Dangers of Gasoline Siphoning

Gasoline may be in short supply, before, during, and after natural disasters, such as hurricanes and floods. When there is not enough gasoline, people may want to take gasoline from one container and put it into another. This can be done by siphoning.

Siphoning gasoline can harm your health. Do not try to siphon gasoline. It can cause serious injury or illness.

Siphoning is when you use your mouth or a pump to suck a liquid such as gasoline out of one container, such as a gas tank, through a funnel or tube and into another container

Possible injuries and illness from any form of siphoning include:

  • Burns and injury from unintentional combustion of gasoline and/or gasoline vapors. This may happen if the gasoline or its vapors come into contact with a lit cigarette or static electricity.
  • Confusion, drowsiness, headache or problems concentrating from breathing gasoline vapors
  • Irritation of skin, eye or mucus membranes on contact
  • Other possible injuries and illness from siphoning when you use your mouth for suction include:
  • Lung damage, if gasoline is inhaled into the lungs (aspiration) during mouth-based siphoning
  • Gastrointestinal (GI) signs and symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and stomach pain if any gasoline is swallowed
  • Irritation of mucous membranes inside your mouth, throat, and stomach on contact

If you do breath gasoline fumes or swallow gasoline and feel ill, see a doctor and/or call the poison center for help at 800-222-1222