Can kerosene cause brain damage?


Kerosene is not known to cause brain damage. Breathing concentrated vapors may irritate the respiratory tract. AnswerParty on!

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The respiratory system (or ventilatory system) is the biological system that introduces respiratory gases to the interior and performs gas exchange. In humans and other mammals, the anatomical features of the respiratory system include airways, lungs, and the respiratory muscles. Molecules of oxygen and carbon dioxide are passively exchanged, by diffusion, between the gaseous external environment and the blood. This exchange process occurs in the alveolar region of the lungs. Other animals, such as insects, have respiratory systems with very simple anatomical features, and in amphibians even the skin plays a vital role in gas exchange. Plants also have respiratory systems but the directionality of gas exchange can be opposite to that in animals. The respiratory system in plants also includes anatomical features such as holes on the undersides of leaves known as stomata.

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A kerosene heater, also known as a paraffin heater, is a portable, unvented, kerosene-fueled, space-heating device. In the United States they are used mainly for supplemental heat or as a source of emergency heat during a power outage. In some countries, particularly in Japan, they are used as the primary source of home heat. Most kerosene heaters produce between 3.3 and 6.8 kW (11000 to 23000 BTU per hour).

A kerosene heater operates much like a large kerosene lamp. A circular wick made from fiberglass is integrated into a burner unit mounted above a font (tank) filled with 1-K kerosene. The wick draws kerosene from the tank via capillary action. Once lit, the wick emits flames into the burner unit which heats air via convection or nearby objects via radiation. The burner is designed to properly oxygenate and distribute the flames. The flame height is controlled by raising or lowering the exposed wick height inside the burner unit via an adjusting mechanism. The kerosene heater is extinguished by fully retracting the wick into a cavity below the burner, which will snuff out the flame.

Intoxicative inhalants are a broad range of intoxicative drugs whose volatile vapors are taken in via the nose and trachea. They are taken by room temperature volatilization or from a pressurized container (e.g., nitrous oxide), and do not include drugs that are sniffed after burning or heating. For example, amyl nitrite and toluene are considered inhalants, but tobacco, marijuana, and crack are not, even though the latter are also inhaled.

While some inhalant drugs are used for medical purposes, as in the case of nitrous oxide (a dental anxiolytic), this article focuses on inhalant abuse as recreational drugs that are used for their intoxicating effect. Inhaling volatile substances because of their intoxicating effect is called huffing.

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