Occupational Health Hazards of Liquified Petroleum Gas


What Is Liquified Petroleum Gas?

Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) is a colourless, odourless, flammable gas. It is a mixture of propane and butane with smaller amounts of isobutane, butylene, and other hydrocarbons. When sold and shipped, an odorant (such as Methyl Mercaptan) is added. 

What is Liquified Petroleum Gas Used For?

LPG is widely used as a fuel for domestic or camping heating and cooking appliances. It is also used as a lighter fuel, refrigerant, propellant in aerosols, substitute for gasoline and in the production of other chemicals and plastics. 

Why Is Liquified Petroleum Gas Harmful?

LPG is an asphyxiant gas that can cause unconsciousness and/or death if oxygen levels are sufficiently reduced. May displace oxygen and cause rapid suffocation. LPG is also an extremely flammable gas and is a gas under pressure; which may explode if heated. 

How Does Liquified Petroleum Gas Harm My Body?

Exposure to LPG is mainly by inhalation or by eye and skin contact. Inhaling LPG vapor at high concentration even for a short time can cause asphyxiation, seizures, comas, heart problems and death.  

Inhalation of LPG may cause drowsiness or dizziness and respiratory irritation (cough, sneezing, headache, nose and throat pain). Long-term exposure may lead to central nervous system damage, nosebleeds, rhinitis, oral/nasal ulcerations, conjunctivitis, weight loss and fatigue. 

Eye and skin irritation may occur due to contact with LPG. LPG released under pressure can cause frostbite burn due to rapid temperature decrease. Symptoms of frostbite include permanent eye damage or blindness, change in skin color to white or grayish-yellow. 

Who Needs To Be Concerned About LPG Hazards in the Workplace

Exposure to LPG may be due to accidental emissions of vapours or gases from pressurised equipment, a leak from containment or release during breaking containment in the following workplaces:  

  • Natural gas processing facilities 
  • Crude oil treatment processes in petroleum refineries, distillation, cracking or reforming 
  • Manufacture of refrigerants and aerosols 
  • Manufacture of chemicals using LPG as chemical feedstock 
  • Loading, unloading, transportation and storage 
  • Filling/transfer stations 

How to Mitigate the Hazards of LPG in the Workplace  

If your workplace uses liquified petroleum gas, it is important to familiarize yourself with the safety data sheets and carefully read chemical labels to prevent exposure. If you would like to elevate the occupational health standards for your company, Contact Chemscape Safety Technologies today. 

 

Elevate the level of occupational health standards for your company.