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Sniffing Avgas now!!!

Old 14th May 2017, 21:20
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Sniffing Avgas now!!!

I realise the ULP changes to OPAL helped with petrol sniffing, but Avgas is not very aromatic either, so it must be just a bit more.

Aviation fuel sniffing in Arnhem Land sparks health emergency warning - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Can someone tell me how TEL is boiling off when its boiling point is 80dC? I can imagine the light ends being sniffable but that is about it.

I suspect the lead levels are from other sources, and this is misinformed scaremongering. I may be wrong.

It is the media too I suppose.
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Old 14th May 2017, 23:07
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Originally Posted by Jabawocky View Post
I realise the ULP changes to OPAL helped with petrol sniffing, but Avgas is not very aromatic either, so it must be just a bit more.

I suspect the lead levels are from other sources, and this is misinformed scaremongering. I may be wrong.

It is the media too I suppose.
100LL still contains around 0.56g/L of lead. Children bio-accumulate lead more easily than adults if absorbed via the stomach or airway.

If you've ever spilled AVGAS on your clothing or shoes and had to fly somewhere wearing those cloths I'm sure you'll quickly change your mind as to how aromatic AVGAS really is.

The below is lifted directly from a MSDS, under the "inhalation" section.

Inhalation of vapours or aerosols (mists, fumes), generated by the material during the course of normal handling, may produce toxic effects.
Inhalation of vapours may cause drowsiness and dizziness. This may be accompanied by narcosis, reduced alertness, loss of reflexes, lack of coordination and
vertigo.
Limited evidence or practical experience suggests that the material may produce irritation of the respiratory system, in a significant number of individuals,
following inhalation. In contrast to most organs, the lung is able to respond to a chemical insult by first removing or neutralising the irritant and then repairing
the damage. The repair process, which initially evolved to protect mammalian lungs from foreign matter and antigens, may however, produce further lung
damage resulting in the impairment of gas exchange, the primary function of the lungs. Respiratory tract irritation often results in an inflammatory response
involving the recruitment and activation of many cell types, mainly derived from the vascular system.
High inhaled concentrations of mixed hydrocarbons may produce narcosis characterised by nausea, vomiting and lightheadedness. Inhalation of aerosols may
produce severe pulmonary oedema, pneumonitis and pulmonary haemorrhage. Inhalation of petroleum hydrocarbons consisting substantially of low molecular
weight species (typically C2-C12) may produce irritation of mucous membranes, incoordination, giddiness, nausea, vertigo, confusion, headache, appetite
loss, drowsiness, tremors and anaesthetic stupor. Massive exposures may produce central nervous system depression with sudden collapse and deep coma;
fatalities have been recorded. Irritation of the brain and/or apnoeic anoxia may produce convulsions. Although recovery following overexposure is generally
complete, cerebral micro-haemorrhage of focal post-inflammatory scarring may produce epileptiform seizures some months after the exposure. Pulmonary
episodes may include chemical pneumonitis with oedema and haemorrhage. The lighter hydrocarbons may produce kidney and neurotoxic effects. Pulmonary irritancy increases with carbon chain length for paraffins and olefins. Alkenes produce pulmonary oedema at high concentrations. Liquid paraffins may produce
anaesthesia and depressant actions leading to weakness, dizziness, slow and shallow respiration, unconsciousness, convulsions and death. C5-7 paraffins
may also produce polyneuropathy. Aromatic hydrocarbons accumulate in lipid rich tissues (typically the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nerves) and may
produce functional impairment manifested by nonspecific symptoms such as nausea, weakness, fatigue and vertigo; severe exposures may produce inebriation
or unconsciousness. Many of the petroleum hydrocarbons are cardiac sensitisers and may cause ventricular fibrillations.
Central nervous system (CNS) depression may include nonspecific discomfort, symptoms of giddiness, headache, dizziness, nausea, anaesthetic effects,
slowed reaction time, slurred speech and may progress to unconsciousness. Serious poisonings may result in respiratory depression and may be fatal.
The symptoms of exposure to high vapour concentrations of benzene include confusion, dizziness, tightening of the leg muscles and pressure over the
forehead followed by a period of excitement. If exposure continues, the casualty quickly becomes stupefied and lapses into a coma with narcosis. In non-fatal
cases, recovery is usual. Effects of inhalation may include nausea, vomiting, headache, dizziness, drowsiness, weakness, sometimes preceded by brief periods
of ataxia, staggering, weak and rapid pulse, chest pain and tightness with breathlessness, pallor, cyanosis of the lips and fingertips and tinnitus. Severe
exposures may produce blurred vision, shallow rapid breathing, delirium, cardiac arrhythmias, unconsciousness, deep anaesthesia, paralysis and coma
characterised by motor restlessness, tremors and hyperreflexia (occasionally preceded by convulsions). Polyneuritis and persistent nausea, anorexia, muscular
weakness, headache, drowsiness, insomnia and agitation may also occur. Two to three weeks after exposure, nervous irritability, breathlessness and unsteady
gait may still persist; cardiac distress and unusual discolouration of the skin may be evident for up to four weeks. Haemotoxicity is not usually a feature of acute
exposures although anaemia, thrombocytopenia, petechial haemorrhage, and spontaneous internal bleeding have been reported. Fatal exposures may result in
asphyxia, central nervous system depression, cardiac and respiratory failure and circulatory collapse; sudden ventricular fibrillation may also be fatal. Death
may be sudden or may be delayed for 24 hours. Central nervous system, respiratory or haemorrhagic complications may occur up to five days after exposure and
may be lethal; pathological findings include congestion, cerebral oedema, and lung haemorrhage, renal congestion, cerebral oedema and extensive petechial
haemorrhage in the brain, pleurae, pericardium, urinary tract, mucous membrane and skin. Exposure to toxic levels has also produced chromosomal damage
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Old 14th May 2017, 23:25
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Where does it say there is Pb in the vapours being sniffed?
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Old 14th May 2017, 23:52
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I note the article claims "elevated" lead levels. So I'm guessing there is lead levels recorded in all kids that way. Which wouldn't surprise as lead deposites are found all over Oz. And its aluminium country up there, so if the lead don't get them, the aluminium will...

