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Old 07-02-2010, 11:02 AM
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Default The dangers of Kerosene fumes



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There is an interesting article on the BBC about solar powered lights, and how the company that makes the lights won some kind of environmental award.

What I found interesting, the article states that 1.5 million people die each year due to Kerosene fumes.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/world/africa/10486605.stm

Quote:
The company, set up by Indian entrepreneurs, says indoor air pollution by Kerosene fumes kills 1.5m people per year.
Back in April of 2009, I posted a video on youtube about using solar powered lights instead of candles. When I was making the video, I was not thinking about the danger of fumes. Instead, I was more thinking about the fire hazard that candles and lanterns pose.


I know a lot of people stockpile kerosene for use in lanterns - but lanterns pose 2 health risk, 1 from the fumes, and 1 from the fire hazard. It seems to me that the hazard from fumes is overlooked a lot.

When my wife and I use our kerosene space heater, we crack a window in the kitchen so that the house can vent. But I had never really thought about kerosene lanterns needing to vent. Its such a small flame, I had not really considered that fumes cold build up to the point of being lethal.

With a kerosene lantern you have this little bitty flame that barely puts out enough light to read by. The thought of the fumes from that little flame killing 1.5 million people every year, is just mind boggling to me.

Maybe I need to re-think my whole attitude on kerosene and move to solar powered lights? It seems to me solar would be a lot cheaper and safer then kerosene.
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Old 07-02-2010, 11:15 AM
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Kev, I bought a bunch of those BUT I also got the ones that are the "spot light" type, they work fantastic. 2 of them together really light up a room.


These little solar lights are a win, win, win item, (IMO) are the best lighting option.
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Old 07-02-2010, 12:33 PM
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I run a combo of rechargeable and kerosene. I wish the article had given more information on the kerosene hazards. I guess I'm going to have to research that. I mean if it's because they're running 2 dozen smokey old lanterns in a tiny airtight shack, that doesn't really apply. But if it's something about the fumes, even in small quantities killing people, then it's important to know about.
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Old 07-02-2010, 08:38 PM
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OhioMan
More info on the larger lights please.
Thx
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Old 07-02-2010, 09:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OhioMan View Post
Kev, I bought a bunch of those BUT I also got the ones that are the "spot light" type, they work fantastic. 2 of them together really light up a room.


These little solar lights are a win, win, win item, (IMO) are the best lighting option.
If those are the ones I'm thinking about, I have a couple also. They're designed for landscape lighting, aiming at a tree or the house, and have a panel on top that can be adjusted to face the sun? They're a lot more efficient than the lower powered walkway lights.

Oddly enough, I originally bought mine to light up a halloween display...lol
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Old 07-02-2010, 09:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeK View Post
If those are the ones I'm thinking about, I have a couple also. They're designed for landscape lighting, aiming at a tree or the house, and have a panel on top that can be adjusted to face the sun? They're a lot more efficient than the lower powered walkway lights.

Oddly enough, I originally bought mine to light up a halloween display...lol
Exactly, I bought a bunch of the walk way lantern type, they were like $4-$5, then I bought a few on the spot light type and I was very impressed IIRC they we around $15 a piece.
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Old 07-02-2010, 09:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frw501 View Post
OhioMan
More info on the larger lights please.
Thx
This is the type I bought at homedepot, I was very impressed with the amount of light they give off.

Old 07-02-2010, 09:34 PM
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Yep, that's right about what I paid. I keep them in the house underneath a lamp with a flourescent bulb. It keeps them charged, and if the power goes out, they turn on immediately and I have instant backup lighting enough to get the oil lamps lit. I originally kept the lamp on as a nightlight to my doggies.
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Old 07-02-2010, 09:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frw501 View Post
OhioMan
More info on the larger lights please.
Thx
Search Amazon for "solar flood lights". I think those are similar to what he is talking about.

You can get a lot longer runtime out of the cheap solar lights if you replace the batteries with batteries of a higher Ma rating. They just won't completely charge the larger batteries in one day if they are ran all of the way down. If you don't need it on every night though that is not a problem.

