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elbanditoroso's avatar

Gasoline and skin - how dangerous?

Asked by elbanditoroso (15500 points ) July 17th, 2012

I was at the gas station today filling up the little 2-gallon plastic container so I could refill my lawn mower’s tank.

I looked up (at a passing fire engine) and the nozzle of the pump came partially out of the container – and sprayed on my arm and my left leg. I didn’t have any means of wiping off the gas, so I drove home (about 3 minutes) and then got a wet towel and washed off my left arm and both legs.

Now (6 hours later) I see no damage to the skin. Did the exposure do anything serious?

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7 Answers

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

That kind of limited exposure shouldn’t hurt too bad. It’s more of the constant exposure that’s bad.

Sunny2's avatar

Did you use soap? Gasoline is kind of oily, so soap would help get it off better. Sounds like a good thing to google.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

You should be perfectly fine. I’ve washed my hands in gasoline quite a few times. No damage.

Cruiser's avatar

Your natural oils in your skin should protect you from intermittent exposures such as spills. Most of the nasty volatiles evaporated in the first 5–10 minutes and left the whiffy gas smell on your skin. Gas is made of oil and that in itself is not so bad. It is the hydrocarbons that did evaporate quickly that you would ever be concerned with and again your exposure was short lived.

If you do have a rash of any kind, either research the MSDS for gasoline and or seek medical attention.

jerv's avatar

It depends on your skin, but gasoline is relatively mild anyways, so you should be fine. As @WillWorkForChocolate says, some of us use it to wash our hands. My skin is rather oily, so my skin is insensitive enough to chemicals that I have been known to not notice small splashes of sulfuric acid.

If you were sensitive enough for your little exposure to be an issue, you would’ve noticed by now.

woodcutter's avatar

It’s really a bad deal near open flames so definitely avoid that until you scrub it off.

elbanditoroso's avatar

16 hours later, absolutely no ill effects, thank you all for answering.

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