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    Default Gas safety

    I recently worked on a friend's boat that had been closed up for a number of weeks. I started to feel light headed, dizzy and very tired very soon after working below. I then started throwing up and spent the following 48 hours shivering with aches and pains and no appetite. I then found out the gas had been left on. Does anyone know the likely symptoms of gas poisoning or had a similar experience?

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    DownWest is offline Registered User
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    Didn't you smell the gas?
    The symptons are more those of carbon monoxide than the asphixiation likely from breathing gas.

    BTW, The smell in gas is an added component to warn people. The base gas does not have an odour.

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    Any symptoms as described, would dissappear within a short while after getting into fresh air. It is however possible that there has been something toxic in the boat atmosphere, which would explain feeling bad afterwards. Some people are alergic to all kinds of chemicals
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    Any recent epoxy work? Fumes from curing epoxy and epoxy dust are bad news for some.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobobolinsky View Post
    Any symptoms as described, would dissappear within a short while after getting into fresh air......
    Not if it's Carbon Monoxide poisoning they wouldn't. Get yourself checked out asap and make sure the gas appliances on the boat aren't used until they've been checked by a Gas Safe Registered engineer (not a know it all friend). You're lucky to be alive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skomer View Post
    Not if it's Carbon Monoxide poisoning they wouldn't. Get yourself checked out asap and make sure the gas appliances on the boat aren't used until they've been checked by a Gas Safe Registered engineer (not a know it all friend). You're lucky to be alive.
    Carbon monoxide poisoning was what I was reffering to as LPG is non toxic, though is an asphixiant. In my working life I have been gassed a few times with monoxide, of couse it is dangerous, but the initial symptoms dissappear as rapidly as they come in fresh air. They are commonly, a rosy complexion, a head ache, nausea and in severe cases changes in the eyes and lips, but breathing fresh air is a cure. The symptoms don't last 48 hours. As has been pointed out the curing of epoxies, and polyurethanes can have a nasty effect. Polyurethanes are in particular are partially restricted to proffessional use, though no one seems to care. Polyurethanes contain iso-cyanides. So many chemicals are reactive together and in isolation not aproblem, but we use so many.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobobolinsky View Post
    Carbon monoxide poisoning was what I was reffering to as LPG is non toxic, though is an asphixiant. In my working life I have been gassed a few times with monoxide, of couse it is dangerous, but the initial symptoms dissappear as rapidly as they come in fresh air. They are commonly, a rosy complexion, a head ache, nausea and in severe cases changes in the eyes and lips, but breathing fresh air is a cure. The symptoms don't last 48 hours.
    Wrong.

    Carbon monoxide can rapidly cause death or permanent brain damage.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobobolinsky View Post
    of couse it is dangerous, but the initial symptoms dissappear as rapidly as they come in fresh air.
    I find the misinformation in some of these threads alarming. Carbon monoxide binds preferentially to the haemoglobin in red blood cells - that is, in preference to oxygen. It is particularly difficult to get it to unbind, and as commented by skipper_stu, somebody who has CO poisoning has to wait a while for full recovery - the average lifespan of a red blood cell is about 120 days. This makes carboxyhaemoglobin monitoring a very effective way of detecting supposedly reformed cigarette smokers who lie - the CO from the sneaked fags stays bound to haemoglobin for weeks.

    CO poisoning symptoms do not go away as rapidly as they come in fresh air - perhaps Bobobolinsky is thinking of carbon dioxide which is a potential hazard in (for example) breweries.

    In Romagould3's case it's best not to start jumping to conclusions on the basis of the information given - he hasn't said if any gas appliance was burning nor has he mentioned what chemicals he was using (if any). Thistle asked the right question.

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    What work were you doing on the boat?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thistle View Post
    What work were you doing on the boat?
    This is an important question. Was the engine running? Oil heater? Any solvents? Did you smell gas?

    If not, and the boat was closed up, there is unlikely to be any CO (it is lighter than air), so it may be a coincidence, and you just got the lurgy.
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