WILL EXPOSURE TO GASOLINE RESULT IN HARMFUL HEALTH EFFECTS?
Immediately or shortly after breathing a high amount of gasoline, a person may experience nose or lung irritation, feel dizzy or have a headache. When swallowed, gasoline will cause stomach irritation. Drinking gasoline or inhaling concentrated vapors can result in death.
The following health effects can occur after several years of exposure to low levels of gasoline in air or in water:
Organ Systems: People can experience damaged nervous system or lungs.
Cancer: There is no evidence that exposure to gasoline causes cancer in humans. However, long-term exposure to high levels of benzene, a component of gasoline, may increase a person's risk of leukemia.
Reproductive Effects: There is not enough information available to determine if exposure to gasoline causes birth defects.
In general, chemicals affect the same organ systems in all people who are exposed. However, the seriousness of the effects may vary from person to person.
A person's reaction depends on several things, including individual health, heredity, previous exposure to chemicals including medicines, and personal habits such as smoking or drinking.
It is also important to consider the length of exposure to the chemical; the amount of chemical exposure; and whether the chemical was inhaled, touched, or eaten.
IS THERE A MEDICAL TEST TO TELL IF SOMEONE HAS BEEN EXPOSED TO GASOLINE?
The chemicals in gasoline are quickly flushed from the body. Although some can be measured in exhaled breath, urine, blood, and other tissues, these tests may not be helpful in predicting health effects. Your doctor can use function tests of your lungs, nervous system and heart to evaluate the effects of gasoline exposure.