Gasoline Explosion: Be Very Careful Using Gasoline

Gasoline Explosion: Be Very Careful Using Gasoline


This is a pretty tame picture. I’m sparing you the one of my sister-in-law’s legs. It’s ugly.

A few weeks ago my sister-in-law in Denmark got very severe burns on her lower legs from a gasoline explosion. Her friend had piled up a lot of brush and wanted to burn it. So he pored on some gasoline, gave my sister-in-law a match and asked her to toss it on the brush. Apparently, he had pored on too much gasoline because it exploded and threw her back about nine feet (three meters).

After many trips to the doctor, having some dead skin removed each time with great pain, she is now healing and will be OK. Fortunately, her face was spared and she was wearing clothes that protected the rest of her body.

This story reminded me that several decades ago the local retired sheriff, an amateur woodworker, was using gasoline for cleaning in his shop, and it exploded and killed him. He was a retired sheriff and apparently still didn’t know better than to use gasoline!

The lesson from these stories is obvious. The problem I see is that as more and more solvents are removed from the marketplace to comply with strict VOC laws, people might be encouraged to use gasoline, which will remain available, as a substitute. I’m not sure we are thinking through these VOC bans well enough.



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