For and "electronic candle" I use a maglite that I converted to LED by using a Dorcy 45 lumen LED. The LED was $5.00. (I just noticed that they have rasied the price of the LED a couple bucks and now market it as 40 lumens) I just unscrew the lens and use it as a candle. Makes plenty of light to see to move about a room. I also have one of the Dorcy LED's in a 2 AA flashlight and it works great in the tent, even for reading in the tent. http://www.dorcydirect.com
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Old 07-02-2010, 09:41 PM
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They also make great battery chargers for your AA rechargable batteries. I have a box of old solar light tops that I kept just for that purpose. Put one rechargable AA in each of your lights in the morning and you have fully charged batteries when you get home.
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Old 07-02-2010, 09:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sidewinder View Post
They also make great battery chargers for your AA rechargable batteries. I have a box of old solar light tops that I kept just for that purpose. Put one rechargable AA in each of your lights in the morning and you have fully charged batteries when you get home.
They do make great rechargers. Another good option is the old style pathway lights that used flourescent tubes. They had a larger panel and a 6v gelcel battery. I have 3 of those that the gelcels went out in. I replaced the cells in 2 and use them as small power sources. The third I stripped for the panel. It'll charge 4 AAs (or other size) at a time and will do about 3 seperate charges (AA) on a bright day.

I don't see them for sale anymore since the LEDs took over, but I still see them dirt cheap (like $1 a piece) at second hand stores and garage sales all the time.
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Old 07-03-2010, 01:48 AM
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Another reason to be careful of kero fumes is that breathing them in over a period can cause pancreatitis - a life threatening condition.
A few years ago I was admitted to hospital with pancreatitis (probably the most painful experience of my life) and the doctors could not find a reason for it in a young, otherwise healthy person. The guy doing the ultrasound mentioned that he had only seen this in people working in areas filled with kero fumes. It struck me then that I was working in a cold shop that was heated with a kerosene heater and I sat next to it a lot. When I got out of hospital and threw out that heater the symptoms stopped.
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Old 07-03-2010, 05:54 AM
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This is why I asked about making an olive oil (or other cooking oil) lamp. I've made a few to try out and find that they don't smell at all and actually burn for a long time with just a little bit of oil. I find that, at least in Maine, cooking oil is a lot cheaper than lamp oil anyway and it will be much easier to find a naturally occurring plant oil than something petroleum based-should the time ever come.
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Old 07-03-2010, 01:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad in Maine View Post
This is why I asked about making an olive oil (or other cooking oil) lamp. I've made a few to try out and find that they don't smell at all and actually burn for a long time with just a little bit of oil. I find that, at least in Maine, cooking oil is a lot cheaper than lamp oil anyway and it will be much easier to find a naturally occurring plant oil than something petroleum based-should the time ever come.
I think the oil lamps are probably one of the few real long term choices we have. It's not hard to grow and process an oil crop for sustainability. I'm with you on that.
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Old 07-03-2010, 01:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kev View Post
With a kerosene lantern you have this little bitty flame that barely puts out enough light to read by. The thought of the fumes from that little flame killing 1.5 million people every year, is just mind boggling to me.

Maybe I need to re-think my whole attitude on kerosene and move to solar powered lights? It seems to me solar would be a lot cheaper and safer then kerosene.
When the BBC talks of people being killed by keosene fumes, what they are referring to is supposed premature deaths caused by years and years of exposure to soot particles. They also refer to 'millions' of people who die each year as a result of wood smoke inhalation, basically, people who do all their cooking on wood fires will breath in some smoke and on average they die younger than people who cook with gas or electricity so 'therefore' the wood smoke is killing them.

This is not a warning about kerosene fumes killing you suddenly like carbon monoxide, but rather the cumulative impact of years and years of breathing in smoke.
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Old 10-14-2011, 09:52 PM
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all bs. mabey if theres no window open, kerosene was and is used to heat most of asia. all day every day.
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Old 10-14-2011, 09:54 PM
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and the whole USA in the 1900's.
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Old 10-16-2011, 08:37 AM
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We had several kerosene lamps that were on an old table in our house, while cleaning one day my wife dropped one of them and the glass lantern busted in a million pieces spilling what little lamp oil that was in them on the floor.
Even though it was on a tile floor it took months for the smell to go away, and after rethinking the fire hazzard they posed we switched to other types of lighting in our house for SHTF.
We still have some of the old lamps safely stored away in the attic, but it would have to be a bad long term SHTF before I dig them out.
Old 10-16-2011, 08:49 AM
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and the whole USA in the 1900's.
Exactly. I think this is a case of skewing data to promote a product, i.e. "green" technology in the form of solar lights.
Old 10-16-2011, 11:08 AM
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I have one of these:



Supposed to be multi-fuel, but I've only tried it with white gas and kero.

Naturally it does give off some fumes. There is also a cooking attachment which I haven't tried yet.



But I am worried about the fumes and consumption of oxygen - especially in my new residence which is rather air tight and well insulated. If you have to vent for such items, then you are giving up the advantage of a well insulated air-tight house that holds in the heat.

It seems what would be needed would be some kind of attachment to vent it, like a stove does.
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