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Ontario Poison Centre




Unintentional gasoline ingestions can occur when trying to siphon a gas tank, or if a person takes a sip from an unlabeled container. Gasoline is not well absorbed from the stomach, but it is a very volatile substance (evaporates easily at room temperature) and can easily be coughed/choked on. Brief, unintentional inhalation exposures are common (at a gas station, for example), and should not result in serious symptoms.

Poisoning Risk

Low for brief inhalation exposures and unintentional/mouthful ingestions where contents remain in the stomach.

High if gasoline slips into the lungs (can occur with coughing, gagging, vomiting): can cause a chemical pneumonia.

Expected Symptoms

  • Mild stomach irritation in unintentional/mouthful ingestions.
  • Coughing, difficulty breathing, possible pneumonia if gasoline enters the lungs.
  • Intentional or prolonged inhalation: can cause drowsiness and affect the heart rhythm.

Home Treatment

  • If swallowed and not coughing/choking, provide small sips of water to drink.
  • If inhaled, get fresh air.
  • For eye exposures, rinse eyes for at least 15 minutes with lukewarm water.
  • Call the Poison Centre for further advice.
  • If the person exposed has any difficulty breathing, call 911.


  • This product should be locked up and out of sight with all of your other household hazards.
  • Always keep this product in its original container.
  • Every case is different. OPC is available 24hrs/day to provide information for your individual situation. Call 1-800-268-9017 (Toll-free) or 416-813-5900 (Local).



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