Dangers of Using Butane Gas

Tags - Dangers of Using Butane Gas


Butane gas comes with relatively low health risks.

And it is one of the most powerful and popular fuel sources used worldwide.

However, if used incorrectly it can cause some serious problems and can, in worst cases, be fatal.

As such, it’s highly important that it is handled properly to avoid these risks.

Let’s take a look at the very few, but very real, dangers of using butane gas.


1. Inhalation 

Some people turn to inhaling butane from bottles or aerosols for a quick high and mild euphoria.

But, this is highly dangerous, especially to our health.

Short term effects of inhaling butane gas includes;

  • Dizziness and Drowsiness
  • Nausea
  • Headaches 
  • Fluctuating Blood Pressure
  • Memory Loss

And in worse cases, even death; often referred to as Sudden Sniffing Death Syndrome.

In the long term, damaging effects from inhaling this gas includes;

  • Liver Damage  
  • Kidney Damage
  • Changes in Bone Marrow
  • Nerve Damage
  • Potential Brain Damage

Don’t worry though, butane gas is safe to use when burned properly, such as for BBQs; once it burns with oxygen, it releases carbon dioxide and water vapour.


2. Explosion

As butane gas is typically compressed into canisters, it becomes a highly flammable and pressurised gas.

With this in mind, if it’s not stored properly, it’s possible butane can explode.

To avoid this from happening, butane gas canisters should be stored out of direct sunlight and in a cool area.

Furthermore, you want to ensure they are in a well ventilated space, away from other flammables or aerosols.

Lastly, always keep butane gas canisters upright with the lid securely in place.

3. Leaks

As butane is a colourless and odourless gas, it’s not easy to detect by the human's nose, until unfortunately it causes an explosion - and then it’s too late.

For this reason, early detection is crucial to avoid serious damaging effects.

Luckily, inside butane gas canisters are sulfur compounds that cause unpleasant smells so that if we detect a leak, evacuation can be promptly made before safety is compromised.

And, if your nose cannot pick up the gas leak, there are a few physical symptoms to look out for, such as;

  • Unexplainable Headaches
  • Irregular Breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea

If in doubt, always call a professional who can confirm the problem.


4. Skin Exposure

When butane gas is directly exposed to the skin or eyes, it can result in frostbite or freeze burns.

In the event that your eyes are accidentally exposed to burane, immediately rinse with large amounts of water for 15 minutes, lifting the upper and lower lids.

And, if it’s exposed to your skin, immerse the affected area into warm water, and always seek medical advice.


Final Thoughts

We’d like to stress here that these risks above are very unlikely to happen.

Especially if you follow the rules and handle butane gas canisters properly - always use them with caution.

All butane gas canisters will come with a safety data sheet, so be sure to read this thoroughly before using the product.

Contact us for more information.


Check out our page for Butane Gas Refills in the meantime.