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Propane Poisoning Symptoms

Propane Poisoning Symptoms

Know of any Propane Poisoning Symptoms? Propane can be quite a great option if you want a reliable and efficient energy source that you can install in any place on your property but it does have a number of risks.

The biggest hazard of using propane as fuel is that it can be dangerous when used in confined spaces- high concentrations could displace oxygen in the air and make you suffocate.

Now, the most worrying thing about propane poisoning is that it can be extremely difficult to detect because it’s heavier than air so a propane leak typically sinks and become concentrated at the ground level where it can avoid detection.

In addition, propane is colorless and odorless.

For this reason, it is important to be aware of the telltale propane poisoning symptoms – continued exposure to higher airborne concentrations could kill you within five minutes (or so) depending on the amount of oxygen in the room.

Below we look at the most common propane poisoning symptoms to be on the lookout for if you suspect you (or someone you’re with) may have been exposed to severe concentrations of the gas:

Propane poisoning symptoms

Signs and symptoms of propane poisoning may include:

·         Rapid breathing

If you inhale large amounts of propane unknowingly, you may start to experience rapid breaths (hyperventilation) because the available amount of oxygen available to breathe is reduced.

Keep in mind that the average adult usually takes between 12 – 20 breaths per minute.

·         Rapid heart rate

It is sometimes normal for your heartbeat to rise.

For instance, your heart rate will be quicker during exercise or when stressed (as a response to the tension). 

However, folks develop a fast heartbeat due to oxygen deprivation as a result of excessive buildup of propane in the room.

·         Sudden clumsiness

We can all become clumsy from now and then but if you all of a sudden find yourself lacking co-ordination repeatedly in a room where propane is in use, it could be a danger sign.

Remember that co-ordination is a really complex process involving organs such as the eyes and the brain along with various bones, muscles, and nerves.

Subsequently, if any of the players is disrupted- for example, the brain owing to insufficient oxygen- the entire process is affected.

·         Feeling fatigued and weak

While there are other factors that can make you feel tired or exhausted and in need of rest because of lacking energy or strength, it can be an indicator of propane poisoning. 

You see, the brain isn’t getting adequate oxygen if there’s a leak yet your body cells require a sustained flow of oxygen into your lungs to function properly. 

·         Convulsions/coma

High concentrations of propane eventually start harming the nervous system and an individual may even go into a coma.

Convulsions could happen to a particular part of your body or the whole body.

·         Hallucinations

Another sign that you could be having extremely high concentrations of propane indoors is hallucinating.

Note that some feel euphoric (intensely excited) for no reason.

It’s worth mentioning that propane has shown a tendency to deposit in the brain tissues (as well as liver and lungs).

·         Irritability (Emotional upsets)

Irritability is simply feeling agitated.

Now, in this case, you start to feel frustrated or upset since your brain is stressed on account of lack of adequate oxygen since the rising propane concentration in the air is displacing oxygen.

Sure, it should not be relied upon solely as a sign – some of the previous symptoms of propane leak poisoning are more dependable- but feeling angry and unexplained mood changes can also be a useful pointer.

·         Nausea and vomiting

As decreased oxygen continues to become available, the propane exhaust poisoning symptoms may grow worse and you may begin to experience nausea and vomiting.

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Other propane poisoning symptoms

  1. Dizziness/drowsiness– You may also begin to feel dizzy/drowsy/lightheaded. Others feel terribly confused.
  2. Burning sensation in the mouth and throat- Abnormal levels of natural gas in the air sometimes trigger a burning sensation in your mouth and/or throat. Your eyes may also get watery.
  3. Headache- Extreme levels of propane exposure may also cause a throbbing headache. Some individuals also feel as if they’re having a fever.
  4. Pain/numbness in limbs- This may be a by-product of the respiratory difficulties caused by propane inhalation.
  5. Thirst –Abnormal levels of natural gas in the air are sometimes associated with feeling extraordinarily thirsty.

I must add that the longer one is exposed to propane concentrations beyond threshold exposure limits, the more acute these propane gas poisoning symptoms tend to become.

When to consult a doctor

While the propane poisoning symptoms and signs can be subtle, they can lead to life-threatening medical emergencies.

You should, therefore, move away from the exposure room (to open space for fresh air) immediately, if you reckon that you have had a propane poisoning incident

It is also imperative that you seek emergency medical assistance straight away- Call 911 or the local emergency help number.

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Symptoms of Propane poisoning in dogs

If you’re worried that your dog may have come in contact with propane when you were not watching him or that he may have inhaled the gas, look for these signs:

  • Breathing difficulties
  • Rapid breathing
  • Vomiting and collapse
  • Irregular/rapid heartbeat
  • Wounds on the skin
  • Coughing
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Discolored spots on the skin
  • Gagging
  • Confusion
  • Unsteady motion
  • Salivation and twitching
  • Shaking of his head
  • Reduced appetite

Saving your pet

If you feel that your pet has been exposed to too much propane, call his veterinary (or pet poison helpline number 800-213-6680) promptly.

In the meantime, move him from the scene of the exposure to a location where he is able to breathe fresh air.

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Wrapping it up

As with methane and butane, propane is not poisonous.

However, research has shown that inhaling or ingesting high concentrations of propane can cause long-term damage to your brain or make you disabled.

It can even kill you by making you suffocate. 

That being the case, recognizing the poisoning symptoms we have highlighted in this article and acting fast could save someone’s life.

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