Range & Slide-in Cooktops, RV, CV, RA, CA (34) Models", [PDF] Atwood, RV Ranges and Cooktops, 1120 N. Main St. Elkhart, IN 46514 Tel (USA) 800-546-8759 or Canada & USA: 800-825-4328, image & text excerpts adapted from http://www.askforatwood.com/ranges-and-cooktops.asp and from http://www.askforatwood.com/manuals/cooking/MPD%2051381%20SP%201.16.08.pdf retrieved 2016/12/02
Frey Jr, Louis, and J. Richard Knop. "Imperative Need for Uniform Mobile Home Safety Standards, The." Wash. & Lee L. Rev. 30 (1973): 459.
Hall, John Raymond. Burns, Toxic Gases and Other Fire-like Hazards in Non-fire Situations. Quincy, MA: National Fire Protection Association, 2004.
Liu, Kai-Shen, Maria Katrina Paz, Peter Flessel, Jed Waldman, and John Girman. "Unintentional carbon monoxide deaths in California from residential and other nonvehicular sources." Archives of Environmental Health: An International Journal 55, no. 6 (2000): 375-381.
To investigate risk factors of unintentional carbon monoxide deaths in California from nonvehicular sources, we identified 270 deaths resulting from nonvehicular sources of carbon monoxide poisoning from death certificates and coroners' investigation reports. Data recorded between 1979 and 1988 in the state of California on risk factors and carbon monoxide sources were abstracted from investigation reports. We also used census and state statistics to calculate rates and relative risks. The highest rates, which occurred in winter, were found among males, African Americans, and the elderly. Relative risks (in parentheses) were higher among individuals who
(a) lived in multiunit dwellings (2.1),
(b) dwelled in mobile/trailer homes (4.7), and
(c) resided in temporary shelters (30.0) than among individuals who lived in single-family houses (1.0).
Unvented combustion heating appliances and charcoal fuel were associated significantly with the risks of fatal unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning.
Smoot, E. Clyde, and William L. Hickerson. "Propane gas dangers and strategies for prevention of injuries." Journal of Burn Care & Research 17, no. 3 (1996): 273-279.
Although the overall incidence of thermal injuries continues to decrease, the incidence of certain types of burns is alarmingly high. Approximately 3000 propane fires and explosions are reported yearly. More than 9% of these cases result in bodily injury, and the mortality rate is more than 7% of the injured.
Most of the accidents are felt to be the result of a lack of knowledge among the general public in regard to die use of liquid petroleum (LP) gas, which is a low-cost and widely used fuel source. A series of accidents that resulted in several injuries in the midsouth area heightened our awareness of the problems associated with LP-gas storage, transportation, and use. A review of [the] incidence of use and injury, warning systems, product liability status, and prevention strategies are reported to help educate health care providers and increase public awareness of the problems associated with propane gas.
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 CADAC, Commercial And Domestic Appliance Company, produces a range of gas and camping products. we are guessing that typically they'd be marketing LP - liquid propane. Web search 07/22/2010 - original source: http://www.cadac.co.za/index.php?page=company describes Cadac products. their tel: support line on 0860 22 3 22 0
 Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, web search 07/22/2010, original source: http://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/chemicals/chem_profiles/propane/health_pro.html
 "Residential Electric Water Heater Installation Instructions and Use & Care Guide", American Water Heater Co., October 2001, American Water Heater Co., Johnson City, TN, [manufacturer of residential & commercial water heaters, also manufacturer of Polaris/Commercial water heaters], Tel: 800-999-9515, web search 1/12/2012, original source: americanwaterheater.com/support/manuals/res-elect.pdf [copy on file]
 Portions of this data were extract5ed from CompuServe's SAFETYNET forum 1989 and from the
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