"...Aluminum has been long known to be neurotoxic, with mounting evidence that chronic exposure is a factor in many neurological diseases, including dementia, autism, and Parkinson's disease..." . Study: The Alzheimer's-Aluminum Direct Link.

From what i hear about the effects of fuel sniffing and where it leeds to, the lead is the least of them kids worry's.....





.
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Old 15th May 2017, 00:14
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The kids have been pinching Avgas out of aircraft up there for years. Muddy foot prints up the struts of Cessnas a bit of a give away. They don't know about fuel drains.
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Old 15th May 2017, 00:28
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TEL has a vapor enthalpy of between 308-387K (34.85-113 deg c if I'm reading this right).

I'm no chemist, so someone with a bit more knowledge in that department might be able to go in to some more detail.

That being said, if you look at the video you'll see them siphoning fuel by sucking on a hose, so any fluid or fluid particles entering the airway or mouth will contain TEL regardless of temperature. TEL can also enter the body via the skin, so that's just another way the levels could be shown to be higher in people sniffing avgas.
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Old 15th May 2017, 01:00
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Never mind the lead, those kids on the video don't have a visible ASIC displayed while walking all over that Cessna's non-walkway areas and draining the fuel out.
The owner of that Cessna needs some more "NO STEP" markings on the tailplane, along the fuselage, and up over the wing. Poor kid didn't know he shouldn't - there were no signs on it! Never mind about Civil Aviation Act reg 24 either.
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Old 15th May 2017, 01:26
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How long until they work out how the fuel drains work?
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Old 15th May 2017, 01:50
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Originally Posted by Wiggley View Post
100LL still contains around 0.56g/L of lead. Children bio-accumulate lead more easily than adults if absorbed via the stomach or airway.

If you've ever spilled AVGAS on your clothing or shoes and had to fly somewhere wearing those cloths I'm sure you'll quickly change your mind as to how aromatic AVGAS really is.

The below is lifted directly from a MSDS, under the "inhalation" section.
Wiggley,

I did not question the absorption or retention rate, but that is interesting and not surprising. I am very aware of the aromatics in Avgas, and if you read my post, it is far less than say PULP like BP98. The inhalation section says nothing about being able to inhale Pb from the vapours of avgas. I doubt they consider that an inhalation problem, hence my questioning the news story.

So, while I am sure that was interesting to some, do you or anyone you know have any data on Pb in avgas vapour? I have never seen any.

And by the way I would guess the fuel up there is possible from BP Kwinana Refinery which has a lower grade alkylate than is required for 100LL so it will be AVGAS 100 (green stuff) and with a higher TEL content.


As you point out in your second post, the stealing process might be more the problem with TEL absorption, but I also wonder how much do you have to have oral contact with and how often would you need to do it to be a significant contributor? I suspect it is from other sources.

