Can Propane Be Contaminated?

In recent years, liquefied petroleum gas has become a “darling” alternative fuel. Why? It is both more cost-effective and environmentally benign than its cousins, gasoline and diesel. In comparison to gasoline, the combustible hydrocarbon combination that makes up LPG produces 50% less carbon monoxide, 35% less nitrogen oxides, and has half the ozone-forming potential. Furthermore, because its price is less reliant on crude oil, LPG is more stable in the marketplace. LPG has a wide range of applications, including heating, power generation, refrigeration, cooking, and transportation.

LPG is prone to greasy residues, which can corrode or plug fuel filters, pressure regulators, fuel mixers, and control solenoids. It can be polluted by oily residue at any point during the manufacturing and transportation processes. Contamination from shared pipelines, valves, and vehicles used for the delivery of other items can arise on their own.

Labor-intensive, time-consuming, ecologically unfriendly, and even dangerous laboratory investigation of LPG contamination had been the norm until recently. Furthermore, there was no way to determine the source of the contamination, leaving LPG stakeholders with unanswered questions about how to resolve the issue.

What are the main risks associated with propane?

Propane is an asphyxiant gas because it displaces oxygen at high quantities. If allowed to accumulate to quantities that reduce oxygen below safe breathing levels, it causes asphyxia. Dizziness, light-headedness, headache, nausea, and lack of coordination may occur when high quantities are inhaled. If you continue to inhale, you may become unconscious. Asphyxiation can knock a person out without warning and so quickly that they are powerless to defend themselves.

Frostbite can be caused by being exposed to a rapidly expanding gas or vaporizing liquid (“cold burn”).

Is propane a potentially harmful gas?

When propane fumes are ignited by heat, spark, open flame, or other source of ignition, they can explode and cause a deadly fire. Propane is heavier than air, thus it can travel a considerable distance to an ignition site before flashing back. Heat or fire may cause the container to explode.

What happens if propane comes into contact with your skin?

Skin burns can occur when liquid propane comes into direct contact with the skin (frostbite). Dispose of any infected clothing. Seek medical help right away if you have blisters, frostbite, or freeze burns.

Is it possible to become poisoned by propane?

  • Low quantities are not dangerous when inhaled. A high concentration can cause oxygen in the air to be displaced. Symptoms such as fast breathing, quick heart rate, clumsiness, emotional upheavals, and exhaustion might occur when there is less oxygen available to breathe. As oxygen becomes scarcer, nausea and vomiting, collapse, convulsions, coma, and death are all possible outcomes. Physical exertion causes symptoms to appear more quickly. Organs such as the brain and heart can be permanently damaged by a lack of oxygen. When present in excessive amounts, it can be harmful to the nervous system. Headache, nausea, dizziness, sleepiness, and confusion are all possible symptoms. It’s possible that it’ll produce an erratic pulse.
  • Skin Contact: Doesn’t irritate the skin. The skin might be chilled or frozen if it comes into direct touch with the liquid gas (frostbite). Numbness, prickling, and itching are all symptoms of mild frostbite. A burning feeling and stiffness are common symptoms of more severe frostbite. It’s possible that the skin will turn waxy white or yellow. In severe situations, blistering, tissue death, and infection may occur.
  • Contact with the eyes is not a bother. The eye can be frozen if it comes into direct contact with the liquid gas. There is a risk of permanent eye injury or blindness.

ACGIH (American Conference for Governmental Industrial Hygienists): Not designated.

Is it safe to use a gas heater indoors?

Yes, propane heaters may be used indoors! Propane heaters come in two varieties: indoor and outdoor. Indoor variants are made to be safe to use inside. If you opt for an indoor model, you can expect a warm and secure environment. Otherwise, you’ll need to keep your gas heater outside or in a garage with plenty of air and a carbon monoxide detector.

There’s a compelling reason to double-check the propane heater you purchase. The smoke produced by indoor and outdoor propane heaters is handled quite differently.

Carbon monoxide poisoning can be caused by using an outdoor-only gas heater without adequate ventilation.

Is a stench from a propane tank normal?

Your nose knows best when it comes to gas and keeping your family and North Carolina home safe.

Propane is odorless by nature, but producers add a chemical to give it a unique odor, making it smell like rotten eggs. This odor is included to aid in the detection of a gas leak.

Don’t be alarmed if you detect a rotten-egg odor in your home. Follow these advice and safeguards as soon as possible.

  • Don’t touch anything that could cause a spark on your way out, such as lights, light switches, telephones, appliances, or cell phones.
  • Use your cellphone or a neighbor’s phone to dial 911 after you’re safely out of the house.
  • Allow first responders and service technicians to do their jobs, and don’t return to the residence until they say it’s safe to do so.
  • If you turn off your propane system for any reason, including a leak, it must be inspected and pressure-tested before being reconnected. A skilled propane technician will also need to inspect all propane appliances and relight all pilot lights.


Carbon monoxide detectors must be installed on every floor of your home and outside all bedrooms if your home has any type of fuel-burning appliance (for example, anything that uses propane or fires) or an attached garage. When we switch to or from Daylight Savings Time twice a year, we should test them and replace the batteries. Every five years, carbon monoxide detectors must be changed.

Installing propane leak detectors in your home is highly recommended. They’re a fallback in case anything like rust in your propane tank prevents the rotten-egg scent from escaping.

Leak detectors for propane are affordable and may be found at hardware and home improvement stores.

Propane appliance maintenance by a professional, on a regular basis, helps to identify issues that might lead to more expensive repairs or compromised safety.

What does it smell like when there’s a propane leak?

Propane gas is odorless. To give propane its unique “rotten egg” scent, marketers add a nontoxic chemical called mercaptan. In Connecticut, all propane pipeline gas is odorized. If you smell gas near an appliance, it could just be a blown pilot light or a slightly open burner valve.

Is propane carcinogenic?