headache. Large amounts act as an anesthetic causing
unconsciousness or death.
Personnel should not be permitted to work in spaces
where hydrocarbon vapor concentrations exceed 500
parts per million by volume, unless they are protected
by an air-supplied respirator. It is recommended that
personnel be permitted to work only in well-ventilated
spaces where the hydrocarbon vapors are at or below
the permissible limit.
The occurrence of any of the symptoms mentioned,
among personnel who are handling gasoline or who are
within an area in which gasoline is handled or spilled,
should be taken as a warning of the presence of danger-
ous amounts of gasoline vapor in the air. All exposed
personnel must be sent out of the area until the vapors
have been cleared. Recovery from early symptoms is
usually prompt after removal to fresh air. Anyone who
is overcome should be given first aid at once. Medical
attention should be obtained promptly. First aid in-
cludes removing gasoline from the skin (if the skin or
clothing has been contaminated in a fall or other acci-
dent), preventing chilling, and applying artificial respi-
ration if breathing has ceased.
Tetraethyl lead, which was added to increase the
antiknock value of gasoline, is no longer used, but it
could remain impregnated in tanks or piping sys-
tems. The lead compound may enter the body through
inhalation, by absorption through the skin, and by the
mouth. Also, the gasoline vapor itself, when inhaled,
may result in sickness. Therefore, take the following
Avoid contact with liquid gasoline.
Do not inhale gasoline vapors.
Do not enter tanks that have contained gasoline
until all traces of gasoline vapors have been eliminated.
Sediment and sludge impregnated with
gasoline may be present at the bottom of the
tank. These constitute a serious fire and poison
hazard until the tank is thoroughly cleaned.
Before you enter the gasoline storage tanks,
you must obtain permission from the com-
manding officer, and the gas-free engineer must
test and certify the tanks are safe for entry.
There is danger in entering a tank that has been used
the storage of gasoline because of the chance of
exposure to the toxic concentration of gasoline vapors
in the air and in the sludge, wet or dry, in the bottom of
such tanks. No person should be permitted to enter such
a tank without special equipment and complete instruc-
tions for its use.
Gasoline is exceedingly irritating when swal-
lowed. If gasoline should be swallowed, accepted first
aid procedures must be followed and medical attention
obtained as soon as possible.
Gasoline causes severe burns if it is allowed to
remain in contact with the skin, particularly when the
contact is maintained under soaked clothing or gloves.
Clothing or shoes having gasoline on them should be
removed at once. Repeated contact with gasoline re-
moves the protective oils from the skin and produces
drying, roughness, chapping, and cracking. Skin in-
fection may follow this damage to the skin. A severe
skin irritation may develop, beginning usually on the
hands and perhaps extending to other parts of the
As soon as possible after contact, gasoline should
be removed from the skin, preferably by washing with
soap and water. Rags or waste, wet with gasoline, must
not be put in a pocket, but must be disposed of at once.
Soaked clothing should be kept away from flames or
sparks, and should be washed out thoroughly with
soap and water as soon as possible. If gasoline comes
in contact with the eyes, accepted first aid procedures
must be given at once.
Jet fuels may contain more toxic aromatics than
gasolines. They should, therefore. be handled with the
same health precautions as apply to gasolines. They
should not be used for cleaning. The hygienic or health
aspects for gasoline, therefore, apply equally well to
jet fuels. These include precautions covering particu-
larly the inhalation of vapors, skin irritations, and
An important step in preventing the buildup of
fuel vapors is to operate the ventilation system pro-
vided for all spaces where fuels are handled. The
aviation fuels security watch must monitor the venti-
lation in these spaces when they are not manned.
Vapor buildup due to inoperative ventilation is dan-
gerous to both you and your ship. Notify your super-
visor immediately if you discover the ventilation
system in one of your fuels spaces is not working.
The Standard First Aid Training Course, NAV-
EDTRA 12081, should be studied by all personnel
working with fuels for information on the treatment of
those overcome or injured when handling fuels.