Now don't get me wrong, I do not suggest you bath in Avgas or any other fuel.

ASIC cards.......there is the real problem
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Old 15th May 2017, 02:03
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In Late '78, the chief pilot of the RFDS in Kal took steps to stop the stealing and sniffing of AVGAS at Warburton (WA).

I think he may have combined the dangers of doing so with local 'dreamtime' stories to achieve this...
Anyway, his solution worked.

So this has been going on for a fairly long time.

Cheers
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Old 15th May 2017, 03:52
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Originally Posted by Jabawocky View Post
I realise the ULP changes to OPAL helped with petrol sniffing, but Avgas is not very aromatic either, so it must be just a bit more.

Aviation fuel sniffing in Arnhem Land sparks health emergency warning - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Can someone tell me how TEL is boiling off when its boiling point is 80dC? I can imagine the light ends being sniffable but that is about it.
Boiling point is the temperature at which the vapour pressure equals the atmospheric pressure. The liquid temperature can be less than boiling point and therefore the vapour pressure lower, but it still exists as vapour which can be sniffed.

It's why pavements dry after rain even when they're nowhere near the boiling point of water*.



(*except if you've lost your footware...)
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Old 15th May 2017, 04:31
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Originally Posted by Jabawocky View Post
I realise the ULP changes to OPAL helped with petrol sniffing, but Avgas is not very aromatic either, so it must be just a bit more.

Aviation fuel sniffing in Arnhem Land sparks health emergency warning - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Can someone tell me how TEL is boiling off when its boiling point is 80dC? I can imagine the light ends being sniffable but that is about it.

I suspect the lead levels are from other sources, and this is misinformed scaremongering. I may be wrong.

It is the media too I suppose.
The blood lead levels are likely from the handling (siphoning), of 100 octane fuel, the neurological damage would mostly be from inhaling vapours (flash point of about -43 deg).
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Old 15th May 2017, 04:34
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How long before an accident is caused by a fuel cap left loose, fuel contamination or control surface damage by people clambering over tail and fuselage surfaces.
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Old 15th May 2017, 05:09
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Fatalities have already occurred as a consequence of fuel theft. I'm always a little apprehensive leaving aircraft parked in some remote locations.
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Old 15th May 2017, 05:09
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With every breath of avgas there's one less breath of oxygen theft
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Old 15th May 2017, 06:02
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These kids are quite capable of hot wiring cars and joy riding around in them. An aircraft has far fewer security features than a car and would present little difficulty in gaining entry and starting the engine without a key. A quick search on YouTube would soon have all the details needed to operate the controls.

A high speed taxi session could easily result in becoming airborne........
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Old 15th May 2017, 08:32
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And by the way I would guess the fuel up there is possible from BP Kwinana Refinery which has a lower grade alkylate than is required for 100LL so it will be AVGAS 100 (green stuff) and with a higher TEL content.
Jabawocky, it's highly unlikely the Avgas in Arnhem Land comes from Kwinana. There is no refinery in the NT and the vast majority of fuels used in the NT are imported.
It would not be even remotely economic to refine avgas at Kwinana and ship it or truck it to the NT, because the Asian refineries can refine and deliver fuel to the NT for substantially less than any Australian refinery can even produce it.
The avgas in the NT is refined overseas (usually Singapore) and imported in bulk and stored at the Darwin Vopak terminal, from where it is distributed throughout the NT.

The following report is a few years old now, but about the only things that have changed since 2009, is a couple of Australian refineries have shut down due to age and economic inefficiency, and imports of refined fuels (refined specifically to meet Australian Fuel Standards), have increased.

Australias petroleum import infrastructure
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Old 15th May 2017, 09:37
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Your taxpayer dollar at work once again. Fences, Dogs, Security, ASIC's. Well worth the money...
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Old 15th May 2017, 09:44
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Originally Posted by Lead Balloon View Post
Fatalities have already occurred as a consequence of fuel theft. I'm always a little apprehensive leaving aircraft parked in some remote locations.
I reckon that Bonanza owners could carry a pair of "On ground only" fuel caps. These would have a small hole drilled through the fold down tab. Then to secure the cap, one would simply lock wire the tab to the earth point.
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Old 15th May 2017, 10:15
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one-track

I am not convinced. Just because it could be does not mean it is. BP were supplying it not that long back. And since that report I think. I could find out for sure if I remember tomorrow :-/
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