Inhaled Gasoline Fumes While Pregnant

Patient

Q: I am very early in my pregnancy, only a little over 4 weeks along... My husband and I were at the gas station, he pumped the gas while I waited in the car. However, when he got back in the car, he must have brought in some serious fumes with him - they literally burned the back of my throat. I only inhaled once and quickly opened the window. Now, I realize that I'm SUPER sensitive to smells right now, but could it have hurt the baby at all?

Symptoms:  No symptoms, I felt fine afterwards
Doctor

A:   Gasoline is considered dangerous for your health because it is poisonous. Exposure to gas—either through physical contact or inhalation—can cause health problems. The effects of gasoline poisoning can harm every part of the body. It is important to practice and enforce safe gas handling to prevent poisoning.

The precise outlook for gasoline poisoning depends on the amount of exposure, as well as how fast the person was treated. Generally small amount of such fumes should not affect the fetus, but any possible harm is a function of the quantity of fumes inhaled. Please consult your ob/gyn for a discussion and for specific advice.

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